Tuesday Tips: Natural Cold Care

Well cold season descended upon us a bit sooner than I anticipated this year. Of course with the start of school comes the influx of viruses. GL was hit a bit harder and has a nighttime cough, which is tapering off after the first week. 

If you haven't heard cough syrups for children under six are not recommended, PERIOD. Last year there was a ban on products targeting younger children and a recent study just concluded that cough syrup related calls to poison control center have dropped by 50%. Now obviously there are situations where particular medicines may be prescribed by a Pediatrician for your children, by no means am I talking about such conditions.

We take the natural cold care route in our home, ONLY AFTER a trip to the Doctor to check on their lungs to make sure they are clear and there is no sign of wheezing, their ears are infection free, and their sinuses aren't infected. When your child had a cold due to virus, there aren't very many prescription options to help ease the family through the duration of the cold.

I just wanted to share some things that we do in our home to help with colds caused by viruses.

Before bedtime, we offer the girls Traditional Medicinals Just For Kids Cold Care Tea, with honey. I brew the tea and then add some apple juice to cool it off. Our Pediatrician really pushes fluids during the course of a cold.

During bath time, we put a few drops of the California Baby Essential Oils for Colds & Flu, they provide aromatherapy and help clear stuffed up noses.

We are huge fans of Thayers Slippery Elm cough drops as well, they are soft and chalky, which helps coat the throat, for those tickle in the back of their throat coughs. We also use (not for GL yet) Zand herbal lozenges, they make a variety of flavors.

One of our biggest helpers for stuffy noses is Little Noses, saline drops. Sometimes I use the nasal bulb after and other times, I don't want to fight it. The drops are great.

This may sound funny, but I always have a batch of orange juice popsicles made in the freezer. I just make them with re-usable popsicle molds, so they don't get all that junky chemical ingredients found in ordinary overpriced store brands. I find the popsicles make a huge difference when they have a cough that doesn't want to quit at night. I get them out of bed and feed them one. It soothes their throat and allows them to relax enough to get rest.

We also run a humidifier in the girls' bedrooms all through out the year. We use the Graco 4 gallon model, that was formerly made by Hamilton Beach. It's the same thing, just different name on the unit. Living in Colorado we need the moisture year round.

Lastly, we do the traditional spoon full of honey and a little squirt of lemon before bed. Just to help ease their throats and the urge to cough.

Now, I am not saying any of these methods work hands down, I just wanted to share some ways we get through cold season, ways in which we can help our girls make it through the night easing the cough. Sometimes I just feel left at odds as to how to best treat a virus, when the Doctor doesn't have any prescriptions to treat the specific problem.

As always, if you have any natural cold care remedies or tips, please share!

(all of these products I purchase at Whole Foods or local natural grocery stores, the Saline Drops are from Target, and the humidifier I purchased at Babies R Us, but all of these items are available online as well)


  1. Thanks so much for this! Ethan had a bad cough all last week from a virus, and now James has it. I'll definitely have to try the cough drops and honey and lemon.

  2. we too do the tea and also are big fans of honey and lemon.

  3. We love the tea with lemon and honey :)

    Our biggest tip for coughs/stuffy noses is sitting in a steamy shower (and we drop a bit of the essential oils you mentioned in there too). This always seems to do wonders!

    Great tips :)

  4. My kids seem to have pretty strong immune systems (maybe also due to the fact that I let them fight most things off naturally w/o the medicine) but when they have a cough that keeps them up I will sit up in bed with them. They lay sideways against me and I hold them so they can fall asleep in a position that prevents the post nasal drip. My left arm holds them up while I pat their backs with my right hand which helps ease the coughing also. Then, once they are sleeping, I will lay them on their stomaches (helps prevent the post nasal). Yes, it can be a lot of work but when they are just totally exhausted from coughing, sometimes it helps put them to sleep and gives them a break from it.

  5. These are great tips, thanks!

    We like to use silver and apple cider vinegar here(not together).

  6. Let me clarify, we use both silver and acv, but we don't mix them together. We'll use them at different times of the day :)

  7. Wow! You're good... I generally search through almost empty medicine cabinets and weight the pros and cons of trying to give the children really small doses of adult medication or making my husband go to the 24-hour drug store. Of course I'm kidding about the adult meds for children. Kind of.

  8. great post, thanks for the tips.

  9. This is a great post! Thanks for the tips! We use the saline drops and S is the suction pro. It's hard, but boy does it help! As for coughs, I like to make chicken soup with homemade stock. I always find this can help with getting liquids and something in their tummy. Hang in there with the cough!

  10. Those are some great remedies. I'll definitely be keeping them in mind. Like you, I try to down lots of liquids. Something my mom always used for me was Vics rubbed on my chest and the washcloth left in. I still use it once in a while, I've even used it to help me sleep once or twice, since it's become a comforting scent.

  11. The Zand cough drops are da bomb around here - we have to remind people they are not candy...

    Great ideas - and helpful reminder that no one is curing a cold, just making ourselves more comfortable while it does its nasty business.

  12. We are doing more and more natural remedies. Thanks for these tips. They are sooo helpful!

  13. We use the honeyand lemon for the kidsand others, but also for adults, well kids could try it, but herbal teas to soothe the throat and the smells are usually good for clearing the nose especially peppermint or lemon.

    Also i will run a hot bath and close the door to heat up the room then add the cold before the kids get in the heat and humidified room helps before bed. (got to be carfeulof bath temps with this one though)

  14. Fantastic tips! I'm writing them down and filing them for future reference right after I stock my pantry. :-)

    I need to ask our pulmonologist about a humidifier for J during the winter. I know there are some conflicting opinions for kids with chronic respiratory problems, but I don't know enough about it.....Thanks for reminding me to ask!

  15. I love natural remedies...thanks for sharing!!

  16. I use cherry bark for coughs and echinecea (did I spell that right?) always during colds. I don't know if it works either but it feels better than doing nothing.

  17. Love these tips - We'll be trying the tea for Josh as he gets through his current sniffle-fest. Thanks for sharing these great tips!!

  18. Your tips are very useful to all. I gained a lot of knowledge regarding prevention of cold for children during winter season. Many people have resort to natural cold sore remedy when all other medical treatment has failed to bring significant results. Up to this day, medical treatment has only able to give temporary relief, with some prolonged side effects that can take a toll upon your body for a lifetime. I'll suggest it to my friends. Thanks for sharing.
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