Growing up, I remember singing Mary Poppins’ song, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” While I didn’t understand the song, I knew that it was catchy. And while I still cringe at the thought of taking cough syrup, especially because of the high fructose corn syrup that can be found in most bottles, it seems sweet relief is on its way. According to a new study, as reported by FoxNews, a spoonful of honey could help kids and parents both cope with nighttime coughs.
The new study, published in Pediatrics, shows researchers from Israel took 300 kids, ages 1 to 5, and had them try 1 of 4 nighttime cough treatments. Parents would give their children 2 teaspoons of honey or one of three placebos 30 minutes before bed. The following week, on a 7-point scale, parents rated how their children slept. The study, led by Dr. Herman Avner Cohen of Tel Aviv University, found children who were given honey slept better and reduced their coughing more than those who took the placebo. Parents also reaped the benefits by sleeping through the night! (more…)
High fructose corn syrup, found in sodas, cereals and baked goods, has become a food bad guy for its link to obesity and diabetes but it might not only be food the sticky stuff is lurking in. Some common cough and cold syrups use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as their sweeteners, the most popular offenders including Vicks, Delsym and Robitussin brands.
Cough and cold syrup makers could use other sweeteners like sucrose but HFCS is inexpensive to manufacture. High fructose corn syrup is a chemically made sugar that primarily contains fructose (fifty-five percent,) glucose (fourty-five percent) and water. The good news is that the companies clearly list HFCS as an inactive ingredient on their labeling, which means it will have no effect on suppressing a cough, for example.
“One teaspoonful of pure HFCS has 3.8 grams of carbohydrates and is about 15 calories,” Mary Hartley, RD, our registered dietician, states, “but 1 teaspoonful of cough syrup is not one-hundred percent HFCS.” The amount HFCS that is in cough syrups compared to the rest of the ingredients is not something that is clearly labeled on their packaging. When I tried to contact a representative from Vick’s about how much of the sweetener was in their product, the rep told me the information was proprietary and legally they may not be allowed to release the information.
Getting the sniffles? Fall and winter are the time of year when people seem to be more susceptible to colds. It might be the change in temperature or it may be all the bugs that your kids are bringing home from school, but most come down with at least one cold when the temps drop. Regardless of feeling under the weather, most of us can not drop everything we are doing to rest and recuperate like we should. The average cold can take seven days to almost two weeks to recover from, but there is hope. There are many over the counter products and herbal supplements that may shorten the duration of a cold and help you get back to feeling a hundred percent.
Echinacea is an herbal supplement that is often used to prevent a cold or shorten the time you have one once it starts. It is believed that echinacea works by reducing inflammation to help deal with cold symptoms. The most common side effects from echinacea supplements are fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and muscle aches, but I do, however, think that many of these symptoms could be caused by the cold itself. If you are allergic to certain flowers like mums, ragweed or marigolds you may become allergic to echinacea.
Maureen Minnehan Jones is the author of the new book Wisdom to Wellnes: HealingYour Emotional Sufferings so the Physical Healing Can Follow. Ms. Jones has worked in the healthcare field for over 38 years. Her career path began by working as a registered nurse but eventually evolved into the practice of more alternative and holistic healing methods.
Maureen contends that the occurrence of disease often has an emotional underpinning. She has developed a technique she calls the “Modus Operandi (MO) Technique.” This technique consists of 12 steps that serve to heal the emotional suffering which she believes to be instrumental in the healing of physical disease.
Ms. Jones firmly believes that disease is triggered by the body and everyone possesses what she refers to as “The Common Thread of Disease.” This common thread consists of four separate emotional sufferings which are: resentment, anger, powerlessness, and a lack of love. It is the existence of all of these that together create a virtual “perfect storm” in which disease can be sparked by a particularly emotional event according to Ms. Jones.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m sick is take a long, hot shower without the bathroom fan on. A hot shower can loosen muscles, relax the mind and clear congestion. New research is suggesting that steam inhalation may do more than loosen mucous and congested sinuses, it could actually provide a cure for the common cold.
Most colds are caused by the rhinovirus which is rendered inactive at temperatures above 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Logically, one can assume that steam treatments, which raise the temperature in the nose to the required 109 degrees, would kill any rhinovirus that is present. There are some studies that back up that logic but, unfortunately, the results are mixed. Only three out of six studies showed supporting evidence that steam inhalation can cure colds. According to The New York Times, the remaining three studies “found either a worsening of symptoms or no change at all in antibody levels or shedding of viruses.”