The Challenge of Sick Kids and Cough
Things are tough when your kids are sick. It’s even tougher when they’re sick and have a cough. And it’s even that much tougher when they’re sick and have a cough and can’t sleep at night. Unless your child has asthma, where airways tend to be more sensitive and irritable during the wee hours, it’s not likely that the cough is actually worse at night. It just seems that way, because coughs impede sleep and are easily rendered worse if the room is not kept at a proper humidity and there are dust and irritants in the air. With three little boys, my husband and I have first-hand experience of long nights coping with nasty coughs that pose a challenge to sleep both for us and for them.
What Exactly is a Cough?
Essentially, a cough is a reflex defensive action on the part of the body. A symptomatic reaction, it allows anyone of us, child or adult, to clear mucus and other irritants from the throat and lungs. Most often, coughs are associated with respiratory tract infections such as cold and flu. Coughs are possibly the most commonplace of medical conditions, prompting millions of visits to doctor’s offices.
The Pitfalls of Over-the-Counter Cough Syrups
In 2016, Health Canada reminded parents not to give cold and cough medications to children six years old or younger, because the products “have not been shown to be effective” and, further, have the potential for “serious harm.” It’s probable that these over the counter drug products pose a similar problem in older children or adults.
An Effective Alternative From Nature: Our Elderberry Kids Cough Syrup
Rich in vitamin C and flavonoid compounds, elderberry has a long history as a healing agent both in Europe and with North American indigenous peoples. Its reputation is well-merited. A recent review amply illustrates its antiviral and antibacterial properties, pointing out that it has potent inhibitory activity on several strains of influenza.
Also, a clinical trial conducted in Norway in 2000 investigated the effectiveness of elderberry extract in 60 patients with the flu and concluded that “Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”
Echinacea is a well-known antiviral, antibacterial, and immune enhancing herb. Its safety and effectiveness as an antiviral measure for preventing colds have been well corroborated by a recent research study.
Honey: Hitting the Therapeutic Sweet Spot
The use of honey for both nutrition and medicinal purposes goes back to classical antiquity. A significant body of research has in fact solidly established its role as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing agent, not to mention cough suppressant. A 2007 clinical trial, for example, found that dextromethorphan (DM), the suppressant ingredient popular in many cough medicines, as noted above, was no more effective than placebo and that honey was indeed superior and significantly effective for relieving coughs!
The Elegantly Simple Solution
For me as a mom, the search to find a solution to my child’s cough, especially at night, is an essential part of my job description. The problem is that using a pharmaceutical is absolutely not an option. Happily, nature herself rides valiantly to the rescue. This formula, crafted by our boys’ grandmother, aided by the insights of a naturopathic doctor, has come to be an enormously helpful and effective solution when coughs descend on our household. It’s the ideal way not only to ease my child’s cough, but my fears as well.
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