Even though there are billions of dollars spent each year in the US on over-the-counter cough syrups, most such medicines do little if anything to alleviate coughs say the ACCP (American College of Chest Physicians). According to the nation’s chest physicians, cough syrups generally contain drugs in too low a dose to work, or contain combinations of drugs which have never been proven to treat coughs. Some over-the-counter cough syrups do contain two drugs that have been shown to help relieve coughs due to colds – codeine and dextromethorphan – but again the doses are too small to be effective. For adults fighting a cough and runny nose, the best option is probably an antihistamine with a decongestant, such as for instance Dimetapp Cold and Allergy Elixir, Robitussin Allergy and Cough Liquid, or Vicks NyQuil. For children between 2 and 14, listed below are two alternatives to using over-the-counter cough medicines.
Researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute have discovered that the component in chocolate called theobromine, might be more effective in treating coughs than traditional treatments. The chemical was found to work directly on the vagus nerve, which is in charge of triggering coughing. In the analysis, 10 healthy, non-smokers received theobromine, accompanied by capsaicin, a cough stimulant. The aftereffect of theobromine was compared to a placebo – and also to codeine, which is used in traditional cough remedies. It had been found to be more effective than both in treating the cough. As a cough medicine, codeine (mostly called a painkiller) had nominal success set alongside the placebo, but theobromine was 33 percent more effective than codeine to stop coughing.
Theobromine has diuretic, stimulant and relaxing effects just like caffeine, but about 10 times weaker. Unlike caffeine, it generally does not affect the central nervous system. Theobromine can lower blood pressure because it can dilate blood vessels and also relax bronchi muscles in the lungs. Dark chocolate contains 450 mg of theobromine per ounce which is four times more found in milk chocolate PMG Green. The quantity of chocolate brown that needs to be eaten to stop coughing–about two ounces for a grownup and about half as much for a child–is insufficient to get children wound up, or for the minimal add up to cause sleep disturbances. Remember, chocolate is an anti-depressant and also incorporates flavonoids and other anti-oxidants, that really help maintain a healthier heart, keep your blood circulation working well, and reduce the blood clotting that may cause heart attacks and strokes.
A teaspoon of honey before bed seems to calm children’s coughs and make them sleep better, according to a fresh study that relied on parents’reports of the children’s symptoms. The folk remedy did better than cough medicine or no treatment in a three-way comparison. For the investigation, researchers recruited 105 children with upper respiratory infections from the clinic in Pennsylvania. The analysis unearthed that honey was more effective than dextromathorphan for treating nighttime coughs in kids ages 2-11. The dosages used in the test were equal to the cough syrup: fifty per cent of a teaspoon for kids 2-5, a complete teaspoon for kids 6-11. It’s noted that honey shouldn’t be given to children under age 1 since it could potentially cause a kind of food poisoning called botulism.
For coughs and sore throats, it may be the stickiness and viscosity of honey which makes it work well. Honey can be generally more affordable than over-the-counter medications and brings none of the side effects like dizziness or sleepiness. Honey also has antimicrobial effects with darker honeys having more antioxidants than lighter honeys.
So next time you discover yourself having to treat your cough or your child’s cough, consider using one or even both of these alternatives. These remedies are suggested in moderation since additionally they contain higher amounts of sugar compared to over-the-counter medicines.