Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are now advocating to apply vapor rub on children with night time cough and congestion, it aides in sleep improvement and is found to be effective.
Dr. Ian Paul, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of pediatrics and public health sciences states that upper respiratory infections are the most common chronic illnesses in the world. Symptoms related to these infections are disturbing for children and most of the times interfere with sleep for both child and parent along with influencing day time activities. Treatments that are safe and effective are severely needed by parents and health practitioners of children.
In current studies by Dr. Paul and associates examined the effect of oral over-the-count treatments such as cough suppressants and products such as Benadryl for upper respiratory symptoms. Researchers found these medicine to have no more an effect that a placebo. Vapor rubs which have been used for centuries that contain menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oils without the proof of scientific evidence are valid in their effectiveness.
Dr. Paul notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not give support to the use of over-the-counter oral cough and cold medications for children due to insufficient proof of effectiveness and the possibility for side effects. Regarding the question of health practitioners recommending vapor rub treatment for cold symptoms required evaluation.
Dr. Paul and his research team recruited 138 children age range two to eleven for the study. The night before the study parent’s had appraised their child’s symptoms. Every child was randomly designated to one of three treatment groups: Vicks® VapoRub®, petroleum jelly placebo, and no treatment. The parents of children who had the vapor rub or petroleum jelly had massaged it into their child’s chest and neck one half hour prior to bedtime.
This randomized study in part was double-blinded. Medical personnel had no knowledge of what treatment they were giving out. The vapor rub and petroleum jelly groups were blinded to their treatment group. In order to achieve this, given the noted scent of vapor rubs, parents had received their own specimen cup of vapor rub and instructed to apply between their own upper lip and nose prior to opening their child’s treatment. This had guaranteed they could not recognize their child’s treatment. Parents in the no treatment group receive an empty specimen cup.
Parents then filled out an completed a second survey the next morning and appraised their child’s cough, sleep, congestion and runny nose.
Comparisons across the three treatment groups revealed that the vapor rub produced notable major relief in measurements of cough frequency, cold severity, congestion and sleep ability. Parents also rated their own sleep as greatly improved in the vapor rub group in comparison to the other three groups. Matched comparisons between the vapor rub group and no treatment group had shown the excellent benefits of the vapor rub in all outcomes of study with the exception of runny nose. When comparing the vapor rub group to the petroleum jelly group, vapor rub had improved child’s and parents sleep and the combined symptom score. The petroleum jelly group and the no treatment group had the same outcomes.
The most common side effect note with using vapor rub was sensation of burning on skin as note by 28% of participants using that treatment. Petroleum jelly had no side effects.
The findings of this study do advocate that the old tried and true commonly used remedies are effective for cold relief symptoms at nigh time along with improved sleep for children and parents. In closing remarks Dr. Paul sates vapor rubs have been used for generations. This study has confirmed that this treatment is positively effective. The findings of this research appears in the December issue of Pediatrics.
Funding for this study was an unrestricted grant from Proctor & Gamble. An unrestricted grant allows the research team to design and conduct the study and examination independently from the studies sponsor which guarantees the research can be published by the researchers no matter what the final outcome happens to be.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,500 babies and toddlers end up in the emergency rooms in the last two years due to severe reactions from over-the-counter medications. Due to that startling fact more and more parents are going back to the old fashioned cold treatments.
Some alternative treatments for children with colds.
Essential oils of cedarwood, lemon, rosemary, rose, sandalwood or thyme. Mix 2 tablespoons of carrier oil with one drop of oil of choice. Massage a little on neck and chest of child for colds.
If they have fever use lavender mixed with carrier oil and massage on back of neck, feet, behind ear, etc..
Herbs and more
Elderberry will stimulate the immune system and suppress the virus.
Usnea is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial.
Echinacea will eliminate bacteria and viruses. Best used at onset of cold symptoms.
Garlic soup is one of the old traditions to treat colds. Simply chop three or four garlic cloves and boil in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic properties and in soup form it cleans the system of toxins, decreases fever and aides in opening respiratory passages.
Honey in research has been proven to be a natural antibiotic. Please note* do not use honey in children under two years of age. It can make infants sick due to their digestive system being young. Can be used in two years old and up.
For honey-lemon cough suppressant simply heat one pint of honey on a low flame, never boil or it loses its medical properties. Place one whole lemon in pot and boil in water for two or three minutes till soft, remove from pot and cool to touch. Slice lemon in slices and add to the pot with honey. Cook mixture for one hour on warm heat. Strain the lemon out of pot making sure all seeds are removed. Allow to cool and place in jar with lid in refrigerator. Syrup will last for two months. Use one half teaspoon per 25 pounds of child.
Sinus congestion and headache syrup simply steep one of fever-few, one half lemon cut up, one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, one teaspoon thyme leaves, in one and half cups water for thirty minutes. Strain herbs removing all seeds. Simmer liquid down to one cup then add in two cups of honey and two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin. Cool down and place in jar with lid in refrigerator. Lasts for two months. One teaspoon every four hours for 50 pounds per child.
Dry cough syrup for children with dry coughs that require moistening with herbs that have antiviral and antibacterial protection.
Add to one quart of water one tablespoon of each cherry bark, thyme, mullein, pleurisy root and Oregon grape root. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cover allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain herbs. Put liquid back in pot and simmer down to one pint. While it is warm add in two pints of honey. Cool, put in jar with cap and refrigerator. Will stay for two months. One teaspoon every four hours for 50lbs per child.
Yin Chiao is better when used in tablet form. Usual dosage is 700mg(one tablet) for each twenty five pounds in body weight. Crush and mix in food.
Gan Moa Ling for the onset of flu or cold with cough, nasal or sinus congestion.
Zong Gang Ling for progressed colds or colds that begin with body aches, chills and fever.
There are many alternative remedies available today which work well on colds for children. Do not forget the old fashioned chicken soup which actually does contain healing properties for colds.Sources:
Abundant Health 4 U
Herbal Supplements Today