Natural remedies to cure your kids’ colds

Turn to the pantry instead of the pediatrician to soothe your kids’ sniffles this season. Experts offer up their all-natural, go-to tips to keep kids cold-free.

Kid-friendly DIY cold remedies
Child with honey

Your kids don’t always need prescription or OTC medications to get healthy. Next time they get a cold, consider some of the natural alternatives.


Honey has been used as a homemade cough suppressant for centuries, and research from Penn State College of Medicine recently confirmed that “just a small dose of honey given before bedtime provided the greatest improvement of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children over 1 year of age compared to DM and no treatment,” according to the National Honey Board.

The organization offers this simple (and delicious!) recipe:

Honey soother recipe

Makes 4 servings


  • 3 tea bags chamomile?
  • 1 cinnamon stick?
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. Place tea bags and cinnamon stick in a 1-quart tea pot.
  2. Add boiling water; steep 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and tea bags; discard.
  4. Stir in honey.

Essential oils

Breathe it in! Melanie Angelis, Masters of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine, specializing in Holistic Nutrition and owner of The Grecian Garden, says, “Essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender also assist with colds, either topically or inhaled.”

Apple cider vinegar

Dr. Brian Clement, co-director at Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida suggests mixing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 to 12 ounces of water to soothe tummies, rid the body of colds and provide a boost of energy (the latter of which you may benefit from rather than your kids!).

Clement also suggests using sprouted garlic and onion in a green veggie juice or in salads to cure the flu.

Pumpkin seeds

Cheryl Wheeler Duncan, certified nutritionist and mother of two, says, “One of the best ways to support a healthy immunity and help your child fight that dreaded cold is by consuming pumpkin seeds, the highest naturally occurring source of zinc, a powerful immunity booster.”

Homemade herb tea

Annie Hall, certified herbalist and assistant director at the Herbal Academy of New England, says that common culinary herbs in your spice cabinet can be combined to make a powerful all-natural cold remedy “that will have your kids feeling better in no time.”

Kitchen herb tea


  • Herbs like sage (anti-inflammatory, and reduces mucous secretions), thyme (antioxidant), rosemary (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant), and marjoram (breaks up congestion)
  • Garlic (expectorant and antiseptic)
  • Ginger (cough inhibitor, antiseptic, circulatory stimulant)
  • 4 cups water for boiling


  1. Measure water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.?
  2. Gather your herbs, fresh or dried, usually a teaspoon of each per cup is sufficient?.
  3. Finely chop herbs and place into a canning jar (even an old pasta sauce jar).
  4. If you don’t have a canning jar, another saucepan with a lid will do.
  5. ?Pour the just-boiled water over herbs?.
  6. Cover your container with a lid or a small ceramic plate (no canning lids — they are coated with BPA).
  7. ?Let herbs infuse for at least 20 minutes or until the steam has mostly subsided.
  8. ?Strain into a mug, pressing down on herbs with a spoon to squeeze out absorbed water.
  9. ?Add fresh lemon (relieves sore throat and reduces fever) and a little sweetener (like maple syrup) and sip slowly. An adult dosage is one teacupful. Dosage for children 2 to 4 years is three teaspoons; 4 to 7 is one tablespoon and 7 to 11 is two tablespoons.

Epsom salts

Giving your child a warm bath with Epsom salts can soothe muscle pain and help her rest. Some research also suggests it can help detoxify the body and increase white blood cell count, according to the Epsom Salt Council.

?Dr. Theresa Ramsey, co-founder of the Center for Natural Healing in Arizona and author of Healing 101: A Guide to Creating the Foundation for Complete Wellness, says, “You want to get in front of an illness. As soon as you know you’re coming down with an illness and can soak in Epsom salt, the better it will work.”

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