A couple months ago, I read about a simple home remedy for coughs. At bedtime, massage eucalyptus oil onto the foot soles of whoever is suffering with a cough. The cough will disappear.
What was this kind of magical foot elixir? Could eucalyptus oil really be that effective?
Then seasonal allergies and colds hit my family. Even though I was coughing for weeks, I didn’t remember the eucalyptus oil treatment. When Little Sister started three weeks of coughing, I only thought to use honey as a cough suppressant and a vaporizer while she slept.
But this past weekend, Big Brother started coughing. He looked and sounded miserable. I didn’t want him to have to suffer for weeks and the honey remedy just wasn’t cutting it. I made a special trip to a natural foods store to get some safe and natural cough syrup. I ended up with Hyland’s Cough Syrup 4 Kids, and it was amazingly effective in calming his cough.
As a quick explanation, children ages 4 and younger never, never, never should take cough suppressants like dextromethorphan or DM; cough expectorants like guaifenesin; decongestants like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine; and antihistamines like brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, and diphenhydramine. Because of this medical danger, I’m leery of giving my children any kind of over-the-counter (or prescription) medicine unless I know it is absolutely necessary. Over the past four years, I’ve started to try natural remedies first. Even though there has been a lot of trial and error, I am completely pleased with the effective remedies I’ve found.
While I was picking out the natural cough syrup, I suddenly remembered the eucalyptus oil remedy. Once I found the essential oil shelves, I chose a $4 bottle of eucalyptus oil. (I went with the cheapest one, just in case it didn’t help.) When Big Brother was ready for bed, I turned into Dr. Mommy and poured a tiny bit of olive oil into my palm, followed by several dashes of eucalyptus oil.
(Note: To avoid skin irritation from an undiluted essential oil, it’s important to dilute the essential oil with a cold-pressed carrier oil like olive oil. Once the two oils are combined, it’s safe to massage them onto skin.)
While massaging the eucalyptus/olive oil mixture onto my son’s soles, I was reminded of my childhood sicknesses when my mom would massage Vicks Vapor Rub onto my chest.
After the fragrant massage, I covered his feet with socks. Big Brother fell asleep silently – not coughing like he had for the past few nights. He did wake up coughing in the morning, and even though I was disappointed I tried it again at nap time. Suddenly, his coughing was gone.
I used it for the second night in a row, just to see what would happen.
His coughing has completely stopped.
I don’t know how it works, and I know there’s no scientific confirmation, but I know the eucalyptus oil did cure my son’s cough. (He was sick. He typically stays sick for a couple weeks. He’s completely fine now.)
As I shared with my children, many times God’s medicine – natural things like oil from a eucalyptus tree – works better and faster than man’s medicine. I’m not particularly looking forward to our next round of colds and coughs, but when it hits I know what I will try right away.
What effective home remedies for coughs and colds have you used?