Welcome to another cold and flu season.
What is a parent to do when confronted with the annual onslaught of sniffles and sore throats? Consult the pediatrician? Treat symptoms with over-the-counter cold and flu medicines? Simply let the illness run its course? Lately, more families are turning to alternative remedies like homeopathy and herbal treatments to provide cold and flu relief for their children, and even conventional doctors are beginning to recognize their benefits.
"The word 'natural' doesn't always mean harmless, but there are lots of ways to help with symptomatic relief in a soothing way," says Dr. Lori Walsh, a pediatrician with Glenbrook Pediatrics in Glenview and at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "Unfortunately, no matter what you do, the common cold is probably going to take seven days to resolve."
Here are some natural and herbal remedies moms have found effective for their families during cold and flu season-plus Walsh's thoughts on what works (and what probably doesn't help much). Welcome to another cold and flu season.