We've had a REALLY long Labor Day Weekend. My youngest minion was due to be at college orientation this past Sunday. Saturday, on her 18th birthday no less, she decided to come down with the plague. After two visits to the doctor Sunday and Monday, tests for both strep and mono, bargaining with the doctor so she could go to choir auditions, she found herself parked on the couch until classes start on Wednesday.
Although the tests came back negative, she was told she may have mono as it may be too early for the test to detect the virus. There is no treatment for this viral infection except rest, plenty of fluids and pain relievers. The sore throat that came with this is off the chart. (Not gonna lie, it looks SO gross). When they are little and upset because they can't tell you whats wrong it's heartbreaking. I can tell you it doesn't feel any better when they are older and absolutely miserable. They are always our babies!
I want to stress that herbal remedies ARE NOT overnight successes. This is a slow and gentle process that encourages our bodies to heal. One cup of tea and spray of throat spray isn't going to magically cure all ills. It's also important to remember that there is a time and place for these remedies, but if your child is really ill, please don't wait to get them checked out. It's better to let a physician determine whether there is a need for antibiotics or if it's viral and you're going to have to wait it out.
I decided to prepare an herbal tea to help encourage rest and healing. I chose fresh peppermint, dried lavender and chamomile. I chose these herbs for their anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. I also wanted to encourage rest and sleep. These three fit the bill perfectly. I put 1 tsp of dried lavender, 1 tsp of dried chamomile and cut a good handful of fresh peppermint from my herb garden and put them in mason jars. I added hot water to each jar, covered them (just dropped the lids on, didn't fasten) and let them steep for just over 5 minutes. I could have let it steep a little longer but didn't want it to get bitter.
I drained the jars of the herbs and let the tea cool. Two of the jars went to family members who aren't feeling the best and the third I kept and put in ice trays to make cubes. I love this method as the tea is available for a longer period of time and is easily accessible when needed. Because her throat wasn't tolerating anything hot, we put the cubes in cool water. She would put an ice cube in an 16oz glass of water, 3xs a day. I also put a peppermint hydrosol in a spray bottle for her to use as a throat spray as needed. The peppermint feels cooling and helps with pain (it's the menthol!). Between the rest, liquids, tea cubes and hydrosol, we are starting to see some improvement. I want to re-iterate "some improvement". This is a "few weeks" journey for this particular bug. I'm happy that her throat pain is beginning to subside, that the "stuff" in her throat is slowly starting to clear up and that she is moving around a little more.
She's starting classes today. She'll be going with tea cubes, soft cold foods and as many hugs as I can squeeze in before she walks out the door. She'll come home to the same and a warm blanket to snuggle in as she unwinds and gets in as much rest as she can. Wishing I could turn back time and keep her here, but willing to let go and see all the amazing things she's going to accomplish. That's our job, right? To raise them to be independent and successful adults. I was blessed to raise four of them. And they are amazing! If I could just keep them all healthy!
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