Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine for Family Sickness

Be Well Living
Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine for Family Sickness

Cold and flu season hits differently now that I have a family of my own.

Intuitively, I’ve always known I didn’t want active medicines with dyes and flavorings to be my default choice. But it left me wondering if I had any other effective and safe options.

In recent years, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of researching homeopathy and other alternative measures for sickness and symptom remediation. And guess what?! There are a lot of products and practices to fight illness, boost immunity, and deal with uncomfortable symptoms.

Why I take Caution with Conventional Medicine

Let me start out by saying I’m thankful for conventional medicine. I’m grateful we have traditional medicine as an option when they are deemed necessary. That said, I know they can be hard on the body (especially little ones!). They can also come with unwanted side effects, ranging from mild to more severe.

Acetaminophen (such as in Tylenol) can be particularly hard on the liver. Increasing evidence also indicates that early life exposure to acetaminophen may cause long-term neurodevelopmental problems. NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen can come with common side effects such as ulcers or erosions, which are small breaks in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. 

NSAIDs and the Microbiome:

One of the biggest reasons I pause when it comes to NSAIDs is the effect they can have on the gut. NSAIDs can change the balance and composition of the gut microbiome, which is the community of microorganisms living in our intestines.

Direct effects of NSAIDs include their antibacterial effect on the “good” gut bacteria by hindering their growth and metabolism, or even causing cell death.

Indirectly, NSAIDs can affect the microbiome by causing changes in digestive tract acidity, bile acid composition, or nutrient availability. This alters which bacteria can thrive. By inhibiting certain enzymes, NSAIDs make the lining of the gut more susceptible to damage. This can ultimately trigger inflammation and further microbiome disruption.

Studies have shown a decrease in overall bacterial diversity in individuals taking NSAIDs. Specifically, research suggests an increase in the abundance of certain types of bacteria, such as gram-negative bacteria, and a decrease in beneficial bacteria.

For all of those reasons, conventional medicine is not my first choice for myself or my family when fighting sickness, and it’s why I am passionate about sharing the unwanted side effects here. I want you to have informed consent, and I want you to turn to options that are easier on the body with fewer side effects first because these herbs are still incredibly powerful.

Alternative Options are My first Choice During Times of Sickness

I’m a big fan of finding gentle but robust supplements, products, and practices to help our bodies do what they’re so magically designed to do when they get sick: heal! After caring for my three boys during countless coughs, colds and seasonal sicknesses, I’m amazed at how resilient we are!

Our default position is for health. During sickness – for myself or anyone else in my family, I take responsibility as caretaker for providing what is needed in order to rebalance, gain strength, and effectively fight off whatever bug caused the sickness in the first place. Here are the go-to places I turn for naturally supporting the body during times of sickness:


Homeopathic medicine was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. It’s an alternative medical approach that uses products made most commonly from plants or minerals to address common sickness and sickness symptoms. Homeopathic products often come in the form of dissolvable pellets that are placed under the tongue, but they can also be made into ointments, gels, or liquids as well.

Boiron is one of the most widely recognized and highly reputed homeopathic medicine brands. They make individual bottles with pellets for almost any symptom you could imagine. For example, I always have a vial of Belladonna on hand for sudden high fevers. 

Here are some of my top symptom-specific go-to remedies:

If the individual vials feel intimidating to you, Boiron also makes easy homeopathic blends. Some of my favorites are: 

  • ColdCalm (also available in ColdCalm Kids and ColdCalm Baby) - ColdCalm Kids and ColdCalm Baby are both made in convenient liquids that can easily be dropped into your child’s mouth. 
  • Oscillococcinum - Oscillococcinum is my go-to at the earliest onset of any flu-like symptoms including fever, aches
  • ThroatCalm - Relief for all of the typical throat-related symptoms that go along with sickness.
  • Chestal Honey - This homeopathic cough syrup doesn’t have any added artificial dyes or flavorings, but it still tastes yummy enough for the kiddos to take!

Genexa (use code BEWELL20) is another brand I absolutely love, and they make easy homeopathic blends as well. I always have these two in my medicine cabinet for the family:

  • Flu Fix - These are chewable/dissolvable kid-friendly tablets. 
  • Cold Crush - Also chewable/dissolvable kid-friendly tablets.

