International Pharmacy Graduate and Natural Health Practitioner
The black elderberry plant is a deciduous shrub found mostly in North America and Europe. Most of the scientific research on the medicinal benefits of the plant has been conducted on the European species, Sambucus nigra. The plant produces white flowers that are used for both health and flavor applications and dark purple-black berries that are packed with phytonutrients. Elderberries have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat everything from skin disorders to colds and flus. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, even referred to elderberry as “nature’s medicine chest”.
Elderberry is an easy, safe and tasty way to boost children’s health. Elderberry has been proven to be a natural, reliable treatment for common illnesses such as the cold and flu (influenza). Studies have shown that concentrated, membrane filtered elderberry extract (ElderCraft®) is active against viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory symptoms, and can significantly shorten the duration of symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, congestion), reducing the severity of colds and flu significantly.
Elderberry is thought to deactivate the glycoprotein spikes (haemagglutinin) on the surface of viruses. This prevents the virus from attaching itself to the cell membrane and makes it impossible for the virus to enter the cell. In addition, packed with substances (anthocyanins, Vitamin C etc.) that contain powerful healing abilities, elderberry has also been shown to elevate immunity by increasing the production of vital proteins in immune cells.
Overall, elderberry provides potent protection, a natural tool for keeping children functioning at their best. And parents, elderberry is not just for kids! Your own immune system is also critical because chances are, your little ones are bringing it all home with them.
Would Elderberry Inhibit Coronaviruses?
Elderberry has been shown to inhibit multiple kinds of common cold and flu-like viruses because it sticks to the outside of the virus and makes it somewhat harder for it to replicate. It doesn’t destroy it; however, it may cut down your recovery time by 50%.
Although there is yet no published study on the effect of elderberry against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), there is an in vitro study posted in a veterinary journal that shows that it specifically inhibits chicken coronavirus. Just in case, it would still be helpful to stock some elderberry on the side if you need an extra boost in immunity.
allKiDz® Anti-cold Liquid features ElderCraft® – an organic, standardized European black elderberry extract that has been clinically proven to relieve cold & flu symptoms. The unique membrane filtration technique ensures no chemical solvent has been employed in the extraction process, while enriches immune-boosting natural flavonoids (anthocyanin), minerals (Zinc) and vitamins (Vitamin C etc.).
Krawitz et al. Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:16
Chen et al. Sambucus nigra extracts inhibit infectious bronchitis virus at an early point during replication. BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:24
International Pharmacy Graduate and Natural Health Practitioner
Common cold, Flu, and Coronaviruses are all respiratory illnesses; however, they are caused by different viruses. Because these three types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference based on the symptoms alone. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and the symptoms are more intense.
On the other hand, a coronavirus is a common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous.
In early 2020, following a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified a new type of coronavirus called 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
All three diseases can spread through the coughing and sneezing of an infected person, by touching an infected person’s hands or face, or by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.
How To Spot the Difference?
Common Cold Symptoms:
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- headache or body aches
- mild tiredness
- dry, hacking cough
- moderate to high fever (although not everyone with the flu will run a fever)
- sore throat
- shaking chills
- severe muscle or body aches
- stuffy and runny nose
- severe fatigue that may last up to two weeks
- nausea and vomiting, as well as diarrhea (most common in children)
- runny nose
- sore throat
To find out whether your cold was caused by a coronavirus, you could get lab tests done, which can include nose and throat cultures and blood work. The test results do not change how you will treat your symptoms, which typically go away in a few days.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in children, older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems.
How to Avoid a Common Cold, Flu, or Coronavirus?
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are infected
How to Treat a Common Cold, Flu, or Coronavirus?
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink fluids
- A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat
This flu season they are has been a spike in reported flu cases, and many are saying that the Influenza shot may not be enough to fight the influenza virus this year. Unfortunately the flu strikes quicker than a common cold and can have your little one stuck in bed for a few days. These are the symptoms to look out for this flu season:
- Sudden fever
- Chills and shakes
- Muscle aches
- Extreme fatigue
- Dry cough and sore throat
- Loss of appetite
In toddlers and infants they are other symptoms to watch out for such as upset stomach, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, earaches and red eyes. Here are 4 home remedies to help your little one fight the influenza virus if they are already fighting the virus.
- Make sure they get lots of rest
Their small body is working overtime, so they may experience fatigue and need lots of rest. This also gives the body time to focus on fighting the influenza virus.
- Lots of liquids and nutritional meals
Nutritional meals and liquids helps to replenish the essentials their little bodies are loosing as well gives their bodies the support it needs to fight the influenza virus.
- Gargle with warm salt water
For children 3 year and older with a sore throat, gargling with warm salt water can help to relieve some of the pain as well as kill some of the surface bacteria found on their tonsil.
- Ibuprofen for their aches and pain
If your child is over 6 months, Ibuprofen can help with their temperature as well as any muscle aches and headaches, but make sure to consult a doctor before giving them Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can have serious side effects, so it is always important to consult a doctor before giving them any kind of medication.
