Natural Winter Remedies for Kids’ Coughs and Colds
It is now midwinter in Perth. The days are short, dark and cold, and also often rainy and stormy. Most parents know that colds are more likely to affect their kids in winter. Furthermore, these infections are more likely to linger and develop into serious issues. Bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections and asthma are common complications of viral infections at this time of year.
This post is about natural homeopathic and naturopathic home remedies for the winter season. Colds, flus and viruses will respond easily and quickly to certain first aid remedies. The recurring tendency to these complaints will need professional help. This is where an appointment at our Perth clinic will help.
Also visit my blog post on how to boost kids’ immunity naturally and natural treatment of children and of babies and infants. The post on how to shrink kid’s tonsils naturally also contains relevant information.
Does cold and wet weather actually cause colds and flus?
It is a controversial topic. Mostly, researchers have thought that the reason that colds occur more in winter months is because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to others. In this way, colds and viruses spread more easily.
However, recent studies suggest the opposite, which confirms common sense observation. A report published in the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 shows that even a slight chill increases the speed at which viruses that cause the common cold multiply. In addition, molecules that detect viruses and then order the cell to produce defences were less sensitive at colder temperatures.
Dietary Help for Kids Coughs and Colds
Of course nutrition is important in both preventing and to help resolve coughs and colds in children. A good balanced diet is important. But kids are often fussy and this is not always optimal, so sometimes supplementation is of benefit.
Of all the nutrients that help immunity against colds and flus, zinc is the most important. This is found in meats, especially grass-fed beef and lamb, and in nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds is one of the best sources. They are quite tasty to kids if pan roasted with a little tamari soy sauce. Mushrooms are also high in zinc, and they contain other factors that make them one of the best foods to boost immunity.
Other foods that help with immunity, especially during a cold, are garlic, ginger and raw honey. Greens, especially silver-beet and spinach are nutritional powerhouses that help fight flus and colds. Probiotics are beneficial: kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and other fermented foods. Studies show that fresh pineapple juice is highly effective at reducing coughs, and has proven even more effective than pharmaceuticals.
Herbal Remedies for colds and Immunity
There are many herbs that are useful for building immunity and treating colds, flus and viruses. Not all are palatable to kids however, so we will concentrate on those that are.
Elderberry is one of the best. Brewed into a tea and combined with a little raw honey, it has an antiviral action, and is particularly effective against colds and influenza.
Olive leaf extract is another. Western herbal medicine has traditionally used it to support the immune system and to help relive the symptoms of colds and flus.
Another well known potent immune boosting herb is Echinacea. Studies show reduce the duration and prevalence of colds. Although Echinacea is not palatable by itself, the flavour is improved when combined with a little liquorice, which has its own benefits.
Homeopathy for Immunity, Colds and Flus
The easiest and most effective home treatment for kids’ colds and flus is with homeopathy. It is palatable and easy to use, coming in the form of drops or pillules. The results are rapid, provided it is properly prescribed to the individual symptom picture.
Here are a few of the more common remedies for home use as a first aid against colds and viruses. If symptoms persist or become more serious you can book an appointment at this clinic. In all cases, if the symptoms are recurring, you need professional help. A constitutional homeopathic remedy prescribed by this clinic will treat the underlying issue and resolve the recurring problem.
The Best Homeopathic Remedies for colds and flus
In the experience of this clinic, these are the most indicated and useful remedies. These are the most prominent symptoms, but we recommend further study in a good Materia Medica such as Boericke:
This remedy is also known as Anas barbariae. It is a good homeopathic to give at the first sign of a cold or flu, repeated every two or three hours. It often serves to “nip a cold in the bud”. It may also be taken as a preventative once a week during the winter. Use one of the other remedies if more specific symptoms develop.
This is a remedy that is commonly indicated in Perth. Cold, wet rainy weather worsens all symptoms – a typical Perth winter! Colds and stuffy nose from cold weather, associated with a cough from cold air. Frequent urination from cold and that is associated, and diarrhoea.
Colds that progress quickly into sinus complications, sore throat and a dry tickling cough. Sinusitis with pain and a profuse yellow discharge.
All symptoms similar to Dulcamara, but a little more serious and long lasting, and the cold has more of a tendency to go to the chest, with difficulty breathing from cold and wet weather. Rattling cough with greenish expectoration. Mucus discharges are greenish.
A remedy for loose rattling coughs with difficulty breathing. Cough often ends with vomiting.
Colds that are associated with tonsillitis and a painful sore throat, and often sinus involvement. Cough that is dry and barking ( a good remedy for croup – compare Spongia).
Colds and influenza with fever and a dry cough that hurts the chest. The child holds the chest when coughing to prevent movement. The child is thirsty and irritable.
Colds that start with sneezing and chills. Watery, burning nasal discharge. The child is often restless and anxious. There is a tendency for the cold to go to the chest and for symptoms of cough and difficulty breathing after midnight until about 3am.
The best remedy for simple dry lingering coughs. Also for simple dry, stuffy colds with little expectoration and difficulty breathing through the nose.
Colds with a dry barking cough and sinusitis. Mucus is thick and “gluey”. Nose is obstructed. Colds linger and fail to clear.
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies.
The information in this article does not constitute medical advice. It is referenced from the texts approved by Therapeutic Goods Administration and is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a treatment seek advice from your homeopath