The Food and Drug Administration says over the counter cold medicines are unsafe for children. So, what can you do when your child has a cold? An article in the WSJ by By Benjamin Brewer, M.D. says, “The risks with cough-and-cold medication are clear. If you don’t know your phenylephrine from your acetaminophen, you can deliver more potency than you had intended by unknowingly combining products with similar ingredients and confusing chemical names.Overdoses of medication occur all too often; the FDA has linked over-the-counter medicines to 123 pediatric deaths since 1969. Most of the fatalities were in children younger than 2. Whooping cough has already started spreading in our school. For children between the ages of 11-18, the vaccinations they got as babies has weakened. The has caused entire middle schools to close as a result of epidemics. I’m wondering. Do I give my healthy 11-year-old son the booster vaccine? Or do I help him build his immune system?
While I’m thinking about it, I found 13 alternatives to children’s cough medicines. Use common sense. Check with your doctor if symptoms persist, of course. Each remedy I’ve listed here is linked to its source so that you can check into the source a little more deeper.
- Garlic fights colds. While you may not be able to convince your child to chew on a clove, and it might upset his stomach. I have put a sliced clove in the bottom of my child’s sock while they sleep, and the cold is better by morning. If you want to go the extra mile, you can then peel and crush six cloves of garlic. Mix them into 1/2 cup of white lard or vegetable shortening. Spread the mush on the soles of your child’s feet and cover them with a (preferably warmed) towel or flannel cloth. Put plastic wrap under his feet to protect bedding. This is so powerful, the garlic will soon be on your child’s breath, and fighting the virus in his body.
- I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying this: Apple cider vinegar is one of the best ways to fight a cold and silence a cough. The body becomes more alkaline during a cold and the vinegar will help to re-balance the body’s acid level. Especially one that is in the chest and throat. If your child cannot handle drinking sips of apple cider vinegar mixed with juice or water, you can always use a cotton ball to rub the vinegar on his or her chest. The advantage of this method, is the vinegar travels up the nasal passages and helps to open up the nasal passages as well. Every time I do this to someone who is coughing in the night; the cough settles in about twenty minutes, and we all get our rest. You must repeat this remedy every few hours. But this remedy, I know, zaps a cold.
- Sage is an immune builder. Make a tea, with honey if your child is over 1 year of age, of equal parts of cinnamon, (also a virus fighter) sage and bay leaves in hot water. Strain, and before drinking the tea, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Zicam if taken during the early stages, can zap a cold. Continue reading below:
- Ginger is an antiviral herb, containing almost a dozen antiviral compounds. It is valuable for preventing and treating colds, sore throats and inflammation of mucus membranes. So, you can make a tea of drink a tea of fresh ginger. Ginger builds heat in the body. Draw a warm bath, and put about 3-5 tablespoons of fresh ginger, grated, tied in cheese cloth, into the tub. This can help your child sweat away a cold.
- It has been theorized that colds begin in the middle ear, not the nose. Here is an interesting theory about using drops of hydrogen peroxide in the middle ear every one or two hours within the first few hours a cold virus strikes. I have since tried this once when I felt that heavy, fluid building up around my throat, and no cold the next morning. But who knows, maybe I didn’t really have a cold yet? A scientist, I am not.
- Aromatherapy, or essential oils, are non-toxic and, when used properly, are safe for children. Blends of chamomile, eucalyptus or thyme can help loosen mucus and heal the throat, nasal passages and bronchial tubes.
- Here’s a formula called, Cold Combating Blend Orange, – 20 drops
Eucalyptus- 10 drops
Juniper Berry, 10 drops Pine Needle – 10 drops
Basil – 6 drops
Rosewood – 6 drops
Ginger – 4 drops Blend all together and us in a diffuser or a few drops in a bath.
- Inhalation Blend 2 cups boiling water
Eucalyptus – 12 drops
Cedarwood – 6 drops
Peppermint 6 drops Pour blend into bottle, shake well and then add 5 drops to the boiling water (place in a stainless steel bowl), lean over bowl and place towel over head to inhale the oils. Caution – remember sometimes less in oils is better than more
- Ravensara Essential Oil is a powerful anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-asthmatic essential oil. It is non-toxic and safe for children. And a powerful one for sinusitis, bronchitis:
- My most powerful remedy, based on personal experience in the herb Thyme. Thyme has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thymol has a theraputic effect on the lungs. Ingesting or inhaling the oil helps to loosen phlegm and relax the muscles in the respiratory tract. I drink thyme tea (just add the dried herb spice to a cup of tea when you add your favorite tea bag and strain). In extreme cases (before I discovered apple cider vinegar’s potent properties), I dipped cheese cloth into my tea, and put this on my chest with a heating pad to draw out the infection. Now, I simply drink it.
- Rhodiola, as a pill, or tincture drops.
- Rishi Tea. A powerful immune booster.