Treating Your Child’s Cold Naturally

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Children are prone to get sick even those who eat healthy and are generally well. It is all part of growing up and assists in building their immune system. No parent likes it when their child is sick and most of us need to take a day or 2 off work to take care of our little ones. This week I have had my little man off school with the dreaded cold.  As soon as the onset of a cold or a cough is imminent with my children I brew a herbal tea and burn eucalyptus essential oil to help sooth and aid in opening the airways and let it work its magic.  My next guest blog post is by Kyra Howearth who has completed her studies of herbal medicine and a mother of soon to be 4. She lives on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, and enjoys growing an abundance of fresh herbs. You can find more information on herbs (plus vegan recipes) on her blog Vie De La Vegan.

Unfortunately the common cold is exactly that – common. Most of the population are infected by the cold every year. Often, our children seem more prone to catching the cold – and it’s never fun having a sick child to care for.

The common cold is often caused by a viral infection, usually a rhinovirus. Symptoms of the common cold include a sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing, and other symptoms could include fatigue, loss of appetite, cough, mild fever, and muscle aches.

The good news is that you can effectively treat your child’s cold with herbal medicine. Let’s take a look at some herbs which are safe for children to take and are effective for relieving colds:

Echinacea: the echinacea species has been proven to boost the immune system, and can shorten the duration and severity of colds1.

ElderberrySambucus nigra has been proven to relieve cold symptoms and reduce the length of the sickness2.

EyebrightEuphrasia officinalis is an excellent herb to reduce mucus – if your child is suffering from a severely runny nose, eyebright is very beneficial1.

Licorice rootGlycyrrhiza glabra is perhaps my children’s favourite herb, because it tastes so sweet! Licorice is particularly helpful for soothing sore throats1.

Olive leafOlea europaea has demonstrated antiviral activity3. Although there is little evidence it is specifically effective against the common cold, there is potential due to its antiviral activity.

Where to get these herbs: depending where you are in the world, it may be difficult to obtain these herbs locally. You may be able to buy either dried herbs (to make herbal teas, or your own herb extracts) and/or pre-prepared herbal medicines (usually either in liquid or tablet form). Some places you could find these:

  • Pharmacies
  • Health food stores
  • Online herb suppliers
  • Herbalists or naturopaths (these health practitioners may prescribe other herbs depending on your child’s individual case)


The difficult part about giving herbs to children is that they may not comply due to the strong taste! I can usually convince my older children to drink herbal teas (as long as it doesn’t taste too horrid), but the younger children are more challenging. I often will give them tinctures (concentrated liquid herbal extracts) in a glass of freshly squeezed juice – the small dosages needed for tinctures mean they are easily disguised in another beverage! Tablets can be difficult for children to swallow, but they can be crushed and added to food or beverages if needed.

As a side note, many tinctures and herbal extracts contain alcohol, as alcohol is effective at extracting the medicinal parts and also preserves the extracts. There are contradicting views on the safety of alcohol, even in small doses. However, there are non-alcoholic extracts widely available – the herbal extracts may be in a glycerol base or a syrup.

Apart from dosing up on herbs, other things you can do to help your child recover quickly are:

  • Keep them hydrated. If they don’t feel like much water, they may enjoy a fruit-based icypole, or frozen green smoothie pops.
  • Let them rest. If possible, keep them home from school/daycare while they recover. Not only will this help prevent the cold spreading to other children, but will also help your child recover faster by allowing them to rest.
  • Feed them nourishing foods. Your child’s appetite may decrease when they have a cold, but it’s important to keep them nourished with fresh fruit and vegetables to aid recovery. Homemade vegetable soups, vegetable broths, or green smoothies are some good options which may be appealing to your sick child.

Disclaimer: the information in this article is general advice only and does not take into account any herb/drug interactions or pre-existing conditions which could apply to you. Always consult with a doctor or qualified herbalist before consuming medicinal herbs.

  1. Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2000). Principles and practice of phytotherapy : Modern herbal medicine.Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
  2. Zakay-Rones, Z., Varsano, N., Zlotnik, M., Manor, O., Regev, L., Schlesinger, M., & Mumcuoglu, M. (1995). Inhibition of Several Strains of Influenza Virus in Vitro and Reduction of Symptoms by an Elderberry Extract ( Sambucus nigra L.) during an Outbreak of Influenza B Panama. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine1(4), 361-369.

MICOL, V., CATURLA, N., PEREZFONS, L., MAS, V., PEREZ, L., & ESTEPA, A. (2005). The olive leaf extract exhibits antiviral activity against viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus (VHSV). Antiviral Research66(2-3), 129-136.

Rosey Voultsos

My Little Boy Loves Mini Muncher Baby food

My little boy loves Mini Muncher Baby food. His faviourite is the pureed papaya and smooth apple. It has been so great knowing I'm feeding my baby fresh wholesome food whilst on holiday. Thank you so much. I will be recommending you.

Paige Carter

Wow What Great Customer Service

Wow what great customer service we've recieved thank you so much!! I'll definately be recommending you to others!

Michelle Moir

I Cant Thank You Enough Silv!!

I cant thank you enough Silv!! I just put a big shoutout to all my friends and will highly recommend you to everyone!!! Thank you so much, amazing.

