Although you will find billions of dollars spent every year in the US on over-the-counter cough syrups, most such medicines do little if anything to ease coughs say the ACCP (American College of Chest Physicians). Based on the nation’s chest physicians, cough syrups generally contain drugs in too low a dose to be effective, or contain combinations of drugs that have never been proven to treat coughs. Some over-the-counter cough syrups do contain two drugs that have been shown to simply 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 might be 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 found that a component in chocolate called theobromine, may be more effective in treating coughs than traditional treatments. The chemical was found to work on the vagus nerve, that will be accountable for triggering coughing. In the study, 10 healthy, non-smokers received theobromine, followed closely by capsaicin, a cough stimulant. The aftereffect of theobromine was compared to a placebo – and and also to codeine, that will be 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 known as a painkiller) had nominal success compared to the placebo, but theobromine was 33 percent more effective than codeine to prevent coughing.
Theobromine has diuretic, stimulant and relaxing effects much like caffeine, but about 10 times weaker. Unlike caffeine, it does not affect the central nervous system. Theobromine can lower blood pressure because it could dilate blood vessels and also relax bronchi muscles in the lungs. Chocolate brown contains 450 mg of theobromine per ounce that will be four times more present in milk chocolate. The quantity of dark chocolate that should be eaten to prevent coughing–about two ounces for an adult and about half as much for a child–is insufficient to obtain children wound up, and for the minimal total cause sleep disturbances. Remember, chocolate can be an anti-depressant and also includes flavonoids and other anti-oxidants, which help maintain a healthy heart, keep your blood circulation working well, and reduce the blood clotting which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
A teaspoon of honey before bed generally seems to calm children’s coughs and help them sleep better, in accordance with a new 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 a clinic in Pennsylvania. Codeine Sulfate The research discovered 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: half a teaspoon for kids 2-5, the full teaspoon for kids 6-11. It’s noted that honey shouldn’t get to children under age 1 as it could potentially cause a form of food poisoning known as 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 medial side effects like dizziness or sleepiness. Honey even offers 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, think about using one as well as both these alternatives. These remedies are suggested in moderation since they also contain higher levels of sugar compared to over-the-counter medicines.