9 Natural Cough Medicine for Children

Coughing often attacks your child, whether it's due to bacterial or viral infections. Some specific diseases can also cause coughing in children. Now, besides giving medicines from doctors, there are some traditional ingredients that can be used as natural cough medicines for children.

Why Choose Natural Cough Medication for Children?

Non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines, or those that can be easily obtained at pharmacies or supermarkets, are not necessarily safe for your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of this type of cough medicine in children under 4 years of age.

According to the AAP, most OTC cough medicines contain several medicinal ingredients that can increase the risk of overdose in children, especially if their use is combined with other drugs.

In addition, the AAP also examines any findings regarding the effects of OTC drugs to cure the symptoms of coughing during colds. As a result, there is still little evidence that OTC can relieve a number of symptoms in the disease. What's more, OTC cough medicines tend to have side effects if they have a negative impact on the health of children and pregnant women.

So, what should be done when your child constantly coughing? Fortunately, there is still a safer treatment that is to provide natural cough medicines for children.

To make a natural cough medicine, you can simply use the simple ingredients that are available in the home kitchen.

Although research on the impact of the use of natural cough medicines on children is still little done, so it cannot completely guarantee curing symptoms completely.

Natural cough medicines can be considered for use in order to avoid more serious health consequences, such as the consumption of OTC cough medicines.

Choice of natural cough medicines for children

Many natural ingredients can be processed into cough medicines for children, but not all have the same positive effects on children of all ages. Babycenter has divided the selection of natural cough medicines that are tailored to the age and growth and development abilities of children as follows:

1. Honey

This natural ingredient is precisely chosen as a cough medicine for children. Various studies have shown that honey has the same effective effect as nonprescription drugs in treating cough symptoms in children.

One of them is research conducted by the University of North Carolina reporting that 90% of participants, who are children with symptoms of cough, show the development of an improved condition after consuming 1.5 teaspoons of honey as a cough medicine every night before going to bed.

As a cough medicine, honey does have antibacterial properties that can help fight infection. In addition to its ingredients that are effective in coughing, honey is also preferred by children because of its sweet taste.

The recommended dose of honey given as a cough medicine for children according to the AAP:
  • 1-5 years old: ½ teaspoon
  • Age 6-11 years: 1 teaspoon
  • Ages 12 and over: 2 teaspoons

In addition to giving cough medicine for this child directly, you can also dissolve honey in warm water so that your child is easier to swallow. But avoid giving honey to children under one year old.

Honey has the potential to cause botulism, which is a condition of serious poisoning experienced by infants, if given to children under 12 months.

2. Salt water solution for all ages

When experiencing a cough, children also often experience symptoms of nasal congestion due to excessive mucus production. This mucus will later go down the back of the throat and help trigger coughing.

You can prepare a natural cough remedy for children by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt into one glass of preheated water.

In making a natural cough medicine solution from this brine, make sure you have boiled the water to be used for 3 to 5 minutes. This is done to eradicate the bacteria found in the water.

When it enters the airway, the bacteria can actually cause more serious infections. Other bacteria can also develop in the solution, so do not use a salt water solution if it has been left for more than 24 hours.

Children under the age of 2 years are generally still difficult to remove mucus from the nose. Dropping salt water into his nostrils can help eliminate excess mucus that causes coughing up phlegm so he can breathe more smoothly.

Although it looks easy, you should make sure your child is not choked by a cough medicine solution from salt water. Follow the steps below when dripping salt solution into the nostrils.
  • Position the child's head so that it is guzzled upwards. Use tools such as pillows, cloth or towels to support the head.
  • Drop two to 3 brine solutions into each nostril.
  • Gently massage the surface of his nose and wait for a few minutes until the saline solution reacts to thin the mucus.
  • To be safer, you can use an aspirator as a tool.

3. Gargle with salt water

Children who are 4 years old and above usually already know how to gargle properly. In addition to being dropped into the nose, a natural cough medicine solution for children from the same salt water can also be used as a mouthwash that is able to prevent the growth of bacteria that infect the throat.

Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. So that the taste feels more refreshing, you can add lemon juice. Then rinse using this solution 3 to 4 times a day.

