Natural cough and cold remedies

lemon ginger honey

While we’re generally a pretty healthy household, winter was a tough one for us this year for about three solid weeks and we’re still copping the tail end of it. My 2-year-old daughter caught a spectacular lurgey involving green boogers that turned into a streaming nose, then a cough that lasted longer than I thought possible.

Somewhere in the process I caught it from her, and I just knew it was one of those slightly-worse-than-usual-but-pretty-stockstandard winter illnesses. While it’s great that it was nothing serious, it was also one of those things that doctors will say all you can do is rest as much as you can and keep up your fluid intake (especially as I’ve been pregnant which means the vast majority of cough/cold medications are out of the question, and Miss E is too young for most remedies as well).

So what can you do when this happens and it’s just a matter of ‘waiting it out’?

lemon ginger honey

Manuka honey

Uniquely made only in New Zealand, it’s rapidly becoming known all over the world in the medical and skincare industries for its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which are superior to other types of honey.

Not all Manuka honeys are created equally though; these days they will often be graded with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating which tells you the quality and purity of the honey. They may alternatively be graded with an MGO (Methylglyoxal) rating which measures a specific antibacterial compound. The higher these numbers, the more beneficial the honey will be.

Make your own health tonic

Soothing for the throat, full of Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral, this is a favourite in our household that gets made frequently throughout the day when anyone is sick.

You will need:

  • Hot water; not boiling, so you can drink it straight away! (soothing, helps disperse phlegm and mucous)
  • 1 tsp medicinal quality Manuka honey (antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, natural cough suppressant)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp fresh grated ginger depending on taste. Best to strain it out rather than eat it! (cough relief, alleviates stuffy sinuses)
  • 1/2 squeezed fresh lemon or equivalent in blackcurrant juice (rich in Vitamin C)

Combine all together and stir in the honey until it is dissolved. You may like to add a pinch of turmeric and half a tsp of coconut oil (helps absorb the active ingredient in the turmeric).

NOTE: If you or your child has allergies to bee products you should not use honey.

Natural herbal supplements

Kiwi company BioBalance sent me these three products to try out early on in winter; those of you who follow my blog posts regularly know that I won’t typically use supplements unless they’re for a specific purpose, and preventing/banishing winter ills is one of those situations. Especially when myself and my daughter couldn’t take mainstream medicine as mentioned above.

The three products from their range were:

What I like about them is that they are all natural and I can recognise all the ingredients listed on the packaging. Unfortunately I couldn’t take the Herbal Chest Care as the label recommends against doing so when pregnant. However, I frequently used the Manuka honey in warm drinks with blackcurrant juice to help soothe my throat and alleviate my cough symptoms.

For my daughter I would put the recommended dose of Kids Chest Care into her sippy cup filled with warm water, give it a good shake then let her sip it through a straw just before her nap time during the day and bed time in the evening. With traditional herbal ingredients such as marshmallow root and thyme, it smells fragrant; a little different to the mainstream lemon/blackcurrant/menthol products that you typically run into when it comes to treating coughs and colds. The few times I forgot to give it to her, she woke herself up coughing and hacking more often so it did seem to work and she slept better for taking it. I continued to use it in this way until her cough disappeared.


Thanks to BioBalance for gifting the above items for the writing of this post!

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Images / NZ Real Health

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