Natural and Effective Cold Remedies for Kids

Natural Cold Remedies for Kids

Common cold has two constants that we have to come to terms with: it cannot be cured and it will be at least a little bit annoying. I am joining the army of parents in a Herculean task to protect the well-being of their kids and let their immune systems develop by allowing for some discomfort and struggle. And everything in between the constant stuff may include creativity, friendly trickery and tons of patience in order to make the symptoms go away. My assortment of remedies that ease the symptoms of cold for children focuses on solutions that are natural, gentle and without unwanted side effects.

Propolis and Honey Syrup

Strengthens the immune system, cures sore throat

Two splendid products from the beehive, propolis and honey, pair up to fight the nasty bugs. Propolis with honey blend can be purchased instead, but I prefer to make my own mixture as it allows me to control the amount of propolis I add to the honey.

How to make it: mix one teaspoon of honey with a few drops of propolis tincture. Mix enthusiastically for five seconds or so until propolis and honey blend well. Even though there is alcohol in the tincture, the amount your kid will get is negligible. Alternatively, choose propolis extract in vegetable glycerin. Honey should not be given to children under 12 months of age.

propolis and honey syrup for common cold

Lemon Juice & Water

Cures sore throat, strengthens the immune system.

How to make it: Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Give ½  teaspoon to your child, every 15 minutes. This juice is astringent and will burn throat, but works great. I am lucky that my child has always loved lemon, so this remedy was an instant success.

lemon juice for sour throat

Elderberry Syrup

Strengthens the immune system, promotes perspiration.

This humble herb (Sambucus nigra) has been used by folks for centuries. It contains viburnic acid that promotes perspiration, making it useful in cases of cold, flu and bronchitis. Give two to three teaspoons daily to your kid and don’t forget to take some yourself. This syrup tastes great and has a potential to become an all time family favorite (not only among kids).

ederberry syrup for cold

Onion Tea

Strengthens the immune system, cures cough, promotes perspiration.

Onion has a long history of being used as a folk remedy. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it invaluable in treating common cold, flu and cough. Onion is also quite nutritious. But there is a problem: most adults, not to mention children find its taste quite unpleasant.

The trick is to change the label of this remedy, but keep the ingredients. Here is how: Most of us are used to onion’s taste, but as a base for stews and soups, not tea. My kid (that will not even smell the onion tea) will happily eat the onion soup.

How to make a great tasting onion tea (a.k.a. onion soup):

Chop coarsely one medium-size onion. No need to remove the skin. Add two cups of water (or vegetable stock). Cook until the onion has softened. Strain. Since we are talking taste here, and you want to take into consideration your child’s preferences, go ahead and embellish this soup by adding peas, tomato paste or pasta (basically, anything your child would love in a soup). Remedy in a meal. Perfect and natural.

onion tea for kids

Onion and Honey Syrup

Strengthens the immunity, cures dry cough.

I got this recipe from another mom who convinced me that the taste of onion will be completely masked by the taste of honey. She was right. Both onion and honey are antimicrobial, making this syrup an explosion of a good thing.

How to make the syrup: Chop coarsely one medium-size onion and put it in a cup or small bowl. Pour honey over the onion and let it rest for a few hours. Remove the pieces of onion from the honey. Your syrup is now ready to use.

Tip: For those in a hurry to reap the benefits of this fiery syrup, here is a tweaked recipe: Chop the onion into very small cubes that can fit into a garlic press. Squeeze onion juice and mix it with the honey. Ta-da!

honey and onion cough syrup

Marshmallow Root Tea

Moistens the lungs, softens irritant, non-productive cough.

Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) is as an effective antitussive, and thus highly recommended for a post-flu cough (especially for that annoying nighttime cough) that won’t go away.

How to make it: put 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root in a cup. Fill the cup with lukewarm water. Cover and let it steep for at least one hour (best is overnight). Strain. The tea will be thick, yellowish and viscous. Serve it with some lemon and honey to make it more pleasing. This tea should be sipped throughout the day.

Althaea officinalis flower

Saline Spray/Irrigation

Cures nasal congestion and cough that results from nasal congestion.

Saline solution is a natural product I trust, even though it is short-lived and needs to be given frequently. The solution is easy to make at home and can be administered (depending on kids’ age) with an eyedropper, nasal syringe, neti-pot or pulsating nasal irrigator.

With my child, I saw success with a pulsating nasal irrigator since she was five. It is said that kids as young a three years old can get used to the process. What I like about it: It is effortless yet effective in removing lots of yucky stuff from nasal passages. Nasal irrigation can be performed several times a day. Great before bedtime for a drug-free, decongested sleep.

saline nasal irrigation

Eucalyptus and Olive Oil Rub

Cures cough, congestion.

Eucalyptus oil has antiseptic and decongestant properties. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to one tablespoon of olive oil. Massage it into your child’s chest and back.

eucalyptus olive oil rub

Steam Inhalation With Essential Oils

Cures congestion, headache.

Steam inhalation by itself provides a relief from nasal congestion. Adding essential oils to the steam such as menthol might help by inhibiting infection. Other essential oils can help too, including thyme, tea tree, basil, lavender and rosemary.

Steam inhalation

Warm tea

Cures congestion, sore throat, cough.

Drinking plenty of fluids can significantly lessen discomforts associated with the common cold. Warm tea (non-caffeinated) can be given to children over the age of 2.

warm tea for cold

Notice: This article discusses natural cold remedies for children over the age of 2. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.

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