If you follow along over on Instagram, you probably know Belle tested positive for COVID a couple of days ago. Now Bug has a sore throat, and I’m pretty sure she’s gone and caught it too. They didn’t give me a whole lot of instructions on caring for my sick girls when they sent us home – just to treat them the same way I would if they had the flu. So now we’re using home remedies to treat COVID symptoms and praying this passes quickly.
Luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo. Bug is practically grown, and Belle is getting there. We’ve seen more than our fair share of illnesses over the years. Plus, Southern women are all about some old-fashioned home remedies to cure the sick, and I paid attention when I was growing up.
Home Remedies We’re Using
A Spoonful of Honey
Mamaw always kept a jar of honey on the dinner table – and when I got sick, she gave me a spoonful every few hours. Honey soothes sore throats better than throat lozenges, and it’s an all-natural cough suppressant. It’s also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial agent that studies show is beneficial in treating COVID.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
As soon as I found out Belle wasn’t feeling good, I set out to clean the house. Everything has been wiped down, I’ve washed like 100 loads of laundry, and I keep a can of Lysol handy. Germs are bad, mmmmkay?
Every time I ran a fever as a kid, my mama would stick me in a lukewarm shower. Lawd, I hated it! I still can’t stand it – but it works. Belle’s fever dropped from 102 to 99 after I had her take a lukewarm shower when she woke up sick with COVID.
Multi-vitamins are a part of our daily routine, but since the kids are fighting off this virus, we’ve upped our vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc.
Every mama I’ve ever known has given their sick kids chicken soup for dinner. Mamaw used to say it was the best medicine in the world. She wasn’t wrong. Chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that can ease the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection.
Gargling Salt Water
Over the years, I swear my mama made me gargle an ocean’s worth of warm salt water to treat my sore throats. Mama has wisdom. The practice clears phlegm from the back of the throat and may even kill germs.
Saline Nose Spray
When Bug was a baby, her pediatrician told me to use saline nose spray to alleviate a stuffy nose. Apparently, this little trick also helps lower COVID viral loads.
One time Mamaw smeared Vick’s VapoRub on my chest when I was sick. Papaw nearly had a coronary that day. He swore it was what caused his baby sister’s death from pneumonia back in the 1930s. He said you never put Vick’s on someone’s chest – it opens up the lungs and lets the infection set in. He made her bathe me. When she got me out of the bath, she slathered it on my feet.
Papaw’s fear made an impression on me. I’ve always used Vick’s as a decongestant, but I’ve only ever put it on the girls’ feet.
Some moms use ginger ale to soothe nausea, but Mama Clark and Mimi used Coca-Cola. I picked the trick up from Brandon, and it seems to work.
Brandon is a firm believer in airing out the house. Luckily, it has been warm enough to throw open the doors and let the breeze flow through. Airflow reduces COVID virus particles from accumulating in the house and reduces surface contamination.
The girls’ doctor told me about this one. Gargling with Scope mouthwash reduces viral replication, helping you get better faster.
I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t have a humidifier in their home. They’re great for easing the symptoms of the cold and flu. When the girls are sick, I add a little lavender essential oil to ours. It smells good, and it’s relaxing. Besides, viruses die off faster in high humidity.
So far, the girls’ infections have been mild – and it looks like the home remedies are doing their jobs. Of course, we’re pairing them up with healthy doses of ibuprofen and cough syrup as needed.
Do y’all use any of these home remedies too? If not, drop a comment below and tell me how you treat illnesses at your house.