Natural chickenpox remedies

Well, it’s happened – five more of our children have come down with chickenpox in the last 36 hours, two weeks after ds5 came down with it. :)

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate the discomfort of chickenpox.  I’ll start with homeopathy.

Homeopathy:

a) If you recognize the chickenpox early on, give aconite.  This will bring it to an end very quickly, without compromising the immunity benefits of getting chickenpox.  I learned about this over twelve years ago from a friend who used it at the first sign of chicken pox, and it was over in a day.   I couldn’t find a local store that sells homeopathic remedies, was fortunate to find a friend in the area with a homeopathic kit from whom I was able to borrow the two remedies I needed, but not in time to give the aconite to ds12 and dd10, who broke out first.  But I am giving it to ds2, ds4, and ds9,  and their cases are (so far) significantly lighter than the two older kids  or ds5.

b) Then there are some other remedies you can give, but the main one I’ll mention here is rhus tox.  Rhus tox is good for alleviating the itching, and I’m giving the two older kids rhus tox 30x (3 times a day for 48 hours).

c) Chamomilla is a good remedy for soothing.

Baths:

Lots of people recommend Aveeno to relive the itchiness of chickenpox – but do you know what Aveeno is?  Oatmeal!  So open up your pantry and use the oatmeal you already have there, and it will be lots cheaper and just as effective.  I  put the oatmeal in a knee high nylon and knotted it at the end, to allow all the helpful substances in the oatmeal to seep out, while keeping the oats themselves out of the drain.  Ds5 had a great time playing with this in his bath, and there was no mess at the end when I let the water out of the bath.  The older kids didn’t play all day long in the bath like he did, but they also found it soothing.

I added some herbs to the oats to speed the healing: chamomile and comfrey.  The chamomile is for soothing, and the comfrey is to help soothe the itching and heal the pox.  (I was so glad I decided to bring my medicinal herbs along with me when I moved!)  I used a tablespoon of each herb combined with a cup of rolled oats (I chopped the oats in a food processor but this isn’t necessary).  Lavender is another good herb to include in the bath.

A couple of other things that can be helpful in baths are baking powder, and powdered ginger.  With ds5, I sprinkled baking soda on the damp pox to alleviate itching.   I didn’t bring along the large containers of powdered herbs that I used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes (like mustard, cayenne, and ginger), so I didn’t use that.

Another herb that is soothing is slippery elm powder; it can be applied directly  on wet pox.

Cool baths are more soothing that hot baths, which can exacerbate the discomfort of itching.

Herbs:

All of these herbs are good when brewed as tea:  lemon balm, echinacea, St. John’s wort, ginger, pau d’arco, and burdock.  I have most of these, but chose to make ds12 some tea with echinacea and cut stevia (the leaf) for some sweetness.  All of these would be good added to the bath, as well.

Essential oils:

Before I moved eight weeks ago, I bartered fifty pounds of spelt berries and six pounds of natural beeswax for several small bottles of essential oils – lots easier to bring with me!!  Naturally, of the four oils that I now have on hand, I didn’t have any oils that were of help in this situation.

Here’s a couple that can be diluted with a carrier oil or some chamomile tea and applied to the pox: tea tree oil and lavender oil.  A few drops can also be added to bath water.

Vitamins:

When dealing with any cold or infection, it’s good to build up the body’s resources to aid it in fighting germs.  Vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D are always good for any kind of cold. (I posted guidelines for vitamin C dosing here.)

Vitamin E oil is great to apply on the pox to reduce scarring.  Coconut oil can also be helpful when applied to the pox.

Nutrition:

Good nutrition is always important, especially when a child is under the weather.  Now’s not the time to give them sugary treats to make them feel better; they’ll be happy for the moment but it will slow their healing.  Lots of liquids are important to keep your child hydrated; I made a huge pot of  chicken broth with garlic and astragalus that we’re going through quite quickly!

Some other external things that can be applied:

Calendula cream – helps to heal pox after they’ve scabbed.  Witch hazel can also be applied to help dry the pox out.

What not to use:

I’ve always thought of calamine lotion in the same breath as chickenpox, but after learning that it’s suppressive, didn’t go out to buy any for this go around with chicken pox.  While it dried up the lesions, it keeps the toxins from exiting the body through the skin like they need to – you always want to allow the disease to leave the body!

Similarly, I personally try to stay away from fever suppressing drugs – eg Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, aspirin, etc. I believe that fevers aid the body in healing, so when a child has a fever that spikes (like ds12 right now), I use sponge baths or a damp cool cloth on the forehead to relieve excess heat.

Have any of your children had chickenpox?  What tips have you found helpful in alleviating their discomfort?

(This post is linked to the Living Well Blog Hop and Real Food Wednesday.)

Avivah

30 thoughts on “Natural chickenpox remedies

  1. Regarding fevers, last time we had one, I did what you do, but we found the fever would not go down for 3 days. It was right on the border of when to take a child to the ER or not, so we didn’t take him, but we also couldn’t get it to go down and were afraid of it rising, or inaccurate thermometer readings. So we gave tylenol. What do you do in a situation like that?

    1. I’ll let you know – I’m up at 2 am now keeping an eye on two kids with fevers, one high and one very high. I’m trying a few different natural remedies with things I have on hand, in addition to lots of fluids, olive leaf tea, and repeatedly putting cold washcloths on the forehead. It’s easy to say to ride it out, but it’s frightening to watch the thermometer go that high. I’m hoping in the morning it will break.

