Monday, 29 November 2010

Garlic in Her Baby Socks

Poor little Liss has had her first heavy cold. She's had snuffles a few times before but this time it was more serious.

We kissed goodbye to sleeping through the night and said a reluctant 'oh, hi again' to waking every two hours to pop a boob in the crying mouth of a restless baby.

After a day of ineffectual faffing around with my mother and baby homeopathy kit, I decided to bring out the big guns. Garlic.

As well as being nature's antibiotic, garlic has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. I know that this marvellous member of the onion family works best when eaten raw, but how to get it into my baby?

My aha moment came when flicking through my copy of the excellent Gentle Healing for Baby and Child book which informed me that garlic can be absorbed through the skin so if a child won't take it by mouth you can crush a clove and smear it, with the help of a little olive oil, onto their feet secure it with a gauze bandage and leave (to marinate?) overnight.

So I duly turned my baby into a french cannibal's dream. A dash of olive oil, a crush of fresh garlic et voila un bebe delicieux! With no gauze in sight, I 'double bagged' my precious one with baby socks and then tights over the top to keep the garlic socks in place.

Seeing as Alicia was too ill for us to venture out, and I didn't have Ella so wasn't on school run duty for a few days either, we stayed in the house and Alicia wore garlic socks for two days running.

Boy did she pong, but within eight hours of her first having garlic feet I noticed a marked difference. Her chest sounded looser and she was less distressed. The cold seemed to be breaking, the garlic was doing its job marvellously.

Were I made of sterner stuff, I would have continued the garlic treatment a little longer but once she was over the worst I was keen to switch to a more fragrant remedy. One that I could use in the day too without alarming potential new friends at the mum and baby groups we go to.

My friend Sarada recently gave me a hugely useful and inspiring book on aromatherapy - The Fragrant Pharmacy. It has a section dedicated to babies so I read the advice for coughs and colds in that section and adapted the blend 'recipes' they recommend to suit what oils I already have.

This is the Baby Snuffle Blend I created a few days ago:

10 drops Eucalyptus, 5 drops Tea tree, 10 drops Lavender, 5 drops Thyme.

I put 3 drops into a bowl of hot water and placed that near Alicia's cot at night. I also used 3 drops of this blend in approx 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil and used it as a chest and back rub three times a day. The oils are widely available in healthfood shops or you could order from the internet - try Neal's Yard.

She's waking only once or twice a night now and is easily settled. Her breathing is much easier. She's still a little chesty but the cough has gone. Oh, and she smells sooo much better now!


Muddling Along Mummy said...

Ah we did the garlic in my diet approach and boy did she pong still... think it worked though

Like the idea of your mix - like olbas oil but a touch gentler, I think?

Tasha Goddard said...

Brilliant! Love the French cannibal bit.

We've been making liberal use of Olbas Oil recently, though had forgotten the garlic - will make sure I give her lots tomorrow, though I think she's on the mend.

Jules said...

We put albas oil directly onto babygrow n blankets, works a treat!

Will try the garlic on Bella x

Anna Colette said...

yup, Olbas oil is fab although too strong to put on the skin (even diluted with oil).

Vicks is a good chest rub if they're bigger babies but petroleum-based products aren't the best for their skin (they do absorb products through the skin) and so my aromatherapy rub beats that hands down!

This Mid 30s Life said...

So happy to read this, I've always sworn by Vicks on my babies feet but others thought I was a bit nutty.

Lucky no cannibals around. That could have been awkward.

Congrats on the Blogger of the Week by the way!!

Petersen Palace said...

Hi Anna!
I just found your blog on google and I'm excited to try your remedy. My son was diagnosed with RSV at 7 weeks, it took 2 weeks to kick it in the primary children's hospital, they found he needs heart surgery, and now at almost 14 weeks he has caught the common cold. He can't have surgery until he is better and tiny babies can't take medicines. I love garlic for myself, and I am definitely ready to use it for my babe. The double sock method sounds great. Thanks for sharing and helping!
Jennifer :) Utah, USA

Anonymous said...

Thanku i was trying to remember the garlic treatment someone told me years ago about it ... My little one contracted RSV at 3 wks and we were in hospital for 4 days... She's now 7 weeks and looks like another cold :( so I want to be ready and nip it in the bud will try aromatherapy treatments too... Have marked this site now!!!
Thanking u