Monday, February 11, 2013

Runny Nose Blues

It is that time of year when our little ones are exposed to germs in record numbers, resulting in what I have come to call the runny nose blues (or is it the runny nose greens...eeew). It seems like all winter long we are wiping noses and whipping out the booger snoofer in an attempt to keep baby’s face clean and her nasal airways open.

It doesn't have to be this way. A while back I wrote about Five Great Goops, and today I will add a sixth one... elderberry syrup.

Medicinal use of elderberry dates back to the Greek physician, Hippocrates (and probably back even further) with the good doctor referring to it as his “medicine chest”. Modern studies have shown that he was correct. Elderberries are loaded with flavonoids which boost the immune system and the Elderberry extract, Sambucus is used to treat both bacterial and viral infections.

I had heard about Elderberry syrup from a friend when she noticed my daughter’s non-stop runny nose but being skeptical I had to see it in action to believe it. My answer to runny noses was a trip to the pediatrician, and in my daughter’s case a round of oral antibiotics was prescribed. The antibiotics did clear up her sinus infection, but a week after the treatment ended, the boogers were back. I immediately went out and bought a bottle of Nature’s Way Sambucus for Kids.


A teaspoon a day of Sambucus for a 1-6 year old wards off the common cold, sinus infections, and the like. In our case, with all of my children, it works. If I see a wet nose or I know one of my kids was exposed to a sick child, I give them the “intensive” dose for a couple days.

As with the introduction of any herbal addition to your child’s diet you should talk to your pediatrician first. Elderberry syrup can interact with some medications, and has possible laxative properties (though I haven’t noticed any.)

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