For many of us with mamás or abuelitas from Latin America remedio caseros, or home remedies, were a regular part of life. My mother made her own homemade cough syrup that included onions, honey, lemon and something green left sitting in a jar for a day before using. My grandmother used to mix together some concoction that my father AND she used to use to restore hair growth. I don’t remember what was in it but is smelled very STRONG and sadly, for my dad, it just wasn’t effective. There are remedio caseros out there for asthma, anemia and any number of ailments. I remember having to take some very smelling oil based concoction to prevent colds and flu. I was a very healthy kid so it seems to have worked.
While I believe in Western medicine, I still turn to remedio caseros or holistic solutions whenever possible. I do believe they work. So I was very excited when I discovered a homemade hand sanitizer recipe from Dr. Lawrence Rosen co-author of Treatment Alternatives for Children: Reduce Serious Side Effects with Natural Equivalents to Conventional Remedies for Common Childhood Ailments.
With cold-and-flu season coming up and with back-to-school here already – where many teacher’s lists include hand sanitizer – it’s a great natural alternative to the conventional products.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer
• 3 oz. filtered water
• 1 tsp. aloe vera gel
• 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
• 10 drops clove essential oil
• 10 drops rosemary essential oil
• 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
• 20 drops lemon oil
Instructions: Mix ingredients in a 4-ounce spray dispenser, and shake gently. Spray on children’s hands, and teach them to massage the spray into their hands for 30 seconds. The result is a natural, chemical free, hand sanitizer to keep germs at bay.
EXTRA TIP FROM THE DOCTOR
Sometimes getting sick is unavoidable. So if a cold or flu does strike, to help alleviate the symptoms faster Dr. Rosen recommends using Sambucol (black elderberry extract). Dr. Rosen explains that researchers have found that influenza patients treated with elderberry recover four days faster, on average, than those not receiving treatment. Elderberry is safe for children two years or older – which means less missed school days when your children are recovering from the flu.