Natural Healing for the Family

Did you know that Americans spend more each year on over-the-counter remedies for coughs and colds than the combined costs of running the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador?

We were up quite a bit last night nursing my sweet feverish Karis (at 101 degrees). This was the first fever I have experienced with her, so questions of whether or not it was serious were continually going through my head. I have always been hesitant to pay the doctor a visit, primarily because of our lack of health insurance, and secondarily because they often only tell me what I already now and want to just load us up with antibiotics.

To settle my fears, I dug out my two handy little natural health manuals which are simply wonderful, especially for the first time mommy! I can’t recommend these two books more highly for every mommy desiring to prepare and preserve a natural home without all the added antibiotics that can do more harm than good.

How to Raise a Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor by Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. – I love Dr. Mendelsohn’s book, due to it’s thorough coverage of topics such as circumcision, vaccinations, birth, and various childhood illnesses. I will never visit the doctor before referring to this book! He explains all you need to know as to how to evaluate the seriousness of any sickness and simple natural remedies from home. He says: “Common colds and influenza do not require medical treatment, and the medications often used to treat them, will merely relieve symptoms. The effects of doing this may be counterproductive, because they interfere with the body’s efforts to cure itself.”

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch, CNC – this is a huge reference guide covering everything from A-to-Z, with all drug free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs and food supplements. This covers every concern for adults and children.

I was assured to discover that the two best remedies for both cold and fever symptoms were the two H’s for both children and adults:

1) Hydration – keep drinking lots of liquids to replace the loss of fluids in your body through runny nose, cough, perspiring, etc. Try to drink 8 ounces every hour in whatever form they can be taken.
2) Humidifier – the use of a humidifier will greatly assist in maintaining a moist humid environment to assist in the ability to breath easier. Great for the lungs as in alleviating congestion.

For fevers, Dr. Mendelsohn assured me that I should only be concerned if her temperature rises above 106 degrees and there is presence of other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, chills, etc. Otherwise, just let it run it’s course. There is even no need for antibiotics, as they tend to slow down the process and cause other issues as well.

Save yourself a doctor bill, which is usually around $175 for us, by picking up these two books!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

36 Responses to Natural Healing for the Family

  1. Nancie Busbey October 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Quite a good post and supporting comments here. I would like to point out that others certainly propose a different case, especially in terms of natural health. Has anyone here found more interesting related ideas on the Internet, and will you give me some direction?

  2. christa stanley October 25, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    just a quick note on humidifiers. They can get so full of bacteria if not taken care of properly and a pediatritian named Dr. Denmark (check out the link about her)in my area who is still alive at 105+ said to just open the window a little. The humidity of the night air can do just about as well as a humidifier. We chucked all our humidifiers and just keep the windows open at night, especially if the littles are sick. Can’t get much more frugal than that:)

    • Kate October 26, 2008 at 3:40 am #

      I can see that anytime but winter. It gets pretty cold up North, and having a window open even a little will defeat the purpose of having the heat on. Usually when my children get sick, they all get sick. and since they all have separate rooms, that would be a problem w/the heat.

      We keep out humidifiers clean, thoroughly clean after every use.

      • ~M June 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

        This wouldn’t work in the midwest during winter either, because the winter is so cold and dry. We just clean our humidifier with white vinegar and water frequently.

  3. Heather October 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    Hello, I don’t comment on here too often and hope that I’m not being too forward, but maybe you would consider looking into your state’s health insurance for children program (as Autumn suggested). I know you are not a person who likes to be “on the grid,” but that way Karis and your new little one would have coverage in case of a major emergency. I work in a health department in VA, and we give required immunizations free to children (when you are ready), along with annual visits for women on a sliding scale. Our state health insurance also has a program with a $2 or $5 copay for doctor visits.

    Of course, I am only encouraging you to use these services as you are comfortable and AS NEEDED (I agree that too many parents take their kids to the doctor WAY too often). Hope your little one is feeling better!

