5 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for Children

5 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for Children

If you are looking for a natural approach to your child’s health and wellbeing, you have found the right place!

I have put together my list of well trusted remedies which I have used on my children and myself.

From a nutritional perspective, I always find that curing a cold with pharma brands, is like putting a lid on a boiling pot… it does not treat the cause, so it is more likely to come back again probably worse.

I think the first line of defense should be natural as much as possible, and failing that, go down the pharma root if needed.
The best way to treat any cough or cold is to give your body the tools, and let them do their job.

At a molecular level, right were the cells begin they are trained to recognise foreign cells. So all we need to do is help out our T-cells in eradicating the foreign bacteria, fungus or virus.

Our bodies need to be hot in order to fight infections, so keep an eye on your child’s temperature and be wise; if you think it is too high, then it could be more than just a cold, cough or flu, and take your doctor’s advice.

  • Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries are small clusters of black coloured berries that contain zinc, vitamin C and Iron. These immune boosters are also packed with flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants.

Antioxidants help our bodies to expel foreign bacteria, and free-radicals, thus creating a healthy environment for our cells.

Elderberries have been used as far back as Socrates and were also used to treat avian flu (H5N1 strain) by protecting healthy cells from the infectious disease.
You can get elderberry lozenges, tablets and syrups. I think with children the syrup works best.
The two elderberry syrup brands I always rely on are Pukka and Sambucol.

Sambucol is sweeter, and more palatable by a toddler, so much so, that my little one would request his “magic potion” as he called it, each morning with delight.

Sambucol has a child and adult version available, and also a sugar free version but this is only suitable from ages 3+.

Go for the bottle that has Vitamin C added, essential for maintaining a good immune system. You can find it here and here (suitable for ages 1+).

Pukka’s syrup though less palatable, contains more elderberry, and also manuka honey, thyme and ginger.

My way of working around my toddler’s taste buds was to put half a teaspoon in his pre-night time milk cup or his morning porridge, and he did not notice.

Pukka’s syrup is also suitable for the whole family, so you only need to buy one bottle for all. You can find it here and here (suitable for ages 2+).

  • Manuka Honey Kid’s Syrup

This is fantastic for sore throats and coughs, especially when given just before bed, as it coats the throat nicely.

Manuka honey is well known and loved by many people looking to boost their immune system. I always use this when anyone in the house has a cough or sore throat, it really is amazing.
This syrup has a natural sweet taste, and includes natural raspberry flavour, so very easy for toddlers to take! It contains thyme and licorice, both of which are known for healing the throat in herbal medicine.

You can get this syrup here (suitable from ages 1+) or Comvita also do a great honey (Propolis) syrup for throats and coughs here (suitable from ages 2+).
These syrups are quite expensive, though not as dear as the pharma cough bottles out there and not in any way drowsy inducing! So do try this first.
Note: Avoid syrups if your little one has a bee pollen allergy.

  • Tomatoes

A kitchen staple, and so versatile, sandwiches, pastas, curries, salads! They are also a powerhouse of nutrients; including vitamin C, carotenes (Lycopene), vitamin K and B vitamins.

The lycopene nutrient in particular has been recently shown to protect against certain cancers, by neutralising free radicals in the cells.

Having tomatoes with olive oil also increases the absorption of lycopene, another reason the Mediterranean diet can be quite healthy.

Such a relatively cheap ingredient that can really boost your immune system, and most all children love tomatoes, if not the fruit itself, then the sauce it produces.

Tip: Do not store in the fridge, as this inhibits the natural ripening processes, where the lycopene flourishes.

  • Garlic

Another household gem, but packed full of infection fighting antibacterial properties. Its nickname in herbal medicine is Russian Penicillin!

It contains lots of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, but it is packed with minerals Manganese, selenium, calcium, iron, copper and potassium.
If I ever feel a cold coming on, I bang a clove of garlic and swallow it with a spoonful of honey. Raw garlic is just amazing for the immune system.
Children however can find the taste quite strong, so the best way of introduction is through pasta sauces or how about making garlic butter together for garlic bread?
Tip: before grating or chopping a clove of garlic, bang it and leave it for 5 minutes, so the powerful enzymes can be released before using the clove.

  • Blueberries

A children’s favorite fruit, they taste wonderfully sweet but they are also packed full of the micro-mineral Zinc.

Zinc works at a cellular level, fighting off foreign bacteria, so having good levels of zinc will always ensure your body expels foreign cells, such as cold and flu viruses.

A recent study found that blueberry juice reduced the ability of E-Coli in sticking itself to the walls of the bladder.

E-coli is a huge nemesis in terms of bugs, produced from badly cooked food and also found in high doses in bladder infections. So blueberries are really an amazing ally in the fight against bugs!
Tip: Soak your child’s porridge oats in milk with some blueberries overnight to really allow the goodness to absorb into the oats. Oats are a slow releasing fuel, so that ensures the zinc is slowly absorbed within the body.
Adult Tip: Tea and Coffee inhibits the absorption of most micro and macro nutrients, so always have your cuppa before you eat food, especially eggs!

I hope these 5 remedies help your little ones through their cold or flu. Going out in the fresh air can be great for expelling bacteria too, and airing the lungs if the bugs are at home!

Citronella aromatherapy oil is brilliant for clearing airborn bugs too, in an oil burner or diffuser.

Don’t forget lots of snuggles on the couch together will do wonders too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Niamh Nina