We took our two young children to the pediatrician this morning. They have both had nasty colds, complete with coughing, nasal congestion, coughing, runny noses, and oh, did I mention coughing? I wanted to make sure that they didn’t also have ear or throat issues, and needed to know what was causing the coughing (post nasal drip from an upper respiratory infection or if it was coming from the lungs).
Thankfully, it is just an upper respiratory infection, probably viral. While it’s great news that there isn’t a more serious infection, there isn’t much that can be done for the common cold except measures. The pediatrician said both of them had crystal clear lungs and no other complications beyond the nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. She recommended that we continue doing what we were doing, using a bulb aspirator to clear their congestion, even though they hate it. She then went on to recommend honey for my son (my daughter is too young for honey- under one year) to calm the urge to cough, citing studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrating honey to be more effective than any of the cough and cold medicines that were once recommended for children’s coughs, naming brands like Delsym, that have been shown to not offer benefit to young children. When I told her that my husband is a beekeeper, she suggested that we consider this as a marketing angle for our honey. We may just look into that.
For our daughter, the pediatrician recommended a humidifier (which we’ve been running) and warm baths (which we were already doing). The steam and humidity should help loosen up her congestion and make using the aspirator more effective. When I told the doctor we were already doing that, I also mentioned that I add lavender oil to the bath water and in the medicine cup for the humidifier. She smiled and said, “That’s great to help clear up congestion.”
Granted, we didn’t learn anything new. We were already administering honey to my son and using steam inhalations and lavender oil for both of our children. What is important to note is that there are some doctors out there who have not yet been jaded and brainwashed by Big Pharma that everything has a pharmaceutical answer and that herbal and home remedies are ineffective or even dangerous. When you know what you are doing, herbs, aromatherapy, and other home remedies are both safe and effective . It was just refreshing to hear a doctor agree.