Broth Broth, Baby
Antiviral Herbs & Healing Foods
to Support an Infant Recovering from COVID
︎︎︎ Allie who stepped into foster motherhood (also known as motherhood) earlier this year, offers tips she has layered into nourishing her now 10-month-old daughter (referred to as bambina here).
We can do lots to strengthen immunity, ease cough & chest congestion & soothe their tiny nervous systems as they recover from compromised immune systems. We can do this:
Broth, broth, baby
Add broth to everything. Especially while she is sick, I turn to broth to cook this bamina’s gnocchi, use it to purée her sweet potatoes or love it as the water portion in oatmeal. Savory style. I use a crock pot & grass-fed beef bones, leftover plant parts from my freezer & herbs like mineral-rich Nettle (Urtica dioica) & Thyme. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an approachable, antiviral herb. It’s also immuno-modulating, anti-inflammatory, & antioxidant, too. (1) For an absolutely wonderful listen, tune into a podcast on Medicinal Broth by The Herbal Highway if you’re ready to up your broth game with the wisdom of Renée Camila.
Hydration, the antiviral way
Try this easy Viral Shaker Tea, a yummy blend of herbs to strengthen immunity. With several tbsps of Wild Cherry Bark (Prunus serotina) & a half gallon of distilled water, I put this on the stove to simmer for 2 hours in order to really draw the medicine out of the Wild Cherry Bark. Then I bring it down to a gentle simmer & add the lighter herbs: 1 tbsp of antiviral Lemon Balm (Melissa offic) + 1 tbsp of Nettle. Once this big batch of tea cools, I use this as 1 part of her formula feeding. So if in her bottle is 3 scoops formula for 6 ounces of water, I exchange 3 ounces of that water with the Viral Shaker Tea. Keep the same amount of formula scoops. If breastfeeding, drink directly from a bottle or mix with breast milk if you have a frozen supply.
At the Sowa Market last Sunday, Kathy from Sol Gardens Flower Farm in Concord, Massachusetts gifted us a handful of Asian pears. Monday I was blanching & pureeing them (skins & all). Pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) have an affinity for the lungs, something my first herbal teacher, Kara Sigler taught me. How? They add moisture to the lungs & decongest the pathways. (2)
Keep it Simple
Chamomile Flower Drop is an ally for this bambina as she teethes. Four full teeth & two more coming down! It's also been calming for her. And for me. While widely used for digestive uses in children & adults alike, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), is also an antiviral. (3) Additionally, since rest is paramount in any sick symptom-picture, choosing to dose Chamomile throughout the day either with the Flower Drop, in tea form (plain in a baby bottle) or mixed with formula similar to Viral Shaker Tea is a simple idea for all. A settled nervous system supports a bolstered immune system. Everything is connected.
I have these lovely cinnamon sticks that I add directly to her morning oatmeal. Sweet style! Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), is very warming. It’s important to energetically keep the body warm during periods of recovery. (BTW this picture was taken several months ago!) Cinnamon works well here. Cinnamon sticks in particular because the flavor comes from the steam of the bark (keep the lid on !) instead of cinnamon powder which, in my opinion, tends to add a dry nature to any meal. You may enjoy reading about how Cinnamon constituents may inhibit virus proliferation too. (4).
Antiviral - herbs that bolster the immune system
(A Few) Antiviral Herbs
that are safe for infants:
Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Thyme, Cinnamon
- Food is medicine
We are not powerless as caregivers to babies with viruses
Think: energetics, calming nerves, antivirals through food
Dial in your own self-care so you will sustain the marathon of caring for others
(1) Thyme Vulgaris, a natural pharmacy against COVID 19: a molecular review
(2) Eating for Healing: Pears Three Ways
(3) Antiviral Activity of Chamomile
(4) Cinnamon and its Possible Impact on COVID-19
If you’re seeking support to source herbs or other forms of allies as you support a little being, you’re welcome to reach out. Email Allie (email@example.com) with subject line Broth Broth, Baby!
Take good care!