Often as we change seasons our immune system takes a hit. Having a child with a cough is tough. You want to relieve their suffering and stop the cough but know that a cough is the human body’s natural way of getting rid of those icky bacteria, viruses, and other foreign objects from your child’s lungs. The act of coughing helps clear the lungs and throat, where a productive cough forces sputum out of the respiratory tract. This leaves the airways free-and-clear for easy breathing. When your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is pack them up in the car, head to the pharmacy, just to try to decode the endless number of children’s cough syrups. So here’s FIVE easy ways to ease your child’s cough at home:
1. Garlic and Onion
- There’s a reason your grandmother often gave you chicken noodle
soup as a kid when you were sick. It’s full of great things to help ease your child’s cough including garlic and onion. Garlic and onion contain sulfur containing compounds (that’s why they smell) that act as antimicrobials; helping to kill any nasty bugs your child may have caught. They also act as an expectorant, helping your child get sputum out of the respiratory tract. Add this to the added fluids in the chicken noodle soup which thins the mucus and your child is on their way to easy breathing
2. Eliminating Dairy
- Eliminating dairy from your child’s diet while they have a cough is an
easy way to ease their symptoms. Anecdotal evidence from centuries and many individuals suggests that there is a link between dairy and mucus production. While long-term elimination of dairy is not recommended for all children, a short elimination may help your child.
- A variety of lozenges are available on the market to help soothe the
throat. Following a long period of coughing, your child’s throat may be irritated. A lozenge provides a great way to soothe them while providing added benefits. When choosing a lozenge, always look for those that are sugar free as bacteria feed on sugar. Some examples of lozenges that are beneficial include
Vitamin C: Has anti-inflammatory properties and combats infection
Zinc: Zinc based lozenges help improve immune responses while fighting infection and inflammation
Slippery Elm: Is a plant that acts as a demulcent (an agent that provides a protective layer over a mucus membrane)
Menthol: Is a recognized cough suppressant made from refined peppermint oil
4. Herbal Rub Recipe
- Most of us have had menthol rub type ointment applied to our chests
at some point throughout our childhoods. These ointments often
5 Easy Ways to Ease Your Child’s Cough
contain harsh preservatives and other additives to maintain shelf life. Here’s a simple homemade version to make when needed.
4 tbsp. coconut oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
2 drops of your choice of oil (one, or multiple)
1. Eucalyptus 2. Sage
3. Rosemary 4. Peppermint
5. Eucalyptus Oil
- Eucalyptus oil is something that I always keep on hand. It has great
antiseptic, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties. There are many ways to use eucalyptus oil when your child is ill; I’ve just given my favourites. The best part about both of these - they’ll breathe in the benefits as they sleep!
Put a few drops of oil on your child’s blanket or teddy bear (in a spot that won’t stain and away from your child’s skin) and place near their bed.
Put a few drops of oil on a tissue or a piece of cloth and place the cloth loosely over the area where steam is being emitted from your child’s humidifier.
Please share this handy infographic with all of your friends!
- Dr Kendra Clifford ND
*This article is for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice.*