Natural Cough and Cold Remedies
With the onset of fall and winter comes the need for common cough and cold remedies. Natural remedies provide relief especially when children are your concern for care and comfort. Dr. Alexis has compiled a list of her top favourite remedies as well as some additional tips for helping you, your family and your little ones win the battle against the common cough due to colds.
Did you know that Health Canada advises NOT to give cough and cold medications to children under 6? Cough and cold meds are also out for pregnant mommas. If you didn’t know this (or even if you did!) you are probably panicking and thinking “so now what I am going to do when my 2 year old is up coughing ALL night for the 3rd night in a row!” I have put together my favourite natural cough remedies and cold remedies so you can be well armed for those long nights.
Here are my top Natural Cough Remedies and Cold Remedies for Children
Eliminate Dairy– Dairy is a damp and phlegm forming food. Not a good combination if you or your child has a wet cough or is stuffed up. Taking out dairy for the duration of your illness will help you to make less secretions.
Saline Rinse or a NoseFrida– Speaking of secretions…a saline rinse in an older child or a NoseFrida for a baby can help to physically get the secretions out
Cool Mist Humdifier– Helps to moisten the nasal passages and loosens secretions. We are talking a lot of about secretions, the joys of having children! Change the water in the humidifier daily to avoid the growth of any pathogens.
Honey and Onions– Dice a white onion, place in a glass storage container and cover the onion with raw unpasteurized, preferably local, honey. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can spoon out a teaspoon of the honey syrup at a time and give to your child/yourself every 4-6 hours. Both the honey and the onion have antibacterial and antiviral properties and the onion helps to “open” the airways. Local honey is preferred because if there is an allergic component to the cough, those bees are exposed to the same pollen that you may be reacting too and help to provide their allergy protection against those pollens. Raw honey is not for use for babies under 1 year of age.
Common Cold Remedies
Vitamin D– Sufficient Vitamin D levels help to keep the immune system strong so it is definitely one to supplement when you are sick. Children can take 400 IU/day and adults 1000 IU. If you or your child are sick in the nicer weather, get outside and get 10-15 minutes of sunshine as well.
Warming Socks– Here is an old naturopathic trick for congestion. I was skeptical, but trust me…it really works! Take a pair of cotton socks and run them under cold water, wring out then place on feet. Cover with wool socks and go to bed. The socks will warm by morning, and helping to move a lot of blood to your feet can help ease congestion. Practical tip: honestly it feels bad when you put on the cold/wet cotton socks, but that feeling mostly goes away as soon as the wool socks are on. It is one that is worth toughing out!
Chest Rub– An essential oil and herbal infusion chest rub is a good way to help get congestion moving, soothe muscles that may be sore from coughing, and provide anti-viral and anti-bacterial support. Please not that although eucalyptus oil is often one that comes to mind, it should not be used in children under 6 years of age as it can cause kidney damage. Eco Chic Movement’s chest rub does not contain any of the essential oils that are not safe for use in children.
I hope that you learned some new tools to help you manage your little one’s coughs and cold.
Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended health insurance benefits