  4. Erica October 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    I love Dr. Mendelsohn’s book, only wish I would have read it sooner! Another one I’m looking into getting is Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: A Commonsense Guide to Herbal Remedies, Nutrition, and Health by Aviva Jill Romm.

    Doctors are okay, but IMO, overused. Most illnesses can be properly managed at home with a little knowledge and a little time. Fevers run their course at our house, and 101 isn’t much to worry about IMO. I hope Karis is feeling better :)

  5. Scarlett October 24, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Please check out and ask you doctors for the medical insert that comes with the vaccines. It is eye opening.

  6. Amy October 23, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    We also don’t have health insurance for the adults in our family (Medicaid covers the children). And I don’t have a problem with that. We have a bit in an HSA from when I was employed full time, and almost never touch even that.

    I second the recommendation for the ABC Herbal. I use it all the time. I also use “A Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine”. Neither of these books, though, do a great job of telling what herbs mix with pregnancy okay. I’ve had to do other research (mostly online) to figure that out. (Stay away from pennyroyal, goldenseal, cohosh, etc. when pregnant for example).

  7. Colleen October 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    I came across these natural supplements after doing some research. Here is the website:
    My children don’t get the flu shot so I ordered a bottle of the First Defense and Echinacea

  8. autumn sager October 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    HI lindsay, hope Karis is doing good. Just wondering if Karis would be eligible for state insurance (Health Options for Kids) the cut off income is around 3,000 gross. Azlyn is on that, and we are looking in health insurance. Hope this helps

  9. Candace October 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I agree that fevers should run their course but 106 degrees sounds pretty high. I always thought 104 was the max before going to the emergency room! Anyways, my daughter gets febrile seizures when her fevers spike, especially late at night, so we are always afraid of those because we are never sure how long they will last. Although I don’t like acetaminophen I don’t know what other option there is for her to treat her and prevent the febrile seizures. Do the books you have address this?

    • ~M June 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

      I think the point is to know your child. When I was little, I used to run extremely high temperatures – 104-105, and that was just me being me. Usually, the fever was my only symptom. Of course, and this was back in the early 1980s, my mom took me to the doctor the first few times, but then she realized it was not really necessary in most cases. Instead, here are tips she tried:

      – cool baths (with me in my swimsuit so people could take turns sitting with me when I was a bit older, haha)…once even with ice cubes sometimes

      – LOTS of fluids, but she did not care whether I would eat. Urine should be clear.

      – chicken broth/soup made from scratch with bones

      – Popsicles/smoothies/electrolyte freezer pops

      She wasn’t big on tylenol either. :)

  10. Erin Payne October 22, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and have to say thank-you for sharing your insights. Another book that I use is “Herbal Home Health Care” by John R. Christopher. He has alot of simple herbal remedies for most common childhood ailments.

  11. Rosita October 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm #

    My preferred reference is Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child. It is written by a medical doctor, a naturopath, and a pediatric nurse. It gives a brief description of the ailment, and than covers the following 9 areas
    -Conventional Treatment
    -Dietary Guidelines
    -Nutritional Supplements
    -Herbal Treatment
    -Bach Flower Remedies
    -General Recommendations
    I like this approach, because than when we do go to the doctor, I can compare what the doctor prescribes with what is recommended here. This is the book I give at baby showers to first time parents. We are expecting our 3rd, and I use it all the time still.

    • Sarah November 3, 2009 at 4:51 am #

      For a few years I’d call my mom everytime I had a question about an illness so she could look it up in her Prescription for Nutritional Healing book. So for Christmas one year she got me the Prescription for Natural Cures book by the same authors. I love it! It covers those areas mentioned by Rosita and is pretty thorough in the amount of illnesses or situations it covers. Sometimes we have to pick and choose which remedies we use due to $$, but the cool thing is it gives you the 7 Super Remedies for the ailment, so picking among those isn’t usually a hard choice ;-) . I also have a child who spent the firs 18 months of his life on and off antibiodics for ear infections before I took him off milk. After a couple years I did some experimentation and found out that he was only allergic to caesin and only in pasturized homogenized milk. Both my boys can drink raw milk every day with no problems, but if they have P/H milk 2-3 times in 1 week….they both have ear infections.
      Also, they just have their basics as far as vaccinations go. The USA is the only 1st world country with more than 11 or 12 vaccinations for kids. Check out this video for some interesting insights.

