I hadn’t heard of Pelargonium sidoides before this week. I am not even sure I can pronounce Pelargonium sidoides. But some folks have known for hundreds of years that Pelargonium sidoides supresses coughs.
Why have I turned to this herb with the long name? It seems all the cough syrups on the shelves are for children six and older. I know folks relied on cough syrup too much, gave it to their children too much, and more than one child died after taking cough syrup. I also know the experts say cough syrup isn’t effective and has unwanted side effects.
But … they don’t have to listen to a child cough all night or read notes from preschool teachers who also don’t like hearing a child cough, especially in the H1N1era.
I went to the only place I thought could help: the health food store. And there, sitting on a shelf, was something I had never heard of, packaged in a bottle, in cherry flavor, complete with dosage for children under age 6.
I asked the cashier what parents had said about it, looked it over some more, and set it on the counter. A basic Internet search revealed Pelargonium sidoides is a species of geranium found in Africa. Okay.
Well before bedtime, I gave each child the assigned dosage and watched for any adverse reactions. Nothing. After they fell asleep, I checked on them. Quiet, except for some snoring. The next morning both greeted me with smiles. That evening, there was no note from the preschool. Crisis averted.
Disclaimer: Of course, you shouldn’t take my word for it. Do your own research. I am not a doctor. I am just a mother who wanted to help ease her daughters’ coughs.