Supporting a Cough and Cold Naturally.

So after spending a couple of sleepless nights listening to a horrible cough of a child full of cold. I thought it was relevant and also important to write a post on how to ‘support’ your child through an illness as the season kicks in. Colds and flu are a fact of life for kids, but there are smart steps you can take to help support your child ‘naturally’. As colds and flu are the bodies way of building a healthy strong immune system. Suppressing the symptoms will only prolong the illness but may also reduce the beneficial impact it may have on immune building.

Below are a few suggestions which can help your child feel more comfortable, encourage correct recovery but also boost the immune system so they don’t just constantly stay ill.

My Favourite
Hot lemon and honey with a slice of ginger
A study found that children who received a single dose of honey had less coughing and fewer sleep difficulties. I am lucky I source my honey locally which if you can is the best form, if not try manuka. Honey has antimicrobial properties and can soothe irritated mucous membranes. As it may contain bacteria harmful to infants, honey should not be given to babies under 12 months old. Lemon is high in Vitamin C to help support your immune system. The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in the root of ginger will help to relieve a sore throat quickly, and they also kill rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the first place.

I accidentally discovered this herb, Thyme’s antiseptic and antibiotic properties make it a great remedy when you have a cold, cough or sore throat. Neal’s Yard Remedies have a lovely product you can either take on a teaspoon or I add it to the honey and lemon drink

Vitamin C
Most of us know about this vitamin and the common cold. Numerous trials have found that this vitamin reduced the duration of episodes and the severity of the symptoms of the common cold. With a review of 23 controlled trials found that vitamin C supplementation produces a greater benefit for children than for adults. Try to choose a food sourced Vitamin C from acerola cherry or similar

Zinc Lozenges
Zinc may help immune cells to fight a cold, and may relieve cold symptoms when taken as a supplement. With zinc lozenges have been found to reduce the duration of colds. A great way to get directly to the area if you have a sore throat. Again look for quality and make sure no nasty artificial sweeteners have been added

Lots of children’s supplement (the good quality ones) contain elderberry. Elderberry’s antiviral activity, may help children during a cold. Elder flowers are a traditional remedy for helping to break fevers and promote sweating during a cold

Not only decrease the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections but also other common infectious disease when supplemented daily during the winter. Although if you forget supplementing, you can at the onset of illness, this may decrease the duration and severity of subsequent acute respiratory infections in members of the same household

Regular use of Echinacea for four months over the winter may decrease the number of colds. I always suggest 1 month on the 1 month off Echinacea to allow your body to build it’s own resistance. For the treatment of a cold, it is currently recommended to use Echinacea for a total of seven to ten days. Certain conditions such as MS and SLE should not supplement with this.

Eating well is essential during a cold. Focus on lots of colour. If appetite is suppressed try and make lots of tasty fresh smoothies. No sugary snacks or process food. Also plenty of water to help flush the system and stay hydrated.

All of the above is for information only any changes to your food intake or supplements that you or your children take please discuss with a health professional first.

Thank you for reading.