To avoid swallowing saline, teach the child to hold his head up when rinsing. Do not hesitate to practice it first so that your child is easier to follow.

Routine gargling using cough medicine can also help maintain throat health, prevent swelling in the mouth area, and keep breathing fresh.

4. Food with warm soup

Eating soupy and warm food can relieve throat and overcome other health complaints such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and fever. With these properties, food can be a choice of natural cough medicine for children.

Apart from food, warm drinks like herbal tea or chamomile can also be a cough medicine for children. However, it would be nice to consult with your doctor about herbal tea products that are safe for consumption as cough medicines for children

For babies who are still in the period of adjusting to eat food, you can give bone broth soup as a cough medicine for children. Besides being effective in thinning phlegm in the respiratory tract, bone broth can also improve the immune system and detoxification ability in the body.

5. Lemon

Fruits can also be used as natural cough medicines for children, one of which is lemon. Lemon can relieve inflammation that occurs in the throat, while providing adequate intake of vitamin C for the body.

Vitamin C is known for its role in helping the healing process of diseases in the body. With the presence of vitamin C, white blood cells are able to produce proteins that work to activate the immune system.

In addition, vitamin C can also prevent the occurrence of cytokine storms that can make the immune system overreact so that it contributes to damage healthy cells in the body.

Natural cough remedies for children can be made by combining one teaspoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of honey. Take a natural cough medicine for this child several times a day.

Another way to consume lemon as a natural cough medicine for children is to mix pepper and honey in lemon juice.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric can reduce the symptoms of prolonged coughing from various types of cough. In turmeric, there is curcumin which is an anti-inflammatory compound that is able to fight foreign particles that cause infections in the respiratory tract.

Aside from being a natural cough medicine for children, turmeric can have a more significant role, such as helping fight various chronic diseases.

How to use turmeric as a natural cough medicine for children is to crush it into a fine powder, then mix it into one glass of hot milk.

In addition, you can mix turmeric with salt in tea dissolved in 4 cups of water to relieve itching in the throat.

Try not to drink water after consuming a mixture of natural cough medicines for children from turmeric. Water can inhibit the action of anti-inflammatory compounds contained in turmeric.

7. Garlic

Garlic is one of the natural cough medicines for children that is most easily obtained. Its antimicrobial properties are effective in stopping bacterial infections that cause excessive mucus production in the respiratory tract, making it suitable for curing phlegm.

In addition to consuming this natural cough medicine directly, you can mix the crushed garlic with honey and tea. Drink this solution at least twice a day to relieve cough and pain in the throat.

8. Ginger

Drinking a mixture of ginger powder that has been dissolved in warm water or tea can help relieve symptoms of cough in children. As a natural cough medicine, ginger has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects so it is effective against infections caused by germs.

Ginger can provide a warm sensation that provides a soothing effect on the throat that feels dry and neck muscles that are tightened due to dry cough.

In several studies, traditional medicines containing ginger helped thin the mucus in the respiratory tract so it is very suitable to be used as a natural cough medicine for children who cure phlegm cough.

The benefits of this natural cough medicine can be maximally obtained if the child consumes it directly. If your child doesn't like the bitter taste, you can try mixing lemon juice, tea, honey, or milk. Take this natural cough medicine twice a day while experiencing cough symptoms.

9. Peppermint

Mint or peppermint leaves contain menthol which acts like a pseudoephedrine cough medicine that can soothe the throat while thinning mucus in the respiratory tract.

The best way to take a natural cough medicine for this child is to dissolve mint leaves in tea or inhale peppermint that has been dissolved in hot water.

There is not much research done to ascertain the effects of recovery from natural cough medicines for children. The results of research on natural cough medicines on children that have been carried out still have shortcomings.

However, that does not mean safe treatment with cough medicines made from alamaic ingredients is not worth trying. Currently, supportive medicine and natural ingredients are still the main way to deal with cough in children.

In addition to being cheap and avoiding the harmful side effects of chemical drugs, the use of natural cough medicines is also more practical so that you can be more alert and quick to give first aid to your sick child.

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