Also don’t forget our anti-cold liquid! it is a natural, tasty aid to give your little ones relief from their flu symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and congestion.
Originally posted on Facebook:
Is your child battling another cold? Tired of your child missing school or their favorite hobbies because of a cold? Luckily there are some safe and gentle herbs that can help to ease a cold so that your child can get back to their daily routine.
Here is a list of our favorite natural herbs and their uses!
Also known as the “purple coneflower,” echinacea is one of the most known herbs for preventing and treating a cold. Echinacea is safe to give to children of any age. It has the ability to target upper respiratory tract infections, bacterial infections, and sinusitis. Many people use the herb prophylactically to prevent a cold or flu from occurring.
It is best to take echinacea when you first feel any signs of a cold coming on such as sneezing, cough or a runny nose.
Elderberry’s satisfying tastes makes it one of our favorite herbs for kids. The great thing about elderberry is that it is essentially a food making it incredibly safe for children. The best part about elderberry is that is it a potent anti-viral meaning it has the ability to ward off any viral infections invading the body. What elderberry is known for is its ability to help calm a cough down. It is also used to calm a fever and has anti-catarrhal effects, meaning it will stop a runny nose in its tracks.
Remind you of Hunger Games, doesn’t it? Well, catnip is an excellent herb for children. It is known for its ability to calm the nervous system. It also helps to calm a fever down and assist in colds with digestive upset. Catnip is also known for its anti-spasmodic action meaning it will help to calm down the lungs in a case of bronchitis.
4) Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is an excellent herb for children. It is especially known for its calming and relaxing properties in kids who tend to get nervous or anxious. It also has anti-viral properties and is used to help calm down a fever. Lemon balm can also be used to relieve an achy tummy. Next time, try it as a tea it has a wonderful flavor that will ease a sick household.
Important things to note:
- Always talk to someone who is trained in herbal medicine before giving your child herbs such as Naturopathic Doctor or Herbalist.
- Dosing for herbs will change based on the child’s weight and ages so always follow instructions given by your Naturopathic Doctor.
Godfrey, Anthony and Paul Richard Saunders. Principles & Practices Of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Toronto: Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Press, 2010. Print.
Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Print.
About the author:
Don't let the sniffles get in the way!
It happens….you are rushing around trying to get your child’s dinner ready while he is playing with some colored blocks on the floor as you hear a “cough, cough.” You stop what you are doing and think to yourself, “Oh no, is he getting sick.” You come over to your kid and check his temperature with the back of your hand on his forehead. Everything seems fine, but deep down you are concerned. “What if he gets sick.” “What am I going to do?” “Should I take him to the doctor just in case?”
The thought of your little one getting sick can be scary but if you have some key preventative strategies it can help to minimize the chances of your child catching a cold.
Key Signs to Look Out For
• Lack of appetite
• No interest playing
• Child seems more clingy than usual
• Child is lethargic
• Signs of serious illness: dehydration, trouble breathing, high fever
Here are our top 5 natural ways to prevent a cold.
1) Beat the sweets
Sweets can be hard to get away from. Sugar can be very sneaky, as it finds it’s way into your child’s snacks, sauces, and treats. But white sugar can cause our immune systems to weaken. The more sugar we consume the less our immune system is able to fight off any infections that might be on the horizon.
So one of the best things you can do as a parent is to minimize your child’s intake of refined sugar. Consider a whole foods diet filled with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains.
2) Boost your immune system (vitamin C)
One of the best ways to boost your child’s immune system is to have them consume foods high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the immune system as it boosts our body’s natural defense to any unwanted visitors!
Foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, strawberries, spinach and kale. Ensuring your child receives their daily intake of Vitamin C is important to maintaining a strong immune system!
3) Get some sunshine
Soak up the sun! When exposed to the sun our skin will create Vitamin D. However, as the colder months come along we tend not to get as much sunlight. Therefore, taking a Vitamin D supplement is essential. Vitamin D is important to prevent a common cold as it works to boost the natural processes of the immune system. This will ultimately help the body to deal with any exposure to infections.
4) Get your zzz's
Sleep is important as it allows the body to rest and recover. During our sleep, our bodies work hard to regenerate and get ready for the next day ahead. Studies have also shown not enough sleep or lack of quality sleep can increase your chances of getting sick if you are exposed to a virus.
Having a routine can be a step towards your child getting a good night sleep. Have dinner, take a bath, read a book and tuck them in. Ensuring they go to sleep at the same time each night will reinforce a routine.
5) Get moving!
One of the best ways to prevent an infection is to participate in regular exercise. Exercise can help to flush out any bacteria in the lungs or airways reducing your child’s chance of getting sick. Exercise also may increase the body’s White Blood Cells (WBC). WBCs are kind of like a personal security guard. They watch out for any invaders and bring in more personnel to help in an attack!
Great way to start moving is to go on walks, ride a bike, go swimming or playing a sport like soccer, basketball and hockey!
Immunity, Exercise. "Exercise And Immunity: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia". Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Lack Of Sleep: Can It Make You Sick? - Mayo Clinic". Mayoclinic.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
About the author: