Natural Remedies

  All opinions and advice given in this blog are STRICTLY the opinion of Mommy of 4, Tonya Ferguson. 

Obviously you need to do what you feel is best and safest for your child based on your intimate knowledge of their “normal” behavior.

  Don’t you just love cold season? Ugh.

  Poor sick snotty coughing babies need extra TLC, but where do your turn? Rush to your nearest dr. at the first sniffle? Go scan the shelves at Wal-Mart for SOMETHING safe for younger children to take? Or turn to some natural remedies?

  I am into Natural Remedies, BIG TIME! Over the 9 years of being a naturally minded Mommy, I have come to acquire an arsenal of favorites for each and every bug that ails us.  I will go through those today and show you my favorite ways to fight or treat these childhood illnesses.

#1: The dreaded cough. You know the one that keeps everyone up allll night long. After they pulled cough syrups off the shelf, we mom’s had to find another method of treatment. Here are our favorites:

~Vicks on the feet (Put on socks) and chest.

Here is an article about it, it really works!


When we had a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can ‘taste’ it. Some of us have used Vicks Vaporub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I’ve never heard of this. And don’t laugh, it works 100% of the time although the scientists at the Canada Research council (who discovered it) aren’t sure why. To stop night-time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks Vaporub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard the head of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the part of their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage of prescription cough medicines in children as compared to alternative therapies like acupressure. Just happened to tune in A.M.Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened. It was a surprise finding and found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly. Polly tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes and believe me, this was a deep, (incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for hours every night that she used it.”

  We choose to use Baby Vicks for our youngest children. Its my understanding that they can get too much menthol, so we are cautious. It works great too!


In addition to Vicks, we….

~Do a Humidifier in the coughing child’s room.

~Prop the head of their bed or crib up with 2 books under the legs.  This promotes drainage and can help eliminate the tickly cough.

~ Give them Buckwheat Honey.


  Buckwheat honey, is a robust, dark honey made from the nectar of blossoming buckwheat grain. It made the pediatrician “handbook” and was recommended to us by our doctor one winter for 9 month old Avery when she had whooping-cough.  Worked like a charm and we have used it for coughs ever since.  It is thicker than regular honey and quiets for hours naturally!!!!

Here is a great article all about it:

# 2  For very Severe Coughs, like the year our kids passed our whooping-cough, there is a home remedy that dates back to my Great Grandmothers day.  It involves a white onion.


  Take your WHITE onion with skin on and bake in a 350* oven for an hour or until soft.  Cut a wedge out of the onion and carefully peel off petals. Careful, it will be very hot.  When you can handle them, test them on your inner wrist.  You want them warm, not hot, but not cold.  It will lose effectiveness if it is cold.

  Lay baby on an ace bandage or sock and work quickly to apply the still warm onion petals across babies chest.  Secure snuggly with sock or ace bandage and pin, dress child for bed as usual. 

  You will not BELIEVE how well this works to quiet a serious cough.  Plus, the onion naturally boosts the immune system, win-win!  No, warm onions do not stink, they smell sweet.  Yes, you may use the onion again the next night. NOT the ones on baby’s chest, toss those. Just put remaining onion in Tupperware and put back in the oven on a cookie sheet to reheat each evening until the onion is all used up. 

We LOVE this method and swear by it!  We went from up all night with a different coughing child, to total peaceful slumber. AMAZING!

~Hyland’s Natural Cough Syrup, for ages 2 and up. 


This works well too!  They offer day and night-time formula’s.  We get this at Wal-Mart, and alternate this with Buckwheat honey.

  Speaking of Hylands, they offer a variety of homeopathics, which we LOVE!

We have a homeopathic for just about anything that could come up and love them.  It makes me happy that when I got to my medicine cabinet, these safe, natural remedies line the shelf.


#3  Ear Infections  We have kicked 9 out of 10 ear infections with this box of goodness.


  If the infection is bacterial, 3 days of this will usually kick it.  If it’s a chronic infection, then this will not work.  Most infections are bacterial, unless of course your child struggles with this due to other circumstances.

   I can tell by the 3rd dose of these Earache homeopathics, that it cuts the pain, because my happy smiling baby comes back. I finish out the box as directed, because I want to for sure kick the infection, but there is NO QUESTION when it starts to work! 

  We once went to a Well-baby check up, just as we finished day 3 of this homeopathic.  The dr. looked in her ears and said he could tell she was just getting over an ear infection by what he saw.  No intervention was necessary, no strong prescription, because it was clearing up “on its own”.  This was proof to me that it does work and works well!  A 3 day natural treatment rather than a 10 day SUPER strong antibiotic??? Sign me up! 

  If you DO need to fill the prescription and do these STRONG antibiotics for ear infections, I highly recommend you follow-up with a month of Bifidophilus.  My favorite brand is Nature Sunshine.  This will help rebuild the immune system, which will have been knocked by the antibiotic, it will replace healthy bacteria inside the intestines, which is crucial, it will help prevent secondary infections.  Plus, it’s just an over all great immune booster!!!! (more on this tomorrow)

  #4  Sore throat  We go straight for our bottle of Echinacea.  (Again my favorite brand is Nature Sunshine) It naturally numbs the throat.  Just tip your head back and drip down both sides of throat, hold then swallow.  I do this at the first sign of a sore throat and can kick it by the next morning.  You won’t believe how it takes the sharp pain away from your sore throat!!!!


#5  Snotty nose; green or clear:  1/4 tsp SEA salt, in 1/2 cup warm as you can stand water, sniffed up the nose.  I have my big kids do “1-2-3 sniff” as I squeeze a little medicine dropper, probably 5 times in each side.  For the babies, I just lay them down and carefully put a 2 or 3 droppers full in each nose hole. I do this at the first sniffle or first green booger and can kick it in no time!!! Snotty kids get this about 3 times a day, sometimes more depending on the severity of the sniffling.


  Day 1, I hear less sniffing, by day 2, it is no longer green, by day 3, it is almost always gone.  Salt is a natural pain-killer and will dry up the snot.  It will also help with sinus pressure and pain.  DO NOT USE IODIZED SALT, it will burn like when you jump in the pool without your nose plugged!  GET SEA SALT, it’s better for you anyways!

#6  The Runs:  We choose to treat this with the BRAT diet.  Bananas, Rice (brown is healthiest), Applesauce, Toast. (we do whole wheat)  The child with the runs gets this breakfast, lunch, snack and supper for a day or two, or until symptoms subside.  Also during this time, we eliminate all dairy, which really makes things worse in this particular case, as well as any and all sugars.  We do no soda, no juice, just water!

#7  Infection of any kind: we have our pill swallowers swallow a single garlic oil pill several times a day until they kick the infection.  For babies, simply puncture the capsule and squeeze a teeny bit of oil on the arch of each foot. Cover with socks you never plan to use for anything but this purpose.  In no time you will smell the garlic on their breath and know its being absorbed and used in their little bodies.  Garlic is an AMAZING immune booster!


#8  Influenza:  No, we do not do flu shots for a VARIETY of reasons.  I do my research at and it told me all I needed to know about this subject.  Last year, when everyone passed around Influenza, even the people that got the shot, we heard about this product from my BESTEST BEST Friend:


Homeopathic. Oscillococcinum has been shown in clinical trials to help reduce the severity and shorten the duration of flu-like symptoms. Temporarily relieves flu-like symptoms such as feeling run down, headache, body aches, chills and fever.

Oscillococcinum works rapidly, with 63 percent of patients showing “complete resolution” or “clear improvement” at 48 hours. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the recovery rate within 48 hours of treatment was significantly greater in the group that received the active drug than in the placebo group.

Unlike other flu medicines, Oscillococcinum has no known side effects such as drowsiness, and has no known or reported drug interactions. Oscillococcinum can be purchased at pharmacies, natural food stores and supermarkets.

Oscillo works best when taken early, so it’s helpful to keep it on hand. Take Oscillo at the first signs of flu-like symptoms.

Worked like a CHARM!  I plan to always have this in my medicine cabinet!  Every mom I talked to last winter could not believe the difference in how their children acted after taking this homeopathic!

#9 Fever:  Mommy’s seem to fear fever, but you don’t have to, because it’s a GOOD THING! I means their little immune systems are working to fight the bug!  If a fever is under 102* we usually do not  give Tylenol or Ibuprofen. (there are obviously exceptions to this) We chose this based on what our doctor explained to us about not hindering what the body is trying to do by suppressing the fever.  Of course if it gets over 102* or they seem to have trouble sleeping because of it, we will give a fever reducer, but it is a LAST resort, not something I hand out at every head bump, or low-grade fever. 

  If you are concerned your child is getting dehydrated remember this, the pores of your child’s skin will “drink” water too.  A cool damp cloth on the forehead, or soaking in a warm bath will usually produce a potty diaper in no time.

  Another thing we like to do in their warm bath, is open up ginger pills or dump in some white vinegar, both will naturally start the detox process and the vinegar naturally cools a fever.  (Never put a fevered child into a cold bath, always do a regular warm one.)  Our children leave the tub hydrated and with a fever 2 degrees less than they entered it, and usually within the hour, have a potty diaper.

  Obviously if their fever is dangerously high, you need to seek medical help, but for normal low-grade and regular fevers, this has worked wonders for our poor hot babies. Again, your judgement of your own child’s need for medical treatment always rules. These are simply my opinion and favorites for our kids.

  Tomorrow, I will give you some tips for STAYING healthy in the first place!  We won’t let our kids go down without a fight, right?!



16 thoughts on “Natural Remedies

  1. What an amazing and informative post! Thank you soooo much for sharing all that wonderful wisdom and experience. I’m all for going ‘natural’…and have done the Vicks on the feet thing for years. It works for sure! Thanks for sharing all these amazing ideas. I’m definitely passing them along to mamas with little ones.

  2. Wow! I love this! I am a first time mom and the whole sickness thing can really throw me for a loop. I enjoy natural remedies but often don’t know where to start so thank you for passing on suggestions that work. 🙂 Looking forward to tomorrow too!

    • Hi Hannah, Being a first time Mom is a bit daunting! (to say the LEAST!) Hopefully these tried and true Ferguson Favorites will make you feel more confident the next time your sweet one becomes sick. Thanks for the comment!! Hugs, T

  3. Great advice! We do many of these but I leaned a few new ones too. We also let our kids chew Trident if they have an earache. (Which isn’t often, thankfully.) The xylitol in it is suppose to help.

  4. Tonya, I love that you took the time to put this post together! Whenever I’m blessed with little ones, you can be sure I’ll come back to reference it!

  5. Love this advice. Will be keeping this for my future children. You wouldn’t believe the harmful stuff that’s in products that we use. And putting our families and selves at risk. Thanks Tonya!!

  6. As a former neonatal/pediatric nurse, you gave excellent advice. The only one I was unaware of is the sore throat remedy. When I was working (in a hospital), I was always explaining how fever was NOT the enemy and should be embraced as a sign of a working immune system. We only medicated when the child was miserable or having seizures due to the fevers. People think their children will have brain damage due to a high fever. It’s NOT the fever, it’s an infection in the central nervous system that causes brain damage. Thanks for all you do on this blog! Tonya, you are one great mom!

    • Thank you, Kiki! One of the concerns I had with posting this, was that a nurse would lamblast me for my approach. So thankful I have your stamp of approval on the safety of these methods!!! :)I love your comments! Hugs, T

  7. I am so glad you mentioned the kid version of the neti pot! People always think I am such a weirdo for swearing by it. I know how much better I feel when I use it, I am glad you suggested a way to use it for little ones!

  8. Tonya, you know very well there is a divided house between traditional and natural medicine, especially with respiratory problems. I am on the committee of alternative medicine for the Academy of Allergy & Asthma (AAAAI). Our national meeting is at the end of this month and I am always looking for comments, questions, and suggestions about strategies to “bridge the gap” between these two approaches. The government is truly making an effort not to polarize the issue, but find out what is best for all Americans. Their website is : National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)–it’s at least an interesting read & lots of data.

  9. I’m always searching for more natural ways to take care of things. Thank you for this post. I really appreciate all of this advice and will definitely be trying out some of these home remedies.

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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