Saturday, March 7, 2009

Coughs and thyme (and also time!)

It's just been in the news that cold and cough medications may be banned here for children under 12. Some have already been banned for under sixes in the UK.

Apparently there is no evidence they do any good, and some evidence that they do harm, to children.

It makes sense that the cough is there for a purpose - to expel mucous, which is in turn there for a purpose - to rid the body of the virus!

However a persistent cough can keep your baby and you up at night, and sometimes is due more than anything to the already-present irritation - it's kind of self-perpetuating.

There are a number of home remedies you can use for such times to help soothe the impulse to cough, and I've found the best one (endorsed by my whole family and my local pharmacist) to be thyme tea.

Just pick a couple of sprigs of thyme from the garden (or use culinary thyme from the shops) and infuse ten minutes in just-boiled water.

Raw honey added will soothe the throat and help suppress the cough mechanism. Add it after the water is no longer near-boiling. (Be aware that medical people recommend waiting until after baby is one year old to introduce honey). Actually if you have no thyme to hand, just honey in warm water is very soothing on its own, or add some lemon juice, very alkanising on the body.

Leftover thyme tea can be added to baby's bath last thing at night.

Of course, the best thing for any cold symptom is rest - in other words give it time! Colds do take a long time to go through the system, especially for babies and toddlers (and pregnant women!). Don't expect to get 100% well in less than two weeks!

I'm no medical expert, but for what it is worth.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I've been drinking thyme tea for colds for years but wasn't sure if I can give it to my baby. I think I'll try. She's 7 months.