Tag Archives: cough medicine

Can Honey Help Your Sick Children? (Archived Pedcast)


Doc Smo here, your pedcast host .  I hope you are having a good day today.  It’s my pleasure to have, once again, Dr Sheila Kilbane, one of the few,  and definitely one of the best “Integrative Pediatricians” in the US.  She is trained in both traditional western medicine as well as in the art of integrative medicine.  She brings a unique perspective to our “topic of this week“, which is the medical power of honey…, no not your husband or wife, but  the gooey sticky stuff from the hives.  I think we are going to find out there are good reasons why those bees protect it with such vigor! Continue reading

The “power of honey” with Dr. Kilbane (Pedcast)


Doc Smo here, your pedcast host .  I hope you are having a good day today.  It’s my pleasure to have, once again, Dr Sheila Kilbane, one of the few,  and definitely one of the best “Integrative Pediatricians” in the US.  She is trained in both traditional western medicine as well as in the art of integrative medicine.  She brings a unique perspective to our “topic of this week“, which is the medical power of honey…, no not your husband or wife, but  the gooey sticky stuff from the hives.  I think we are going to find out there are good reasons why those bees protect it with such vigor!

Honey does already play an important role in health care for children.

-I have read and I frequently recommend honey as a good cough suppressant.

-Parents tell me all the time stories of how local honey helps their children’s allergies.

-A mom told me the other day about how good honey works for gastrointestinal upsets. I think this Is really  true because it is part of some home recipes for pedialyte that I have read about for children older than 1 year.

– I have also heard of how effective honey can be in aiding wound healing and possibly in the treatment of other diseases.  For more on that subject, we have my good friend, Dr. Sheila Kilbane, a bona fide nutrition expert as well as pediatrician, to give us more information about medical uses of honey.

 

-Hello chatter-  PS and SK…

 

It’s delicious, I love it on my apples and in my tea… but honey for medical uses???

 -Q1 Dr. Kilbane, what is so special about honey.  Why not maple syrup or molasses?  Are there special properties that honey has that other gooey sugary substance don’t have?

SK answers

 Q2  I’ve heard that honey can help heal wounds  Is this true?

SK answers

-Q3 Any other uses for honey in the world of medical care?

SK answers

 Summary:

 If you missed the past Pedcasts with Dr Kilbane, make sure you check them out.  They are  great! We made pedcasts  about ADD, Winterizing your children, organic foods, probiotics, and now the medicinal properties of honey.  Dr. Kilbane, as always, Its is wonderful to talk with you Dr. Kilbane and you ALWAYS expand my knowledge and curiosity about pediatrics.  Thank you, thank, thank you.  Please come back soon, won’t you

 

This is Dr. Paul Smolen, Doc Smo, hoping you recognize the big deal that honey can play if your child needs to heal. 

 

Until next time.

 

From the desk of Doc Smo: Honey-A great cough medicine (Article)

Have you ever wondered why cough medicines always seem to come as syrups?  Maybe the reason is that the cough suppressive effect may come from the sticky syrup and not from the active ingredients!  I have found that the stickier the cough syrup the better.  Perhaps honey is such an effective cough medicine because it sticks to the back of children’s throats and keeps their brains from sensing the little drips and drabs of secretions that stimulate coughs.  In fact, a recent study from Israel found that honey, given thirty minutes before bedtime in children older than a year, proved to be very effective at relieving coughs and improving sleep!

As many of you know, the Federal Drug Administration has advised against using cough or cold medicines in children less than four years of age since these medicines have not been tested for safety or effectiveness in very young children.  Additionally, many children have suffered injury and even death as a result of using cough and cold medicines. For more information on this topic and other homeopathic ways of dealing with respiratory illness in your children, be sure to check out these other DocSmo posts:

https://www.docsmo.com/doc-smo-spicy-feet-the-latest-recommendations-regarding-cough-and-cold-medicines-for-young-children-from-fda-and-moms/

https://www.docsmo.com/from-the-desk-of-docsmo-more-on-otc-coldcough-medicines-article/

https://www.docsmo.com/dr-kilbane-onwinterizing-your-children-pedcast/

Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.

Smo Notes:

Cohen, H.A. Pediatrics 2012;30:1-7

From the desk of DocSmo: More on OTC cold/cough medicines (Article)

Longtime listeners to the podcast will recall a pedcast called Spicy Feet in which I discussed the current thinking by health authorities when it comes to the use of cough and cold medicines in children younger than 4 years of age. For those of you who missed this episode, I recommend that you download it and listen. In a nutshell, complications from the use of cough and cold medicines are thought to be the primary culprits in causing about 1500 ER visits/ year in children. Over the past 20 years, cold and cough medicines are thought to have caused 123 child deaths and generated 750,000 phone calls to poison control centers. Clearly there is the potential for serious harm to come from these medicines.

