/ March 15, 2016/ Babies & Kids Allergy and Cold, Infants Nasal Congestion, Pediatric (Kids), Pediatric Allergy & Cold/ 0 comments

Soothe your child’s cold the natural way

Monika Pis Monika Pis, PhD, CPNP
About the author: Monika Pis, PhD, CPNP is a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner with a specialty in health promotion and risk reduction. Her interests are nutrition and functional medicine.

During the flu season, viruses circulate in our communities cause upper respiratory symptoms such as runny nose or nasal congestion making our children cranky and uncomfortable. Antibiotics do not work for viral illness and over-the-counter medications are either not effective or unsafe for children younger than 6 years of age. However, there are safe and effective evidence-based natural remedies that will stimulate your child’s immune system and improve comfort while her body fights off the viral infection and tries to heal.

• Saline nasal rinses

Saline nasal rinses are very effective in managing nasal symptoms related to an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or even sinus infection. The exact mechanism of action is not known, but the saline rinses may improve the function of the nasal mucosa by removing inflammation and cleansing the nasal cavity.

You can perform a saline nasal rinse on an older child by instilling saline solution into one nostril and allowing it to drain out of the other one. These rinses can be performed by using a neti pot, low positive pressure squeeze bottle, or gravity-based pressure bottle with a nasal spout.

For a younger child, you can use a saline nasal mist or spray. Since saline solution is not medicated, it can be safely used several times a day as needed even in infants.

• Chicken soup

Eating chicken soup while sick is no longer an old wife’s tale. A study published in the CHEST Journal, the official publication of The American College of Chest Physicians, provided evidence that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties and helps relieve symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (1).

Another study published in The American Journal of Therapeutics suggested that chicken soup contains an anti-inflammatory substance called carnosine that could help in warding off viral infections such colds (2).

Since it is the broth that has medicinal properties, it is not a big deal if your child does not want to finish the noodles or even the veggies. An option for picky eaters would be sipping on the broth from a mug.

• Pineapple

Pineapple contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain that provides relief for sore throats and upper respiratory infections. It also thins out mucus in the respiratory system and reduces coughing.

In a double-blind trial of patients with acute sinusitis, 87% of patients who took bromelain reported good to excellent results compared with 68% of those who took placebo (3).

To get the befit of pineapple, when your child is sick with an upper respiratory infection, offer her the fresh fruit, or make a slushy of coconut milk, pineapple chunks, and ice.


1. Rennard, B., et al. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro (2000). CHEST, 118(4):1150-7.
2. Babizhayev, M., et al. Management of virulent influenza virus infection by oral formulation of nonhydrolized carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine attenuating proinflammtory cytokine-induced nitric oxide (2012). Am J Ther., 19(1):e25-47.
3. A double blind clinical evaluation of bromelain in the treatment of acute sinusitis (1967). Headache, 7: 13-7.


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About NeilMed

Neilmed Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the maker of original and patented SINUS RINSE ™ kit and #1 recommended and studied nasal irrigation system in the world with distribution mainly in the US and Canada. SINUS RINSE provides natural relief from sinusitis symptoms, allergies, common cold or flu, and other chronic sinus and nasal problems and obviates the need for surgeries and prescription medications in more than 50 % cases. Neilmed’s other products include SinuFlo Ready Rinse, NasaFlo Neti Pot, NasaMist Saline Spray, NasoGel Moisturizer for Dry Noses, NasaDrops Saline, NasaDock Plus Drying Stand. Neilmed’s products are also available in, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.

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