As requested: a copy of my patient-education handout for cold-and-flu patients…
-A 3-step steam-based therapy to break coughing fits and loosen up coughs; good for ages 3 months old and up.
1) Smear a thin layer of Vicks Vaporub (kids older than 2 years) or Vicks Babyrub (kids ages 3 months to 2 years) on the chest; do not get Vicks in eyes or mouth!
2) Soak a thin cloth (i.e. bandanna or handkerchief) in cold water, wring it out, and lay it over the Vaporub area.
3) Wrap the entire torso in a dry towel. When the cloth gets dry, do steps 1-3 again.
-Air dryness causes coughs to get worse at night. Use a vaporizer or humidifier to keep the air moist in your sleeping area. Be sure to clean the machine as instructed to avoid mold buildup.
Dark-Brown Honey (“Buckwheat” honey is best)
-A natural way to soothe cough and sore throat. Plus, scientific tests have shown that honey works as good as, or possibly BETTER than, Robitussin — with fewer side effects for children. However, DO NOT USE HONEY in children under 12 months old.
Method #1: Give the child a ½ teaspoon of honey on a spoon to suck on every 4 hours as needed for cough.
Method #2: Stir ½ tsp of honey into a glass of warm water; add lemon to taste, and use every 4 hours as needed for cough.
-This natural strong-smelling oil, made from leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, can be found in most natural health stores, and in some pharmacies. This is the same oil which is used in Vicks Vaporub and many throat lozenges, to help soothe the “tickle-in-the-throat” cough. DO NOT USE THIS MIXTURE WITH CHILDREN under 12 months old.
1) Fill a plastic bottle (such as an old water bottle) with room-temperature water
2) Put 1 to 5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil into the water, and shake well to mix
3) Take small sips of mixture as often as needed to soothe your cough & throat
-Herbal remedy from a South-African Geranium flower (Pelargonium Sidoides). In clinical trials, it may get rid of head, throat and chest viruses up to 3 days FASTER than Vitamin C, Zinc, or Echinacea! Available over-the-counter in a sweet-flavored melting/chewable lozenge, easy for kids to take.
1) Kids 6 years and older/Adults: start taking at first sign of a cold, as directed on box.
-A 2-step steam-based therapy to soothe sore throat and decrease throat swelling.
1) Fold a thin cloth (i.e. bandanna or handkerchief) into a long strip, soak it in cold water, wring it out and wrap it around the neck.
2) Cover the cloth with a dry cloth (I find that a tube-sock works well for this). Fasten it with a safety pin. When the cloth gets dry, repeat steps 1 & 2 again.
-An important way to help decrease high fevers, along with Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
Method #1: Soak in a lukewarm/room temperature bath for 15 minutes, then air dry.
Method #2: Stand in the shower, and alternate between HOT and COLD water every 20 seconds for a 2 minutes. End with 20 seconds of COLD.