My boys both have stomach flu today. It’s one of those days when we started just fine and then had to come back home because of tummy aches and the boys needing to be near a bathroom. And so as a mother that practices herbalism and aromatherapy I pulled out my natural remedies to care for them. When my little ones have stomach flu we use various herbs and essential oils for natural healing keeping in mind that my goal is to balance their system back to normal instead of only treating the symptom.
Resting their tummies
Best tip ever I received from a pediatric gastroenterologist is to let upset tummies rest. At the first sign of stomach flu we stop almost all solids and offer mostly liquids with limited solids (assuming they are even hungry…sometimes they aren’t at all during stomach flu). Their stomachs are already having a hard time and need rest, so to give them regular foods makes their sickness last longer since on top of already being upset, their system also has to work on digestion. I found that by doing this, they are back to normal much sooner than when I feed them regularly or give them any other special diet.
Lemon Balm has carminitive properties which help to soothe and calm upset tummies. It’s delicious and minty and with a little honey, my kids drink it up. To make our soothing Lemon Balm tea, I pour 1 cup of boiled water over 2-3 tablespoons of Lemon Balm dried herbs. For myself, I use about 4-5 tablespoons of Lemon Balm, but I make it a little lighter for the kids. You can also use fresh Lemon Balm and you’d just double the amount of Lemon Balm when using fresh leaves. Let it steep for 10-15 minute and then if needed you can sweeten it with raw honey to taste.
While known as a “sleepy time” herb, Chamomile actually serves many other roles. It is calming and relaxing – which is exactly how I want to keep two little boys while they are sick. But, it’s also is recommended for the digestive system and to calm upset tummies. I like to alternate giving them tea with Lemon Balm and then also a tea that has 3 part Lemon Balm and 1 part Chamomile.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary clears the air and disinfects ~ I use my diffuser to diffuse drops of Rosemary essential oil in the house. Rosemary can be overpowering to some, so I do it for short periods of time but enough to clear the air and refresh their environment.
I’m a strong believer that illness is our bodies way of telling us to step back and rest. So, when my kids are sick I make them comfortable and have them lay down and rest as much as possible during the day and night.