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Newspaper Bloggers Are Now Doctors

More great news for parents of young children. The FDA has raised the age to 6 as the recommended age for cold and cough medicines. But fear not guilty parents, Julie Deardorf of the Chicago Tribune has alternatives for your infant and toddler!

Encourage fluids, especially chicken soup and chamomile tea, to help alleviate respiratory symptoms. Chicken soup is more than just comfort food; it contains ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties, including the bone of the chicken itself.
Teas, meanwhile, are an excellent way to get liquids. Sage tea helps break up congestion and bring down a fever, according to the guide “Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child.” (Give your child one dose of sage tea, up to three times daily, for three to five days.) Ginger tea can increase perspiration to help cleanse the body and reduce a cold’s intensity. (Give one dose, every four hours during the acute phase of a cold).

I hope they make a chocolate flavored chamomile tea.

Lavender is especially soothing for a cough, said Liat Ben Yakov, an integrative holistic therapist in Chicago. Spread a mixture of one ounce of almond oil, three to four drops of lavender and two drops of lemon on a baby’s chest or upper back. Lavender can also be used either in a burner inside the room before the child is asleep, or by putting a few drops in the child’s bath.

Great idea, especially if you want a little boy with breasts.

Avoid refined sugar—it depresses the immune system— and limit fruit juices. (Or, dilute the fruit juice to reduce the sugar). Also eliminate food products that increase mucus production, including dairy products, eggs, white sugar, strawberries and bananas, said Yakov.

Except studies find that dairy does not produce more mucus.

Almonds, papaya, and pears can relieves stagnant qi of the lungs and helps coughs, said Christie Jordan, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner at Source Healing, a holistic health studio in Chicago. Garlic has antibacterial properties and can help detoxify the body.

And if you have a vampire in the family, all the better.

Scrape the upper back and shoulders with a Chinese Soup Spoon (guasha), said Jordan. This is an old Chinese technique where they used to use an animal horn to “scrape” the surface of the upper back and neck and shoulders.

Are you serious? Every. Single. Time. I’ve given my son or daughter a cold medicine, it has worked. I am now being told to do this instead?

Tough it out. When a child is ill, one of the best medications is rest and a parent’s love, said Yakov. A cold is a viral disease, meaning there is no cure, except the time needed for the body to heal itself. The medicines that children take for a cold only suppress the symptoms, they do not kill the viral disease.”

Finally, some honesty. Of course we’re suppressing the symptoms. It’s called making your child feel better.


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