Stop the Cough Tea ~ Natural Cough and Cold Treatments for Little Ones

The plague has hit Keetna Farm. Boo. Thankfully it’s not influenza, so honestly it could be SO much worse, but still, not cool. This bug seems to start with a fever and make you just feel crummy for a couple of days, and then hides, tricking you into thinking you miraculously avoided disaster. Then BAM! Hits you with a horrible cough, lung congestion, stuffy but snotty nose and then all of the fun that comes with that like miserable kiddos, restless nights and snot everywhere. Good times. Time to dig into the crunchy mama wellness toolkit.

Because of the girls’ allergies, over the counter remedies are not an option. Which honestly, is a good thing because most of them are full of garbage anyway. But in a pinch, or panic over a little one’s high fever, (ahem) I totally get the appeal. We actually did pull out some dye free children’s Motrin for Miss J who is 2.5 years old because it was her first high fever and I admit I was nervous for her. I am a huge supporter of letting our bodies do their job, fevers are a good thing, I know. But her little body was 104 and so damn hot, it was the middle of the night, and.. I caved. And 2 minutes after she took it, she threw it up (this was not a throw up virus, she just can’t seem to take OTC meds). Crap.

So I tried the wet sock treatment for the first time ~ soak 2 socks in cold water, wring them out, put them on the hot pocket, and cover with grown up socks, preferably wool. I read to leave them on over night, but her hot body warmed them up and dried them off within half an hour, so I repeated the process twice more, about 30 minutes apart, leaving the 3rd pair on for the remainder of the night. Worked amazingly. She went back to bed less than 2 hours later at 101 degrees, slept 6 hours straight and woke up at 100 degrees where it hovered most of the day and was gone by evening. Highly recommend trying that out if you haven’t already.

She was kid #2 to get sick, Miss V had already passed the fever (although she was not nearly as hot), the deceptive calm before the storm days, and had started hacking. Now, she is terrified of throwing up, so this wet nasty cough really freaks her out because she thinks that she’s going to vomit instead of coughing up lung gunk. So far we haven’t been able to convince her that she’s going to be fine and that she should let herself cough it up and spit it out ~ totally adds to the fun, let me tell ya.

Now #3 has entered into the cough phase, and Miss S never gets sick, so that’s how I know this is a pretty yucky virus and I don’t freaking want it.

Enough about how gross everyone feels ~ here’s what we’re doing about it :

#1 – Stop the Cough Tea

We had to grind up some of our yarrow that I had wild harvested and dried from last year ~ excellent task for the kiddos ~ and pulled the stems out.

You need :

  • 2 TBSP yarrow
  • 2 TBSP dried thyme
  • 1 TBSP dried peppermint
  • 2 TBSP dried rosehips
  • Honey to taste (raw & local preferred)

This makes a half gallon of tea. I put a bit more honey in their “sick tea” than I’d normally use to help coat their throat, ease discomfort, and help to calm the cough. Of course they don’t mind one bit. This tea is pretty mild, totally drinkable without sweetener (which is how I drink it) and if it were just for grown ups, I’d probably add more thyme but it’s pretty strong for the little ones.

This tea really helps calm the cough, and safe for them to drink throughout the day. It’s pretty neat, they start coughing and head to the kitchen for more tea, so they know it works!

#2 – Essential Oils

Respi Relief for Kids EO is my new favorite congestion/cold relief oil for the two “bigger” (4 and 7 years old) girls. I have used RC from Young Living for years on all of the kids, but am a total convert. And Tri Remedy for Kids is absolutely excellent as well, for all ages but is mild enough to use on the littles 18 months and up. I apply these on their little feet and lung reflex points.  We oil up at night before bed, and usually once during the day, more if needed.

#3 – Elderberry Syrup


Oh man the girls LOVE taking elderberry syrup. I made a batch of this earlier in the “flu season” to have at the ready and it’s been stored in the fridge ever since, thank goodness. I give the girls a teaspoon 3 times a day while battling illness.

#4 Colloidal Silver

We have used Sovereign Silver colloidal silver for years for all kinds of illness and ailments with wonderful success. I kicked mastitis 3 times with just silver and homemade elderberry syrup. It’s pretty amazing stuff. I give the girls 1/2 tsp 3 times a day with their elderberry.

#5 Wet Sock Treatment for Fever

As I mentioned above ~ this is awesome. Take two socks, soak in cold water, wring out, put on feet and cover with bigger socks, wool preferably but cotton will totally suffice. When the body heats them up and dries them out, repeat. May not be needed with lower fevers, and may need to be done a few times with stubborn fevers.

What’s your go to when the kiddos get the yuck? I’d love to hear what your tried and true remedies are, I’m always looking for more ideas to add to my crunchy mama toolkit!


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