Vivi Monata

They Prefer Your Than Others Food

They prefer your than others food, thank you for your generosity

Bobby-jo Tysoe

My Little One Enjoyed The Purees

My little one enjoyed the purees, even his sister (3 years old) enjoyed apple puree as dessert. I was really impressed with the quality and freshness of the food. My 7 month old loved all the textured/purees especially the pumpkin and banana! Thank you so much and I will be definitely recommending to everyone I know traveling with little ones to Bali.

Kellie Grose

I Just Wanted To Say Thank You For Your Wonderful Food For Our Children

I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful food for our children, it has made travelling to Bali super easy for us. My girlfriends and I will be giving Mini Muncher a good plug. Thanks again.

Carly Jade

Thank You So Much For Your Wonderful Meals

Thank you so much for your wonderful meals! My little girl loved them especially the spaghetti with fresh tomato and hidden vege sauce.

Marilyn Klein

I Just Wanted To Say A Big Thank You To The Team At Mini Muncher

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the team at Mini Muncher. The quality the taste of the food was delicious and super healthy. Great friendly service too. I highly recommend Mini Muncher.

Kids In Bali

Thanks To Mini Muncher The Kids Are Sorted For Dinner Tonight

Thanks to Mini Muncher the kids are sorted for dinner tonight. In fact they are sorted for the whole trip! I am very relieved to know that their food for the next two weeks is preservative free, healthy and most importantly...delicious!

Alison O'connor

Thank You So Much Mini Muncher

Thank you so much Mini Muncher! My baby girl loved all the meals, especially the pumpkin and banana. Your service was professional and reliable. will use again.

Paula Trcek

Thank Godness For Your Service

  Thank godness for your service. Fast and simple. I was at wits end trying to find suitable food in Bali. Thank you!

Sophie Acott

Thank You So Much Mini Muncher For Your Delicious Kids Meals During Our Stay in Bali

Thank you so much Mini Muncher for your delicious kids meals during our stay in Bali. The food was fresh, healthy, and above all tasty - both kids and adults standards! My only complaint is that we cant get delivery back in Australia. Thanks again.

Elisha Calcei

Thank You

  Thank you for the Bay food the twins loved every Morsel !  

Tahlia Berger

Great business

I had a food business in Tel Aviv I loved, and now living in Sydney have been open to inspiration for something new. You inspired me. Thanks

Thank you so much for your wonderful meals!

Thank you so much for your wonderful meals! My little girl loved them especially the spaghetti with fresh tomato and hidden vege sauce.
Carly Jade

Thank you so much Mini Muncher!

Thank you so much Mini Muncher! My baby girl loved all the meals, especially the pumpkin and banana. Your service was professional and reliable. will use again.
Alison O'connor

Jodie Holmes

Mini Muncher Is The Only Food I Use For My Babies When In Bali

  Mini muncher is the only food I use for my babies when in Bali, her food is so beautiful, fresh and most of all healthy which makes such a difference when there are not too many options for baby food. The service is impeccable and delivery prompt and always on time. There are so many options to choose from and I haven't found anything my kids don't love yet! Thank you so much Silv and team for such a wonderful product and for making life so much easier when I'm in Bali with my four kids.

I cant thank you enough Silv!! I

I cant thank you enough Silv!! I just put a big shoutout to all my friends and will highly recommend you to everyone!!! Thank you so much, amazing. Michelle Moir

Eva Krassnig

Delicious Food Got Our Kids Again

  Our kids had caught an awful virus and didn't want to eat anything we offered them in days. Everything changed once Mini Muncher's food arrived! Our kids absolutely loved the meals and we were so glad seeing them eat again! We put in a second order last minute which was delivered within a few hours! Amazing service, amazing food. I wish we could take you home with us! Once again, thank you Silv!

Aisha Pound

My Daughter Loved The Food From Mini Muncher

  My daughter loved the food from Mini Muncher! So healthy, delicious and a great selection to choose from! I didn't need to take any food from Australia. We can't wait to visit again.

Jessica McGee

So Grateful I Found Out About Mini Munchers

  So grateful I found out about Mini Munchers otherwise who knows what my 11 month old would've eaten for 2 weeks! Thank you

Jey Jones

Baby Food Options When We Were In Bali

  I was kind of panic as I couldn't find many baby food options my baby could eat when we were in Bali couple weeks ago. Called Mini Muncher, ordered it and the food arrived the next day. Very friendly owner and the delivery girl. The most important thing was my baby loved it. Thanks a lot! You saved our holiday.

Kylie Hawley

We Recently Used Mini Muncher Baby Food When We Went To Bali

  We recently used mini muncher baby food when we went to Bali. The service was prompt and they were able to answer all of my questions about the food prior to placing my order. My daughter loved the taste and it definitely made the trip a whole lot easier knowing I had a safe and nutritious meals sorted for my daughter! Thanks guys!

Lisa Clayton

Fantastic Range Of Meals Just Like Home

  I was slightly stressed taking our 13 month old to Bali in regards to what she eat as she still loves home cooked vegetables. After googling, I came across Mini Muncher. Fantastic range of meals just like home and delivered to our hotel a few hours after ordering. Will definitely order again when we are back next year!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.