My 2 1/2 year old has a thick cold and a persistant cough, i can tell its driving him mad. The chemist said there arn't any cough medicines for under 6 year olds. Does anyone know any natural treatments.

asked 11 Nov '09, 12:18

Phil%20Seller's gravatar image

Phil Seller
accept rate: 9%

Honey and/or lemon work well, for best effects I add a shot of whisky, but you might want to skip that with a child.

Update: found this article in the Times: Honey is better than children’s cough syrups for a silent night:

Natural honey is a more effective remedy for children’s coughs than over-the-counter medicines, researchers say. A dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime easily outperformed a cough suppressant in a US study.

Honey did a better job of reducing the severity and frequency of night-time coughs. It also improved sleep quality for children and their parents.

Dextromethorphan (DM), the active ingredient in many cough mixtures sold in chemists and supermarkets, had no significant impact on symptoms. Honey has been used in medicine for centuries, not only to treat coughs and bronchitis but also to assist the healing of wounds. For coughs it is often mixed with lemon, ginger or brandy.

Here's an approximate recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Stir mixture in a little bit of drinking water and drink immediately. Take this 2-3 times a day.

I find it works better warm.


answered 11 Nov '09, 12:22

Rich%20Seller's gravatar image

Rich Seller
accept rate: 19%

edited 17 Nov '09, 15:08

In college I hung out at a coffee shop and was there sick once. The coffee tasted weird due to the illness but I don't like tea. My friend suggested the (hot) lemon tea with lots of honey. It worked so well that it's still my drug of choice for coughs even though I still don't like tea otherwise.

(11 Nov '09, 14:05) Dinah

had to add apple juice in order for him to drink it but he seems a lot better

(12 Nov '09, 14:28) Phil Seller

From the Tixylix FAQ (mostly responding to the recent UK change in advice for cough medicines):

Q: What can I give my child under 6 when s/he has a cough or cold?

A: Fever and high temperatures: treat with ‘anti-pyretics’ i.e. ibuprofen or paracetamol. (NB Follow the directions on pack. Paracetamol is not for children under two months. Ibuprofen is not for children under 3 months.)

  • Coughs: use a soothing cough mixture containing glycerol and for children aged 1 year and above honey and lemon.
  • Congestion / blocked nose: vapour rubs, saline drops and inhalant decongestants can be used to help make breathing easier.

answered 11 Nov '09, 12:28

Jon%20Skeet's gravatar image

Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

edited 11 Nov '09, 17:54

good points, may be worth adding a reference if you have one

(11 Nov '09, 16:15) Rich Seller

Oops, could have sworn I did so when posting. Fixing now.

(11 Nov '09, 17:54) Jon Skeet

In my experience, changing the humidity in the room they sleep in often makes a world of difference. Get yourself a cool air humidifier and leave it running all night right near where they sleep. This can do a great job of loosening the gunk in their chests.


answered 11 Nov '09, 19:46

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

Also, if you house is cold in the winter a humid room feels warmer than a dry room

(17 Nov '09, 16:17) MrChrister

My 2.5 year old is croupy, we have found that "chestal" by boiron works really well. It is a homeopathic, honey based, for kids over 2. It is available in the States, but not Canada.


answered 14 Nov '09, 01:51

Krista's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

Cool mist humidifier, running a warm shower and standing in the bathroom to breathe the steam, if it is croup, taking them outside into the cool air. Be sure to drink lots of fluids to keep the junk thinned out and easily coughed out. If the child is asthmatic, then use a nebulizer with a bronchodilator and cool water.


answered 15 Nov '09, 02:02

SL.Nicholson's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

Is this based on something you have heard, or personal experience. Please see our Back It Up Principle: http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up

(15 Nov '09, 03:21) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 11 Nov '09, 12:18

Seen: 8,909 times

Last updated: 17 Nov '09, 15:08