Mama’s Magic Mouthwash

sore_throatEvery once in awhile we hear about a home remedy that’s too good not to share. If you’ve ever had a kiddo with a sore throat, you know how tough it can be to make it better. They don’t want to swallow anything, and children’s pain medicines take at least 30 minutes to work. What’s a mother to do?

Here’s a concoction that we hear works in seconds … like magic! And our short test subjects even seem to like the taste.

1 Part Maalox (1 tablespoon will leave you with plenty of liquid for a good swish after mixing with other ingredients).

1 Part Children’s Benadryl

1 Part  water

Have your child gargle most of it (you may have to demonstrate this technique, and practice with plain water first) and then drink the last swig. It may make her tongue feel numb and her throat tingle at first, but within five minutes she will get relief. When she’s feeling better, you may even be able to cajole her into swallowing a dose of  children’s Tylenol or Motrin, if needed.

Obviously, this remedy is intended for children who are old enough to follow directions and manage a basic gargle — probably three and up. Be aware of the amounts of Maalox and Benadryl you’ve mixed so you don’t risk letting her swallow more than the recommended dose.

For younger children (but NEVER under 1 year), mix together 1 tsp. of each and deliver a total of 1 tsp. of the mixture to the back of the mouth with a medicine syringe.

Voila! Relief is as close as the nearest supermarket or pharmacy.


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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.