Can betel leaves really help clear a baby's nose congestion?
Keep in mind that you should always seek a doctor's opinion first with any illness in kids.
A blocked nose in a young child is tough on both mummy and baby. Babies find it hard to breathe, eat and sleep, and mummy suffers just watching her child struggle.
As such, many mums search for and try unique home remedies to help their little ones get through mild illnesses, such as cough, cold and congestion.
This is exactly what Malaysian mummy Shikin Jaiz did when her little one had a badly blocked nose. She used a traditional remedy using betel leaves to ease her child's congestion.
We must admit, we were intrigued by her post - just look at all that snot that has come out!
- Gently steam 4-5 betel leaves until they are comfortably warm.
- Apply a mentholated balm (she used Vicks) on the child's chest in a thin layer.
- Next, cover the area with the warm betel leaves. Leave them on for 10-15 minutes.
She says the results are truly remarkable (as you can see in the pictures) and really helped thin the mucus and draw it out.
Traditionally (in both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine), betel leaves are used to assist with stomach pain and also ease redness and irritation caused by rashes and other skin conditions. They are believed to have antiseptic properties.
According to an article published in South Asian Journal of Cancer:
"Importance of BL (betel leaf) has been described in ancient books of Ayurveda. Use of BL was known for centuries for its curative properties.
In Chinese folk medicine betel leaves are used for the treatment of various disorders and claimed to have detoxification, antioxidation, and antimutation properties.
There are number of research experiments on BL, where the leaf extract, fractions, and purified compounds are found to play a role in oral hygiene, and to have various properties including anti-diabetic, cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory, anti-ulcer, hepato-protective, anti-infective, etc.,
Patents were also awarded for some of the biological activities like anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and immunomodulatory associated with the leaf extracts and purified compounds."
It is believed that the extracted oil from betel leaves is 'warming', and as such, can help heat up the body, easing issues such as congestion.
Mums and dads, keep in mind that like many home remedies, this one has not been verified by a medical professional or institution.
Also, mentholated ointments should be used carefully, with the general advice being you should not apply it on babies under the age of two. If you need further clarification on this, please check with your child's paediatrician.