Winter is a popular time of the year for travel, and if you have a little one, that alone can be challenging. Now add a cold and cough, and you’re likely to think twice about leaving home. The FDA warns against using common over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough meds for kids under four years of age—so what can you do? Not to worry: Here are some great safe and effective all-natural remedies for your winter travel first-aid toolkit.
- Umcka® ColdCare Children’s Soothing Syrup is a great option for nasal congestion. It’s made from Pelargonium sidoides, an herb shown to shorten the duration of colds by solid research.
- Chestal, a homeopathic cough syrup, is my top choice for mild to moderate coughs that often accompany runny noses. Honey, safe to use in children over a year of age, gives an added anti-cough boost and has been shown in several studies to be safe and effective.
- Poofy Organics Vapor Rub-A-Dub-Dub comes from Kristina Gagliardi-Wilson’s fantastic Poofy line of super clean mom and baby products. A great alternative to chemical OTC vapor rubs, Poofy’s rub contains organic essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, and coriander in a safe base of organic sunflower oil, organic castor oil, and organic beeswax. It smells so good you’ll want to eat it—but I recommend instead putting a few dabs on your child’s chest or behind their ears to ease congestion.
- Herb Pharm Soothing Ear Oil is my go-to for mild ear infections, a not-so-uncommon sidekick to colds. Combining organic essential oils of calendula, St. John’s Wort, mullein, and garlic in an organic olive oil base, the ear oil compound is a safe and effective option to avoid antibiotics whenever feasible.
- Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup is a great-tasting natural treatment for the dreaded flu. Research has demonstrated that extract of elderberry, a dark reddish-blue fruit loaded with antioxidants, is a very potent killer of the influenza virus. For maximum effect, start giving the syrup three times a day at the first sign of flu symptoms like aches and chills.
(Note: Lawrence D. Rosen, MD has no financial interest in any of the products or companies listed above).