It used to be that every “good mother” had a cupboard in her home that had a wide assortment of over the counter (OTC) medications to treat any of a variety of symptoms that a child may encounter. Whether it was a severely clogged nose or a horrendous sounding cough, there was magical grape or cherry flavored syrup that was supposed to resolve the problem. But what we know now about such cough and cold medicines may surprise you. Keep reading to find out why you should be looking into natural alternatives to cough and cold medicines.How About Those OTC Cold Medicines?
Today more people are becoming aware that OTC cold medications for kids are a waste of money in most cases. Not to mention the fact that they can be dangerous. It is not difficult to unknowingly overmedicate a child. The ingredients in these medications can cause very negative reactions in some children. In fact, there is no proof that they reduce symptoms. In addition, they do not cure or shorten the life of the common cold.
Right now the FDA strongly recommends that kids younger than two years of age not be given these drugs. They are even deliberating the safety of the medications for older kids. In 2008, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced a voluntary relabeling of children’s cough and cold drugs to advise parents and caregivers the age of four.
Even with all this advice from the “authorities,” most parents still have a stock of these medications at home. The University School of Medicine, in St. Louis questioned more than 100 community pediatricians and nearly 1,300 parents about their use of OTC cold and cough drugs for this survey. The results:
Natural Alternatives to Cough and Cold Medicines
- 73% of parents were aware of the FDA advisory
- 70% still believed the products alleviated symptoms
- 68% did not believe OTC cough and cold medications were dangerous
- 74% had these medications stocked at home
Since we know that the traditional OTC cough and cold medications are definitely not proven safe or effective, let’s take a look at what alternatives are available. Until now, they haven’t been available in the United States.
Bionorica is a German company that conducts research in partnership with 450 universities and labs around the world. In 2008, Bionorica introduced Sinupret in the United States. Bronchipret was made available several months ago.
Sinupret syrup for kids is made from:
- European elder - contains compounds that inhibit viruses
- Sorrel – a fever reducer
- Cowslip – a traditional remedy for bronchitis
- Vervain – used for both colds and calming nerves
- Gentian – relieves pain and inflammation
These herbs may not be as familiar to you as Echinacea, but doctors throughout Europe are very familiar with them. Sinupret is indicated to help clear clogged nasal passages and decongest sinuses. Bronchipret is a syrup made from thyme. This syrup is designed to reduce coughing spasms, kill bacteria and viruses, and thin mucus.
Now that these natural products are available in the United States, substitute them for the potentially harmful OTC products that have traditionally filled your cupboard.