Kabag? Often, you do not need to make a trip to the pharmacy. You will find that fruits, oils, and roots that you already have in your pantry and fridge can be used to soothe a bunch of common ailments in children. Best part? They are natural and cheaper.
1. Itchiness Solution: Apple cider vinegar, virgin coconut oil, aloe vera or oatmeal
Before anything else, check with a pediatrician if a rash is causing your child’s itching, says Dr. Carisse Diana Drilon-Dalman, medical director of Centro Holistico and a mom herself. In the meantime, try applying apple cider vinegar or virgin coconut oil on the area. They both have antifungal and anti-bacterial properties that can soothe the itchiness caused by those two nasties.
You can also try aloe vera (sabila in Filipino). Recommended by the Department of Health, the sap of the aloe vera plant can soothe itching and relieve swelling and inflammation. Cut away a small portion of the plant and squeeze the plant for the sap, which you apply on the itchy or swollen area. It is great for insect bites too.
Can’t get a hold of sabila? Lessen inflammation with oatmeal, Dr. Drilon-Dalman suggests. “Mix uncooked organic raw oatmeal with a bit of water until it becomes a paste. Then apply to affected areas.”
2. Constipation Solution: virgin coconut oil and a lot of water
Difficulty pooping is a common problem the young and old can experience. The first thing to do -- no, don't reach for detox tea yet -- is make a few diet changes. Your family needs a lot of water and fiber in their diet. “We need water to dilute the concentrated food we eat. We also need fiber for bulk to push the stools forward,” says Dr. Cricket Chen, a pediatrician who specializes in natural medicine, told SmartParenting.com.ph in an article.
If you are already struggling, try virgin coconut oil, says Dr. Drilon-Dalman. She advises taking two tablespoons of the oil twice a day. “Also, keep the gut healthy by taking probiotics and prebiotics to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Examples of prebiotics are bananas, kimchi, and asparagus.”
3. Nausea and motion sickness Solution: ginger
If you and the kids are traveling, here’s something you should consider preparing for the trip: ginger tea. According to Dr. Drilon-Dilman, ginger increases gastrointestinal motility which will help relieve that dizzy feeling. Simply boil ginger root in water for 10 to 15 minutes, and you are all set. Drink it hot or with ice.
Mom-of-two Cecile Jusi-Baltasar says she gives her kids one teaspoon of wild honey whenever they have the sniffles to relieve symptoms. Dr. Bernardita Martinez, a pediatrician and natural medicine practitioner, suggests this too. Plus, you can also try squeezing the juices of a calamansi to your honey. The citric acid can help dissolve mucus, Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, told GMA News.
Honey should not, however, be given to children, 1 year and below. Honey can contain the spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which produces toxins in a baby's intestines leading to infant botulism. (Find other foods to avoid giving your baby here.)
5. Colic and gas Solution: Gripe water
Okay, this is not readily found in your pantry, but it is all-natural. Dr. Drilon-Dalman says gripe water contains ginger and fennel which are both known to ease digestive discomfort caused by gas. “Ginger increases gastrointestinal (GI) motility, so it helps remove gas faster. Fennel also increases GI motility and has anti-spasmodic effects at high doses. So, it relieves gas and tummy ache from spasms,” says Dr. Drilon-Dalman. Gripe water for babies can be bought in drugstores and wellness stores. Follow instructions on the package on how much to give your little one.