  12. Barbara October 22, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Lindsay – we have been Samaritan Ministries members just over a year. My husband is self-employed and we could no longer afford the $1,000+ per month premiums. We just recently submitted expenses for an ER visit, and I’ve been notified that the need will be published and other believers will be helping us pay for it! Our children just turned 8 years old; they have been learning valuable lessons through this opportunity. They are learning to pray for others – even though they don’t know them. They are learning about medical conditions and how to pray differently for the individual needs. They are learning that Mom and Dad are trusting God to supply our needs. Our family feels blessed each month as we write encouraging notes to other believers and include a check to help their financial need.

    BTW – we go the natural remedies route as much as we possibly can, and we don’t vaccinate.

    Also, I enjoy your blog, and look forward to checking in each day.

    Oh – one more thing! I put chili in the crock pot this morning – your recipe. My children keep saying, “When is that chili going to be ready to eat? It smells so good!!”

  13. DeAnna October 22, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    Thanks for the book tips — I have the book called Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Infants and that’s been a great help too. Neither of my girls have gotten sick other than slight colds (glory to God alone!) and thankfully neither has been on antibiotics (well, Isabella was while in the hospital as a preemie, and we started her on acidophilus in her bottle when we got home to help with that.) The only time they’ve visited drs is for well checks and once because Isabella had a horrible rash, found out she has slight eczema and was having an allergic reaction to strawberries (she not longer has that.) Our physician thankfully doesn’t push just sticking our kids on antibiotics or coming in for everything. I know alot of drs do have you come in for everything or take medicine for everything. I was kind of on the fence about antibiotics, but with our girls, we kind of didn’t have a choice, especially Isabella because the finalization of her adoption had a longer wait period. We had to sign a paper with the agency (not all are like this) saying that until everything was finalized we would get her well checks and immunizations. We were never asked about this, but I wasn’t going to sign it and then lie. In a way, it was good for me because I wasn’t sure how I felt, but I realized that either way the main thing was that I had to trust God, He had entrusted her into our care and no matter what He was the one in control not the immunization or lack thereof. Good post and help though, as I know alot of mothers freak out when their child has any fever and automatically reach for the medicine or taking them to the doctor.

  14. Michele @ Frugal Granola October 22, 2008 at 7:39 am #

    We don’t have insurance, either, and we have really benefitted from those books, along with some others, as well. We do have a small health savings account from Calvin’s previous job, which was helpful when my glasses broke. My in-laws used to use Christian Medi-Share, but have found it too be too expensive now at their current rate (and Samaritan is about the same), and we haven’t been able to afford it, either.

    I don’t know if there is anything similar in your area (you might just want to come across the river!), :) but here are some local clinics (some of them are natural medicine:

    Hope Karis feels better soon!

  15. Michelle October 22, 2008 at 6:21 am #

    We avoid doctors and medications as well. We do actually have insurance through my husband’s employer, but the copays are pretty high… $30 or $45 depending on the type of doctor! Usually we let the body heal itself anyway, though, so we almost never use it.

    If you don’t want or can’t obtain health insurance, there are several Christian cost-sharing plans available that cost less than traditional health insurance. Basically, the money you pay into them goes to help other families with their medical needs. When you are in need, other people’s premium fees go to pay your healthcare costs. They don’t cover things like well visits or regular sick visits, but they do cover things like catastrophic illnesses, accidents, things like that. Even more importantly, you also have a network of Christians praying for you during your time of need. I’ve looked into two myself and of course I can’t remember the names of them… I can probably find at least one of them if no one else knows, though, so email me if you’d like me to get a name and number for you!

