In 2012 the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) conducted a review of children’s cough and cold medicines. They advised that children under 6 years of age, should not be given over-the-counter pharmaceutical cough and cold medicine and children aged between 6 to 11 years only be given such medicines on the advice of a pharmacist, doctor or nurse practitioner. Because of these concerns, I thought it appropriate this week to write about herbs which we feel are appropriate and safe to use for children suffering from bronchitis, coughs, colds, sore throats, stuffy nose, blocked and inflamed ears or sinusitis.
HERBAL COUGH SYRUP
A herbal cough remedy which I have only recently become aware of contains some extremely interesting herbs. Two of these herbs are Mullein and Hyssop which are excellent expectorant herbs. These herbs are effective in helping to loosen the mucous and phlegm from the lung walls, which in turn helps the mucous and phlegm to be coughed up. Mullein and Hyssop can also be very helpful to treat those dry, wracking coughs which seem to be so prevalent this winter.
Also included in this formula is Thyme. Thyme is often thought of as a cooking herb, added to your casseroles or lamb roast. This herb however is a great addition to any cough mixture. It has been known for centuries for its healing properties especially when it comes to chest and respiratory problems, particularly bronchitis and ongoing coughs.
These herbs are in a base of organic Manuka honey, organic marshmallow extract, apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar and a natural orange and lemon flavour. We all know now how therapeutic honey can be, especially Manuka honey. Obviously the antiviral and antibacterial actions of this amazing honey can be very beneficial when treating coughs and colds. Together with apple juice concentrate, it gives the cough syrup a very appealing taste.
Unfortunately, the marshmallow contained in this formula isn’t quite the same as the sweet fluffy confectionary we are all so familiar with. Marshmallow extract however is believed to assist in reducing pain and swelling of the mucous membranes lining the respiratory tract, and is wonderful for clearing mucous.
It is important to note, one of the most important aspects of this herbal combination is the ability to assist with the treatment of the coughs without suppressing the cough completely. By suppressing the cough, as some cough medicines do, the mucous is unable to leave the body. This means the infection stays in the body which is obviously not beneficial to your health.
HERBAL DECONGESTION SYRUP
On the other hand, if your child is struggling with a congested and stuffy nose, blocked and inflamed ears or sinusitis, I love another herbal formula which contains Elderflower, Ribwort and Echinacea Purpurea Root. Elderflower contains anti-catarrhal properties which work more specifically on the upper respiratory system. By thinning the mucous secretion or totally reducing the secretion, Elderflower helps unclog and clear excess mucous. Ribwort has an anti-bacterial action as well as reducing mucous and catarrh. This particular herb is also useful where the congestion is caused through allergies. Echinacea of course is known to support the health of our immune system.
HERBAL CHEST RUB
A soothing, aromatic rub is also available to ease stuffy congestion in the head and chest plus help clear airways. This blend of six organic essential oils including Thyme, Peppermint, Rosemary, Pine, Eucalyptus and Lavender in a base of organic coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax is hugely popular. Unlike many vapour rubs this product is not petroleum based.
For more information on children’s coughs and colds or any other health issue, call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune in to Bev and Marianne on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.15pm for Go Get Healthy.