Via: Julie’s Health Club
Children under 4 shouldn’t be given cough and cold medicines, according to the drug companies that produce these products, the Associated Press reported.
Most parents will probably ignore this advice as long as the products are available; it’s cold and flu season and we don’t know what else to try.
But there are several effective natural remedies have been around for centuries: Chicken soup to fight the cold, honey for a sore throat, salt to rinse stuffy nasal pasages and regular soap (skip antibacterial products containing triclosan) and water to wash your hands.
Though they’re all considered “folk remedies,” these traditional cures have stood up to scientific scrutiny, which is more than you can say for the heavily marketed drugs that may also carry some risks for children.
Here’s a list of home remedies that work from Consumer Reports on Health:
1. A saltwater bath for a stuffy nose
2. Chewing gum to relieve heartburn and speed healing from abdominal surgery
3. Chicken soup for colds
4. Yogurt for belly aches (look for those that contain live, active cultures or are labeled “probiotic”)
5. Honey for a cough (do not administer to children under 1 year of age)
6. Cranberries for a healthy bladder (look for drinks that list cranberry juice as the first or second ingredient)
7. Staying warm to prevent a cold
I also checked with the folks at Farmer’s Almanac. They sent this advice compiled by Deborah S. Tukua and the Farmers Almanac TV staff:
Got a cold?
Try this old Irish remedy: pour a pint of boiling water over a handful of rosemary leaves placed in a pot. Cover and infuse as you do with ordinary tea. Take ½ pint daily while cold lasts.
Coughing keeping you up?
Rub some Vapo Rub or Vicks on the bottom of your feet before you go to bed. It’s been known to help.
Try some honey and warm milk or chamomile tea before bedtime
Got the sniffles?
Consider eating foods rich in zinc (oysters, crab, seafood and lean, red meats, beans, chicken, nuts and some fortified cereals), which can enhance your immune system, causing less susceptibility to colds and flu. Studies have shown eating foods rich in zinc and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold may reduce its duration and lessen the symptoms by 42 percent.
Cautions: Although zinc relieves the effects of the common cold, taking it daily won’t necessarily prevent the onset of a cold. Also, check with your doctor; too much zinc intake can be harmful. And don’t take iron and zinc supplements at the same time during the day because too much iron can interfere with the absorption of zinc in the body.
Sore Throat? Try these drinks.
* Chamomile tea: Make a tea adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile blossoms to a pint of boiling water; steep and drink a cup every few hours.
* Cayenne pepper: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 1 cup of boiling water; stir well and gargle while mixture is very warm. This brings more circulation to the area and helps draw away the infection. To this formula you can add 4 parts Echinacea, 1 part garlic bulb, and 2 parts peppermint leaves to 1 part cayenne.
* Mustard: Grind one tablespoon of mustard seed and combine with the juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of clear honey, and 1 1/4 cups of boiling water. Leave this mixture, covered, for 15 minutes and use as a gargle.
* Slippery Elm bark (Ulmus rubra): Helps to soothe sore throats or cough. For sore throats, slippery elm bark can be taken as a tea. To make the tea, add 1 tablespoon of dried bark to a cup. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the cup. Steep it covered for at least 10 minutes and then strain. Have up to 3 cups of slippery elm bark tea a day. Dried slippery elm bark can be found in bulk in some health food stores.
* Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis): This herb found in Europe and North America, has been used for centuries as a sore throat home remedy. Like slippery elm, it also contains mucilage which helps to soothe sore throats. To make marshmallow root tea, add 1 tablespoon of the dried root to a cup. Add a cup (8 ounces) of boiling water, steep it covered for at least 10 minutes then strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
* Honeysuckle Flower: A sweet-tasting and smelling herb, honeysuckle flower is one of the most commonly used sore throat remedies in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for sore throats. Honeysuckle flowers aren’t as easy to find in stores as slippery elm and marshmallow. Besides health food stores, Chinese herbal shops often carry it.