    • Lindsay October 22, 2008 at 7:21 am #

      Thanks for sharing Michelle. I am aware of the Christian sharing plans (Samaritan Ministries for example), but our research has shown that the cost is not much different and the guarantee and level of provision for differing needs has led my husband to decide it wasn’t the best option for us. Who knows we may change our minds as we look into it further! I do like the idea of my money going to help other believers in the body of Christ. That is a neat concept.

      I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who uses one of these companies.

  16. Melissa October 22, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    I am curious about you not having health insurance. Is this a decision you’ve made independent of finances? My daughters and I recently attained our own policy, b/c my husband’s group insurance was outrageous. We have pretty good coverage, but we’re not sick very often. As a mother, of course, I fear the inevitable horrible disease or broken bones, and don’t want to set up my children to NEVER be eligible for insurance in the future. I have considered just trying to set up a savings account to accumulate the money we would otherwise pay in premiums, and trust that God will provide if we are to have major medical expenses, but I haven’t found a peace yet about whether that conscious decision would be good or poor stewardship. Do you have any thoughts? Also, does Karis receive vaccinations? If I’m being too nosy, please feel free to say so. This is just something I’ve recently considered, b/c if I were to have the extra money in our budget from our insurance premiums, I could afford entirely organic, bulk purchases of all the food we could possibly use in a month and plenty to give to families in need! What better way to STAY healthy!! Just to reiterate, thank you so much for the blessings of your insight and life experience. I look forward every day to catching up with what you have to say!

    • Lindsay October 22, 2008 at 7:15 am #

      The primary reason we have not obtained health insurance is due to my husband’s self-employment, as it is not received automatically as if he were employed. We are not anti-insurance, we just haven’t been able to afford it. Currently, we have a savings account which is for medical purposes only to which we have an automatic deposit each month. It is from this account that we have drawn from for the occasional doctor visit and midwifery fees. We are working towards getting some basic health insurance now, but up to this point I have really just had to lay my fears down at the altar and trust the Lord. And yes, I agree that spending more on healthy food is the best preventative means to avoid health care, but there is indeed a proper balance.

      As to vaccinations, we have not pursued them as of yet, because I don’t personally believe they are so necessary at such a young age as the doctor’s recommend. Dr. Mendelsohn’s book addresses this topic well and challenges the need. Statistics show that they have not helped decrease the diseases they were created to help and some even show that autism is the result of vaccinations. I would just prefer to wait until there really is a need, such as taking a mission trip to a foreign country. I personally didn’t get all my shots until I was around 16 and going international. This was just our own family decision.

      • Kate October 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

        Aetna health insurance is good. And pretty reasonable.

        In the last few months they have found the there is no link between autism and vaccinations. So don’t worry about that. :-) I was vaccinated as a baby and have vaccinated all my children from the beginning. No problems.

        I can’t imagine paying out of pocket…I know pap test and those visits are hundreds of dollars. But I am glad you do have a separate fund for health care.

        • autumn sager October 22, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

          I was just wondering who reported this info about vaccines? Do
          you think it is someone who would makes money
          off of vaccines? I feel the same as Lindsay on
          this topic, and I have not vaccinated my
          14mo, and recently went to a seminar on vac
          and saw too that vac have not reduced diseases,
          and was ?ed with, “are we really at our best if
          vaccinated”? by the way, I too was vaccinated.

        • Kate October 25, 2008 at 4:29 am #

          I don’t want to get into a “discussion” on the validity of vaccines. But the case actually went to the Surpeme Court of US. As for no decrease in diseases, there has been a RISE in diseases that were once prevented by caccines. Why? People not vaccinating their children.

          To me, the risk of dying from these horrible diaseases or going blind is worse than receiving vaccine.

          People have been vaccinating their children for decades, and just in the last 10 yrs, there has been a problem. Why? To me, if I can prevent my child from getting a deadly disease I will. It’s good stewardship, in my opinion.

