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Do natural cold remedies work

MidWeek Musing: Do You Use Natural Home Remedies?

When it comes to dealing with sick kids, parents fall all along the spectrum from purely homeopathic to over-the-counter all the way.


Where do you stand on homeopathic cold or flu remedies? Any that your family swears by?

A few months ago our contributor Natalie shared a slew of her favorite naturopathic cold remedies and I was intrigued. As with a lot of things, I’m somewhat of a moderate when it comes to treating sick kids.  Mind you I’m not talking about serious illness here – for anything more than a cold I dutifully dole out the antibiotics.  But when it comes to the seasonal stuff, I’m not opposed to going a little more au naturel.

After all, I’m pretty weary of cough and cold medicine for young kids due to numerous reports of hazardous side effects.  So when S and C came down with fevers/runny noses/sore throats, I’d be much more likely to reach for the children’s ibuprofen and supplement with some comforting homemade popsicles or honey pops. But that’s about as “alternative” as I got.

Then, just before Natalie’s post, S got one of those colds she just couldn’t shake and our sitter suggested chopping up an onion and leaving it in her bedroom overnight (apparently a common practice in her homeland of Poland).  I figured it couldn’t hurt so we tried it and, though I’m afraid I might come off as a bit kooky, I have to say… it seemed to work.

I did a little research and this practice dates back to the influenza epidemic of 1918.  According to this eHow post:

…from anecdotal accounts shared in Good Housekeeping, peeled or chopped onions are thought to prevent the onset of a cold and relieve cold symptoms when left in a room. This is because they are high in antiviral sulphuric compounds, as indicated by the strong odor and flavor they release. Although controversial, it is thought that chopped onion placed on a plate in a patient’s room and replaced daily will both relieve symptoms and prevent the onset of colds in healthy individuals.

Of course it could have been a coincidence and S’s sickness may have just naturally run it’s course. But the kids thought it was super cool so we’ve kept it up, they even ask for “their onion” whenever they’re feeling under the weather now.  It seems that their colds don’t last as long once we start “the onion treatment” but who knows, could just be that pesky power of suggestion.

Question of the Day

Where do you stand on homeopathic cold or flu remedies? Any that your family swears by?

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