This article discusses the herbs that could be used for colds, coughs,
and respiratory infections in kids. Information in this article is
appropriate for parents whose children are below one year of age. This may help children ward off respiratory infections and other
Infants below one year of age are too young to be experimented with herbs. However, for nasal congestion due to colds in infants, eucalyptus oil could be added into the humidifier (if using one), and echinacea tincture is recommended by experts to build up the immune system. In the case of breast-fed infants below six months of age, a chicken soup with dandelion root, Astralagus, burdock root and Echinacea could do wonders.
Another great remedy for colds in infants is, to prepare a respiratory tonic tea with rosehips, lemongrass, fennel, mullein, coltsfoot, calendula and red clover. This tonic need to be consumed thrice or four times a day by the breast feeding mother. In case of non-accessibility to herbs, this can also be purchased online or at a store.
For kids above six months of age, Echinacea glycerite could be tried to boost immune response. Few other herbs for kid’s colds, other than Echinacea Gylcerite, are Peppermint added with Elder flower (is a good antiviral) for combating cold, flu and stomach upsets. Chamomile, too, gives a good calming effect and soothes teething and stomach upsets from flu and colds.
Other remedies include installing a vaporizer in the children’s room to moisten the air. Also, kids suffering from cold need to be given several warm baths a day, to loosen the mucus and phlegm. Elderflowers and chamomile could be introduced during the bath, as it will be transferred to the kids body through steam, and the skin will also absorb part of it. Else, a strong tea can be prepared out of Chamomile and Elder flowers and the strained liquid can be introduced into the bath water.
For upper respiratory infection in kids, the herbs most often used are lobelia for coughs, licorice with its antibacterial properties helps soothe the throat and Echinacea heals and prevent further infection. Marshmallow reduces inflammation apart from soothing the throat, ginger stimulates the immune system, mullein is a good respiratory tract tonic, horehound clears lung congestion, garlic can be used for its antibiotic properties, herbal cough extracts containing comfrey, fenugreek, hyssop, wild cherry and yerba Santa and peppermint are few other effective herbs. A herbal preparation in the form of tea could be prepared with most of these ingredients.
Boosting the immune system could prevent recurrent bouts of colds and respiratory infections. The best herbs for boosting immune system in kids are red clover, Echinacea, goldenseal, and astragalus. However, it should be noted that these herbs should not be taken for more than a week at a time. A tea made of these herbs, is gentle enough even for a child, say experts.