  17. Shannon October 22, 2008 at 4:31 am #

    Yes! I am constantly consulting my Prescription for Nutritional Healing! Great book.

  18. Amy Shaw October 22, 2008 at 2:16 am #

    The one thing I would add (and this doesn’t apply to you lynsey) is that if your child is less than 3 months old take a fever seriously. Children under 3 months don’t always have any other symptoms other than a fever. This is not to panic anyone but it is worth while to know. At the end of the day you know your child best. Always trust your instincts even if you seem paranoid. (no one would believe me that my daughter was ill and she ended up having a bad urine infection!!)

    Having said all that…thanks for the book suggestions, they look very useful reads.

  19. Scarlett October 21, 2008 at 7:50 pm #

    Several other great books are: “The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy” and “Mommy Diagnostics” both by Shonda Parker.
    Two more that I have used a lot are “Natural Baby Care – Pure and Soothing Recipes and Techniques for Mothers and Babies” by Colleen K. Dodt and “Healing Yourself During Pregnancy” by Joy Gardner. We are praying for you and for Karis that God would heal her and comfort you.
    God bless you!

  20. lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyes October 21, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    I got Prescription for Nutritional Healing several months back and have really appreciated it. We’re using it to treat some of my health problems and saw more improvement with it than with traditional medicine. For minor or mysterious ailments, often self-treatment is the way to go. Of course, there are some things that traditional medicine is way better on — for instance, poisonous snake bites. ;)

    I’m seriously researching herbal medicine and hope that when we get a house someday I can grow my own herb patch for family use….

    Glad you were able to find some peace of mind & hope Karis gets to feeling better!

  21. Sandra October 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these books! I’m interested in more natural methods but didn’t know where to start!

  22. Jennifer October 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    I have the big Nutritional book and it has helped alot! I’ve read the other one, too, and I have not taken my children to a doctor for minor things since. My daughter (now 6) was in the drs. office about every month from 3 months to 2 years with an ear infection. She got every antibiotic available I think and even saw a specialist. What cured her of her ear infections? Going off of cow’s milk and antibiotics–no thanks to the dr., had to figure it out myself. Even if my kids get ear infections now, we let them run their course. They get them very rarely, though.

  23. Kate October 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Our co-pays are $10, and it should be that low, I WORK for a subsidiary of BC/BS. And I’m a HUGE advocate of vaccinations, so we frequent the dr.

    Fevers we definitely let them run their course. A fever is a just a symptom, and just means the body is just fighting off an infection. And if need be we do go to the dr. No fears there etc. All of us have a christian dr, and RARELY gives antibiotics. I always ask if it’s necessary etc.

    With fevers over a 101 or so we tend to run a lukewarm bath and sit the child in it for 10-15 mins and re-check the temp.

    LINDSAY YOU NEED INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s like car insurance, you never use it, but when you need it, it’s there.

  24. Jaime October 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi, I have really enjoyed reading your website. I too strive to keep my family healthy naturally. I’m sorry to hear about your little girl. I have also heard that about fevers and just wanted to encourage you to stay the course. Here is a good link for more information regarding the flu. I have no idea if that is what your daughter has but his website also has just lots of good information.

    Take care and I hope your sweet girl gets better soon. That’s no fun!

  25. Julie October 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    The fever is the body’s way of creating antibodies. Fevers are GOOD for children. Another book I recommend (it’s short, easy reading): The ABC Herbal: Simplified Guide to Natural Health Care for Children.

  26. Amy Best October 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    I have benefited from both of those books as well. I have tried to avoid giving the kids drugs whenever possible because it seems to be the safest route, even though everyone says it is safe. Well recently it was on the news that the FDA is now recommending cold/flu drugs NOT be given to kids under the age of four (or even older), and I was glad I’ve been cautious! Here’s a link to the story:,0,3360898.story

  27. Erin Sarah October 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    I hope your little girl is feeling better soon.
    I’ll pray for her, God bless