      It’s a hard call and I don’t think that using a fever reducer when a fever spikes very high is a bad thing. You do the best you can for your child at the moment when they need your help, and you hope that it’s the right thing. And that’s really all any of us parents can do, is try our best and remember that the results are in G-d’s hands.

      1. One thing to prevent febrile seizures from high temperature fevers is to make sure the child gets juice or some form of sugar. When the temp is that high, the metabolism is raging, and using up all the glucose (sugar) much faster. Once the glucose drops too low, that brings on the seizure (at least that’s one theory).

        Egg whites on the feet. Slimy, but it worked the one time we tried it. Also a cloth with apple cider vinegar across the forehead.

        1. Lorelei, the sugar idea is very interesting – it’s the last thing I would have thought of giving a sick child!

          I did the egg whites – both kids were dozing when I started applying it, and both woke up to ask me what it was. I didn’t tell them until the next morning, though. :)

      2. It does seem counter-intuitive! I only learned that a few months ago, but we’ve never had febrile seizures. We also haven’t had high enough fevers to test it out for a few years now!

      3. I have five children aged six and under and feel the same as you do about over the counter fever reducers. I’m not sure where I heard of it, but learned to use onions to reduce a fever. And I believe with the help of the Lord, have seen great success with it. I take a cut of onion and place it on the soft arch on the bottom of the foot and put a sock over it. I have seen quick results with it. I believe it draws out infection as well. I was recently sick and it relieved my symptoms as well.

  2. For high fevers that seem to be just hanging around and making the kids uncomfortable I like the “wet sock” treatment :) It is simple enough and very effective for fevers, headaches and even congestion. It pretty much works by diverting bloodflow to the feet. It will usually reduce the fever to a more comfortable level without using meds.
    hydrotherapy directions; have child sit comfortable on a chair sofa etc; put both feet in a bucket/baby bath (whatever you have) of comfortably warm water for about 10 mins, take out and dry. Then put on wet cotton socks that have been placed in cold water and wrung out.. cover with a pair of dry wool socks. leave on for 30 mins or longer. your child can rest or sleep like this.

    1. This is a great suggestion, Gilla – I’ve heard of it but you know how you can know about lots of things but they don’t come to mind when you need them? I did something kind of similar last night in terms of diverting bloodflow to the feet; my way may have been more memorable (egg whites and then sliced potatoes applied to the bottom of feet), but yours is so much simpler and more practical!

  3. Wow, refuah Shlema to your kids!!!

    I met one of your old neighbors last night, another homeschooling mom from Baltimore. It was nice to chat with another homeschooler, and cool that she knew you. 😀

      1. And yup, certainly a really, really, really small world, especially in the frum world, and especially in the frum homeschooling anglo world. 😉

  4. As everybody has decided to talk about fever ,, let me share with you somthing maybe new for some people but believe me it’s very very helpful to put down your child temprature in just minutes ,,Witch is ( rose water mixed with vinegar) and normal seasoning vinigar is suitable ….just sufficient to make his feet or sock wet and his scalp..I mean his head , but you should never make his tummy or back wet ,, u can use that on his arms and legs its not harmfull and use it before the baby goes to sleep or even if he is sleeping and u notice his fever is gettin higher …apply with your hands properly wet on his forhead too .. and watch the temperature will just drop down in few minutes with no worries, the smell of the vinegar can be a bit annoying but if this doesn’t bother you I’m sure your baby will not even notice…that’s a methode that I’ve used with all my kids and my parents use to do the same with us too ..just a littel thing to help and the rest comes from god help . U can get any rose water from ur local shops ,,and hopefully someone will try it and tell us the results.

  5. One thing I forgot to mentioned is that you cannot apply vinegar on chicken pox spots as I’m not sure it can heal it or make it more itchy ..I rote only about hight temperature if anyone is interested. Thanks.

    1. Generally with chickenpox, the concern is about exposing an infant under the age of a year since they may not develop immunity at this age. However, my sixteen year old got a very strong case of chicken pox at the age of six months and seems to have immunity as she wasn’t affected when the younger kids in the house came down with it.

  6. i’ve used calamine lotion and my doctor recommended it. it was quite good cos the next day i had gotten scabs

  7. THANK YOU for the homeopathic remedy “Aconite” we are not vacc. and we use homeopathy all the time so I had it on hand when a friend called to tell me her son got chicken pox a day after he played with mine..between the 2nd and 3rd week he has only had 2 red spots… My son is 4yrs old and has not complained about anything. I really appreciate your blog of info. Thank you!
    Charlene

      1. Hi there, my daughter (18 months) still has new pox blisters coming through and my mother said it was a bad idea to bath her when they still have wet pox. Since they need to dry out. Is this right? Because I was hoping to use her (oat) bath to relieve the itching!? The other stuff I have is all to aid healing after scabs (lavender, vitamin e oil, aveeno cream & calendula).

        1. Hi, Jess! It sounds like you’re well set to get your kids through the chickenpox! The oatmeal bath provides a lot of soothing comfort and my kids spent *hours* in the bath in the itchiest stage of pox! Keeping them from a bath won’t make them heal more quickly; in fact, since they’ll be scratching more it’s more likely to keep them open.

  8. A treatment for fever that we have had success with is an anthroposophic remedy, Lemon Socks- here ‘s a link with good description: http://holisticsquid.com/lemon-socks-for-a-fever/

    Thanks for the homeopathic treatments- we may have been exposed ( I am hoping so, we want true natural immunity) do you begin the aconite at first sighting of spots?
    Thanks!

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