 

At the same time, their benefit in children hasn’t really been proven. Before the advisory in 2008, parents would often ask me whether they should use these medications. My response was always, “Do you think they help?” They usually responded “No!” So why would you ever consider using them?  My opinion… marketing. Parents feel that by giving their children a “medicine,” they are doing the right thing. The images of a caring parent sitting on their child’s bed giving them a teaspoon of this or that medicine is a powerful image. Parents feel that if they “love” and “care” for their children they need to emulate this behavior.

 

So what has happened since the advisory was put out in 2009? Emergency visits for side effects from cough and cold medicines have dropped by half on a year to year basis in children less than 2 years of age. Visits to the ER by children over 2 years of age have not changed. Overall use of cough and cold medicines in children has dropped by 66%. Word travels fast. When they are right, they are right. Just because people have used a certain treatment or remedy for a long time doesn’t mean it is either safe or effective. In the era of computers and big data, we are about to find out what works and what doesn’t. Stay tuned.

 

Smonotes:

Audio Digest, Tunkel, volume 57:08, April 2011.

http://www.audio-digest.org/pages/htmlos/93143.4.4289165492319650421

 

Spicy Feet, The Latest Recommendations Regarding Cough and Cold Medicines for Young Children from FDA and Moms (Pedcast)

In this pedcast, Doc Smo explores the effectiveness and safety of cold medicines for young children–from what the FDA recommends to Grandma’s home remedies. Learn some practical advice for dealing with this year’s cold season.

Transcript:

Cough is one of the most common symptoms that children have.

Disturbs sleep and is very unpleasant for everyone.

Parents hate to see kids cough.

Anyone with young children knows. children get sick a lot, on average 7-12/yr.  Usually at least monthly.

Treatment of cough and colds is a big deal in my world and anyone with young children.

Today, we discuss recent developments with regards to cough and cold medicines.

 

Recently, had a 3 year old in the office with croup, a coughing illness whose mom happened to be Indian.  From India that is.

We were talking about the treatment of cough and I started to tell her about the FDA statement on the use of cough and cold medicines in children under 4 years of age.

 

If you don’t know, Jan 2008 the FDA and the manufacturers agreed to alter labels of these meds.  The change says, not to use in children under 4 years old. Not removed from the market!

 

FDA’s concern was that many of these medications had no efficacy data to prove effectiveness AND reports of hundreds of children a year in emergency departments  with adverse affects.  There have even been some deaths from these medicines.

 

The MANUFACTURERS claim they are safe when used properly, and we don’t need efficacy data since they have been around sooooo long.

 

As a consequence of all this discussion, people like me, pediatricians, are now encouraged not to recommend cough suppressants and cold meds for young children.

 

So we are left with grandma treatments.  Nothing against grandma.  I think she was a genius.  How did she figure out that whole cod liver oil thing???

 

Back to my patient, I was telling her about her options with regard to cough relief in a three year old since older treatments are off the table (OTC, alcohol, codeine cough syrups)

Humidifier-lets loosen those secretions.  Breathing warm steamy vapor in the bathroom can also help.

Honey or other syrup to coat throat.

Propping semi-erect. Lets let gravity help.

Vicks Vapor rub (Commercial Brand of Menthol Rub)…  I started to tell her about the latest rage, Vicks on the soles of the feet covered with socks.  She interrupted and said.   “Oh the spicy feet, I know, I know!”

 

Spicy feet. Wow. I love it!  The essence of western medicine summarized in just 2 words.. And invented in NC! Spicy feet!

You’ve heard the Vicks Vapor rub on the feet, haven‘t you? .   Urban legend or an effective therapy. I don’t know. Many parents swear by it.  It does fit into my treatment paradigm, however which is, “ Do no harm!”

 

Vicks ok for throat, chest and feet, but not under the nose… rarely, this can cause problems.

 

Bottom line:

Cough is a good thing, protective reflex keep airways open.  Really don’t want to stop it.

Cough can be a sign of real trouble.

Cough with high fever, or chest pain, or sob,  can mean pneumonia.

Cough till vomiting can mean whooping cough.

Cough with wheeze can mean asthma, foreign body, or other bronchial problems.

Cough with a barky quality usually means croup, which can be serious at times.

 

In young children, Suppressing coughs in my opinion is only for sleep and only with mild measures such as humidifiers, honey, and maybe, just maybe, spicy feet!

 

 

Thanks for joining me for another pedcast.

Hopefully you got some information and a smile.

Check out DocSmo.com for references used in this pedcast as well as other pedcasts.

Feel free to leave comments.

This is DocSmo, Dr Paul Smolen from beautiful studio 1e wishing you and your children just the right application of herb so that their cough won’t disturb.

 

Until next time.

Smo Notes:

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