It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Jk. It’s cold, miserable, and everyone walks around in a permanent state of grumpy & frozen. But I’m talking about the worst part of this time of year. I’m talking about nausea, vomiting, chills… you know, flu season.
As a childcare provider, there are two times of year that I DREAD. Back to School, and the New Year, because it seems like my home is an endless germ fest of children parading in and out, and as much as you clean, there is no way to stop it.
The only comfort I give myself when my family is all out of commission due to nausea or vomiting, is that is that my kids are building super strong immune systems from growing up in a daycare environment.
So as I sit snuggling in bed with two sleeping and sickly kiddos, I thought I’d share my favorite hacks for beating nausea and vomiting
Some of these work great for morning sickness too!
- Activated Charcoal
- Essential Oils
- Pressure Points
- Elderberry Syrup
- Ginger, Cinnamon, or Mint
- Take your Vitamins
- Probiotics, Kefir, and/or Sauerkraut
- BRAT diet
1. Activated Charcoal
Activated Charcoal is a type of charcoal that is processed to be more porous. It works by trapping toxins and chemicals in your intestinal system, and because it isn’t processed by the body, it carries those toxins straight out of your system through your bowels. (source) It’s recommended to take 2 every hour for adults. For my kiddos, I find it easiest to smuggle it into my kids by breaking open a capsule in a glass or purple grape juice. (There are some trains of thought that think grape juice helps with the nausea and vomiting associated with stomach bugs. It doesn’t, but it doesn’t mean those grapes aren’t good for you!) The activated charcoal doesn’t have a flavor, but the dark juice hides that “yucky” black color.
I SWEAR by this solution (hence why it’s number 1!) because of how effective I’ve found it to be in my own home, and I recommend it to all of my daycare families. Use it to cut sick time in half or prevent it when you’re exposed to others who are sick.
2. Essential Oils
The Hubs makes fun of me for my “witches brews” and essential oils obsession. It’s true. I love the way they smell, but more than that, I love that I can often treat my family’s ailments holistically and in a safe manner. Because I run a family childcare, I refrain from using Thieves around the kids, so I stick diffusing to KidSafe “Germ Destroyer” from Plant Therapy, but any Child safe anti-germ Blend will do.
Using Essential Oils Safely recommends diffusing or applying the following oils for nausea and vomiting:
(These can also help with heartburn & Indigestion)
Diffusing or properly diluting and rubbing on the tummy the following oils may help.
These oils can also be used in a personal aromatherapy inhaler.
* Citrus oils (Please check for proper topical max and phototoxicity if using topically.)
* Peppermint (Not safe for children under 6.)
* For indigestion you can also try consuming a spoonful or apple cider vinegar or papaya enzyme.
3. Pressure Points
“Acupressure is an ancient healing art that’s based on the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture. With acupressure, pressure is applied to specific places on your body. These places are called acupoints. Pressing these points can help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. Research suggests that it can also relieve many common side effects of chemotherapy.” (Source, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
You can do acupressure yourself by using your fingers to apply pressure various points. Check out this video to help find the points to help reduce your child’s nausea or vomiting.
4. Elderberry Syrup
Because of it’s terrific benefits for building a healthy immune system and helping ward off bugs, Elderberry is a lot easier to find at the local drug store, but you can also make it yourself. I love this recipe from Faith at the Little Herbal:
Elderberries are basically virus zapping magic. Ok, that’s nnot ture. But, even better, its scientifically proven to help prevent and shorten Influenza and viruses.
Based on this randomized control trial, the results said:
Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.
So go buy yourself some gummies, or whip your family up some elderberry syrup a la Hershel from the Walking Dead, but no matter what, you can’t argue that Eldberberries are an imperative stable during this awful stomach bug and flu season.
5. Run a Humidifier
If you or your kiddos are having troubles with nausea and vomiting, or particularly if you are fighting cold and sinus issues, chances are you’re fighting off dehydration, too. Help your body out by making sure there’s plenty of humidity in the air, particularly in the dry winter months. The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping your home at a humidity between 30%-50%. It may not help you overcome the viruses floating around, but it will hep your body’s overall comfort level.
6. Ginger, Cinnamon, and Mint
YEEEEARRS ago, Hubs (then fiance), and I worked waiting tables on a cruise ship in Hawaii (pretty amazing, right?). I get serious motion sickness, so I learned fairly quickly tips and tricks to keep the Nausea at bay. Ginger begged off the sushi chef, bitters and ginger ale (make sure it’s the brand made with real ginger) from the bartender, and peppermint tea with a little honey for shift’s end. I kept a packet of big red cinnamon gum in my apron for the nights we went into open sea, and I was made in the shade.Want to make a tummy bug triple whammy? Make some homemade popsicles for your kids with chamomile tea, grape juice, and activated charcoal. Click To Tweet
Fast forward 5 years to early pregnancy, and my tried and true nausea and vomiting tricks came in handy, and I still use those go to’s for when my kids start to complain about tummy troubles. While they may not be a cure, they’re an excellent holistic treatment to make flue season a little easier. I adore Tazo Zen Green tea with lemongrass and spearmint, and it’s light enough my kids will drink it too. Want to make a tummy bug triple whammy? Make some homemade popsicles for your kids with chamomile tea, grape juice, and activated charcoal.
7. Take your Vitamins
Around this time of year, it’s best to just make chugging vitamins a habit. I’d love to preach and say healthy eating and a balanced diet, but let’s get real, I ate a Christmas cookie for breakfast. So at the minimum, keep your medicine cabinet stocked with Emergen-C. (Again, another Cruise Ship hack to keep me on my feet for 10 hours surrounded by vacationers possible carrying GI, or as we called it, Code Brown.) airborne works well too, but as a WAHM caring for 7 kids at a time, I like the boost from the extra C and B vitamins. Can’t run to the store? Take your pre-natals. If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you should be taking them anyway.Because let's get real, moms don't get sick days, so we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves and staying healthy. Click To Tweet
Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are actually 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body! (source)
Right now, your gut (or your child’s) is a disaster. The best thing your can do for it is to help restore the healthy bacteria in your gut. Introducing probiotics, keifer , and sauerkraut to your diet will go a looooong way in that. But probiotics aren’t just good for recovering from a nasuea and vomiting inducing bug, or restoring healthy gut fauna after a round of antibiotics. Probiotics are an important part of a healthy digestive system (after all, 80% of your immune system resides in your gut). So focusing on a healthy gut for you and your child is one of the best things you can do for your immune system.
9. The Brat Diet
Good luck Mama, caring for a sick family is HARD!
Remember, even when if you or your child is struggling with nausea and vomiting, the immunities and gut healing properties in your breastmilk are the absolute best thing you can do for babe. Breastfeeding while sick is it’s own battle. Remember, you are a warrior. Sending your love and healthy thoughts.
Lauren and the Breastfeeding World Team.
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