Finding an herbal remedy for my son’s cough has been one of the more challenging events we’ve endured.
Coughs can be dry, or wet. Coughs also can accommodate the flu, ear infections, or a sore throat.
And… coughs can be from poor gut health.
Yes, read that again.
To address a cough, you’ll want to know why it is happening.
If it’s due to a cold, think of adding anti-viral botanicals plus, expectorants to support their immune system and release the mucus. ¹
So, what do we tackle first?
There are four ways I like to use natural remedies with children. I’ll give them teas, tinctures, decoctions, and homeopathy.
Plus, try your best to reduce their sugar intake and increase their fluids with chicken soups and pops, like our favorite herbal popsicle recipe here.
#1 Teas For Kids
- Make a cup of tea with 1 tsp. of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and add honey for children over 1 year or you can add juice to their Sippy cup.
- For babies, you can add cooled chamomile tea to their bottles, adding maple syrup to sweeten if needed.
- Toddlers love Lemon Balm or Peppermint for kids 2+.
#2 Tinctures For Kids
Tinctures are an extract of a plant in alcohol. Because of the processing method, the amount of alcohol your child ingests is similar to a ripe banana.
If you’re concerned with the alcohol intake you can use a glycerine tincture. These tinctures are made with glycerine instead of alcohol and most moms feel more comfortable using them.
- When the cold begins, give an Echinacea glycerine tincture and Elderberry Syrup to support their immune system.
- Studies show elderberry syrup can lower the duration of your flu and the need for medication.
Dose: When the adult dose is 2 dropperful (60 drops), the following is recommended for children:
Age — Dosage
- Younger than 3 months — 2 drops
- 3 to 6 months — 3 drops
- 6 to 9 months — 4 drops
- 9 to 12 months — 5 drops
- 12 to 18 months — 7 drops
- 18 to 24 months — 8 drops
- 2 to 3 years — 10 drops
- 3 to 4 years — 12 drops
- 4 to 6 years — 15 drops
- 6 to 9 years — 24 drops
- 9 to 12 years — 30 drops
Other ways to determine dosage:
Young’s Rule – Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by this total.
Example: dosage for a 4-year-old: 4 divided by 16 (4+12) = .25, or 1/4 of the adult dosage.
Cowling’s Rule – Divide the number of the child’s next birthday by 24.
For example, the dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 would be: 4 divided by 24 = .16, or 1/6 of the adult dosage.²
#4 Decoctions For Kids
A Decoction is a method of extraction by boiling herbal or plant material to dissolve the chemicals of the material, which may include stems, roots, bark, and rhizomes.³
- This works best when the herb doesn’t taste well or you want to make a syrup, like elderberry syrup.
#5 Homeopathy For Kids
Homeopathy is wonderful for kids. Please read my article:
- Everything you need to know about homeopathy is HERE.
Home remedies for cold and cough kids
When a cough is dry with throat pain, you’ll want soothing herbs like licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.
- Your toddler can suck on slippery elm throat lozenges.
- I’d also give an immune tincture like herb pharm to boost their immunity.
- To learn my favorite herbal recipes for cough. See my Youtube videos.
Home remedies for cough and mucous
When it is mucous, you’ll want herbs that act as an expectorant, look for products with elecampane, hyssop, mullein, thyme, yerba santa, and ginger for warming.
Home remedies for infants
- Using botanicals with infants requires more caution. The tincture doses are much less due to their body weight. Please see the dosing above.
- To administer a tincture to an infant, you can add tinctures to a bottle or place them in 1/3 cup of water. Use a syringe or straw to make sure your child gets the full amount.
- I wouldn’t use essential oils with children until they are 3 months of age. If you choose to, please use caution.
- Make sure you only use 1 drop per 1 tbs. of oil. They should be very diluted and avoid the eyes, ears, and any openings in the body. Never ingest essential oils with infants. (Unless advised by a professional as they are very estrogenic.)
Home remedies for a cough with toddlers
Toddlers are a little easier, as they love anything new and fun. I would add tinctures to their Sippy cup, use a syringe, or sip out of a fun cup with a straw.
5 Home cough remedies for kids
- Slippery elm lozenges – soothing and yummy to suck on
- Licorice & peppermint tea – so sweet you don’t need any honey
- Herb Pharm Lung expectorant – combine this tincture with a glycerine tincture for your medicine
- Andrographis- to prevent pneumonia
- Echinacea tincture
When using botanicals and homeopathy with children it is very important you’re choosing the right herb (or homeopathic treatment) and the correct dosing for their symptoms. With a combined effort of diet, teas, and rest your child will be able to become resilient through the years.
²Reference used: “Herbal Remedies for Children’s Health” by Rosemary Gladstar