Vitamins, Minerals and Superfoods

While I’m a huge fan of getting your vitamins and minerals in whole food form through a nutrient-dense and varied diet, I’m also a big believer in quality supplementation, especially when sick.

But here’s the deal, I don’t know about you but when I’m sick, taking fistfulls of vitamins and supplements doesn’t fly. My kids don’t want to do that either. So you’ve got to be strategic and realistic. For that reason, I go for the supplements that offer a big bang for their buck. I love to focus on powerful immune boosters that are easy to take like Vitamins D/K2, Zinc, Elderberry, and Propolis.

  • If you’re looking for a deeper dive into my favorite clean supplements, you’ll definitely want to check out Kelly’s Clean Supplement Guide. In this 16-page document, I cover all kinds of different supplements, what they’re for, and recommended brands I trust. 

Nutrition, Hydration and Food

You’ve probably heard that “food is medicine,” and it really is! What you eat (and drink) will either help or hinder your body’s efforts to fight off bad bugs. Here are some basic, attainable principles I go by when my family is sick:

  • Cut the sugar. We don’t have much sugar on the regular, but I make sure to really cut it out of our diets when we’re sick. Dietary sugar can decrease immune function and negatively impact immuno-protective microbiota
  • Focus on liquids in order to avoid dehydration. Electrolytes like LMNT are great in order to actually hold onto the water that you do consume. Otherwise, unsweetened coconut water is another great option. 
  • Sip on bone broth (I love FOND - use code BEWELLBYKELLY) because it’s packed full of healing collagen, vitamins and minerals while offering even even more hydration. 
  • When a sick child or adult is ready for a little more substance, a Fab Four smoothie is the perfect place to start! These smoothies are easy to digest and very nutrient dense. My Very Vanilla Fab Four smoothie is simple but delicious, and a perfect choice for someone who’s feeling under the weather. 
  • Let the sick child or adult take the “lead.” This is not the time to enforce veggies if your child is refusing them. If bland rice or a piece of sourdough toast is all he/she can handle, then that’s okay! Just make sure you’re prioritizing liquids first, and then choose as high a quality option as possible when it comes to solid foods. 
  • We still want to try to balance blood sugar in order to avoid nausea, mood swings and further exacerbate sickness symptoms. Think of the Fab Four and how you might be able to add a little fiber, fat or protein in order to keep blood sugar from spiking too high. Examples: Add a little ghee to toast. Add bone broth to rice. Sip on a Fab Four smoothie. If you want to learn more about the transformative power of eating to balance blood sugar, check out my video course: The Fab Four Fundamentals

Sprays and Drops

Ear, Nose and throat sprays or drops are a good way to prevent sickness from spreading within the home, or to relieve common symptoms like nasal congestion and sore throat after a bug has already been caught. 


  • Genexa (use code BEWELL20) makes medicines with active ingredients, but they are cleaner formulations with better ingredients than you’ll find in the popular brands at your drugstore. This means Genexa doesn’t use artificial colors/dyes, artificial flavorings or other junk that you find in so many conventional children’s medicines. 
  • There’s no shame in turning to these active medicines if you and your health professional think it’s best. As I stated earlier, there’s a time and a place for everything. And I’m thankful Genexa makes it possible to benefit from the active ingredient without all the added junk that often comes with it. That said, the more you practice getting comfortable with a high fever, using alternatives, and avoiding actives or antibiotics, the more motivated you will be to try to work through it naturally every time. And you will be building a stronger immune system for the future!


  • Baths → Magnesium Flakes are a great way to help a sick child or adult relax while replenishing magnesium stores in the body at the same time. 
  • Comfort measures → I’m all about making sure whoever is sick feels as comfortable as possible. This might mean putting a cool rag on the forehead if he/she has a fever, placing a warm heating pad on the neck to relieve any aches, or massaging around the face/sinuses lightly to help drain congestion. 
  • Love and cuddles → Sickness is a time to slow down, especially as a parent, and just sit with your child in it. There’s nothing more reassuring to a child than a parent who is physically and emotionally present. Take this time to give some extra love to the little one who needs you.

I want you to feel confident and ready the next time sickness hits your home. Have your natural remedies ready to go! And remember, if you end up turning to more active ingredients, that’s okay, too. We have cleaner options! It’s all about supporting the body and providing it with the building blocks it needs – through high quality nutrition, hydration, supplementation and more – in order to let the immune system do what it’s made to do!