Monday, September 29, 2014


Commonly Used Alternative Medicines For Kids To Boost Their Immunity And Increase Appetite

Posted  on: July 15, 2010

Every time our child falls ill, we as parents make a small promise somewhere in our hearts that no matter what, next time onwards we will take all precautions (by increasing her diet, improving her resistance power, boosting her immunity etc) and not let the kid fall sick.
No matter how much we shout on our kids to stop their nuances, but when the same kid falls sick, we begin to miss his talks, his activities. After all, it’s the parents who suffer the most when kids fall sick. It breaks one’s heart to see the poor baby not doing any antics!
Don’t we all wish there were certain immunity boosting formulas which, if given to our kids, do not have any side affects and increase their resistance power against diseases and common ailments like flu and cold. Jatinder Kumar Pant, a lawyer and a dad of two kids (17 and 20 years old) says, “ I use to give Septelin to my kids for 3 months in a year (especially in rainy seasons) to build their immunity system. I felt it did wonders for them. After one course, they rarely fell ill.”
Other moms I interacted with swear upon Chawanprash and its goodness to build their kid’s resistance power against common ailments while there are many who give Amla murraba (Indian gooseberry) to achieve the same purpose.
Harpreet Kaur, 25 and a mother says, “I still remember my mother use to give us a tonic called Shankhpushpi during our exam days. It did help us stay alert for longer time and concentrate during that crucial period.”
And for the kids who do not have any interest in eating food, don’t we all know the benefits of Liv 52 syrup and tablets? I still remember the yummy taste of Liv 52 and how I use to eat more chapattis after this!
Money Sharma, 28 says, “ I still remember how my mother use to give us the red-coloured Liv 52 syrup to increase our appetite, especially after a bout of fever. It did wonders with my hunger. Now that I am a dad of 1 year old kid, I give the same to my baby, though the colour is no longer red!”
In this article I will discuss commonly used alternative medicines (mostly Ayurvedic, homoepathic) which we give to our children to increase their immunity, hunger, stamina and deal with common ailments like teething (in infants and toddlers).
Important Note - All the information discussed in this article is purely based on my own research and discussions I had with other parents, our parents in the family, my friends etc. If you wish to use any of these suggestions, please consult your family doctor, before giving any medicine to you kids. I do not take any responsibilty for any dosage information mentioned here.
Alternative Medicines to Build Immunity In Kids
1. Septilin – Septilin is an Ayurvedic medicine largely made from Alma (richest source of Vitamin C). It is packaged and sold by Himalaya, a company that specializes in herbal and ayurvedic remedies and according to the company’s product information, “These medications build up the immune system’s resistance and have anti-inflammatory properties to help the body fight against chronic infections. Septilin is intended as a natural alternative to chemical antibiotics and contains a preventive formulation that stimulates the formation of antibodies, promotes wound healing, and helps relieve pain through its analgesic properties.” Septilin syrup also has preservatives (methylparaben, ethylparaben etc but most paediatricians recommend the medicine for 3-6 months one time a year only. It doesn’t need to be given regularly like other multivitamins. For dosage, please consult your doctor. ). To read more on this medicine
2. Ceelin – It is yet another Vitamin C medicine that solidifies your child’s immunity system. Mostly popular in the West, Ceelin increases body resistance to infection and stress. It is also useful for the maintenance of healthy gums, cartilages, teeth, blood vessels, connective tissues and osteoid tissues. It is available both in syrup and tablet form.
3. Chayawanprash – It is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal preparation, widely used in India as an energizer and immunity booster, which is also available in Junior forms. Dabur was the first to launch chayawanprah. It is said that Chyavana Rishi was the first to prepare this tonic, hence the name chyawanprash. It is sometimes used like a regular jam, spread onto crackers or bread but typical dosage ranges between 1-2 tsp, or 12-24 g, twice daily with a little milk or water on the side. According to Indian Yoga Guru Ramdev, Chyawanprash has anti-oxidant properties & strengthens your body’s internal defense mechanism, the immune system. Thereby protecting you from everyday infections, cough, cold & stress etc. Dabur has also now developed Dabur Chyawan Junior- a unique drink for growing children, which has Calcium, Iron, and Milk Protein as in other popular health drinks and also comes with great chocolaty taste. Apart from Dabur, Emami also launched Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash & Amritprash.
4. Triphla Powder – Triphala (‘three fruits’), an herb originating in India, has been found to act as a complete body cleanser. Many parents I came across during my survey use Triphla Churna, which consists Haritaki, Amalaki and Bibhitaki. Triphala is used to promote appetite and digestion, increase the number of red blood cells, and aid in removal of undesirable fat in the body. When dissolved in the mouth, Triphala is used to clear congestion and headaches. Other claimed benefits include helping maintain normal blood sugar levels, as well as improvement in skin tone and colour.Due to its bitter taste, it is usually taken with honey and helps protect children against common cold and flu by building their resistance power. Triphla helps cleanse the colon, improves constipation can be given to kids above 1 year. It also has anti-cancer properties. The best Triphla powder is manufactured by Dabur.
5. Sitopladi Churna – Sitopaladi is a herbal alternative medicine formulation which aids in the relief of respiratory tract disorders and is effective for cough associated with various other respiratory problems. It also increases the appetite, helps digestion, and provides strength to the body. According to its website,, dosage for adults is 2 teaspoonful twice daily and can be continued for months. Before meal with water or honey. Ingredients include sugar candy and herbs like dalchini, ela, papal and banshlochan.
Alternative Medicines To Increase Appetite In Kids
6. AlfaVena Malt – Alfavena Malt helps in growth as well as development during childhood and adolescence , fulfilling lactation needs of mother, aids convalescence during ill health and fights ravages of old age. Also an ideal tonic for weight gain and body building. Developed by Backson Drugs & Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd. Dosage : Adults :1 tablespoon , 2 times daily, Pregnant & lactating females : 1 tablespoon, 3 times daily. Children : 1-2 teaspoon 2-3 times daily Presentation: Pack size Max Retail Price (Rs.) 250 gms 130.00. 450 gms 190.00. Most kids also eat effectively after having this tonic.
7. Liv 52 – Liv 52 is most effective in boosting your kid’s appetite. The tonic was introduced in 1955 as a specially formulated proprietary herbal formula for healthy liver support. It comes in the form of drops for kids, syrup form for adults and even tablets. It’s an excellent tonic that neutralizes all kinds of toxins and poisons from food, water, air and medications – all sources of detrimental effects on the liver. It also helps people taking allopathic medications who want to protect themselves against the damaging hepatotoxic side effects of those medications.
8. Yakult – The moment you switch on Cartoon Network, Pogo or any other kid’s channel, you can see advertisement of Indian actress Kajol promoting the probiotic health drink – Yakult. Originated in Japan, Yakult is a fermented milk drink made by fermenting skim milk powder, water and sugar with the beneficial live probiotic strain of good bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain. According to company website, probiotics are friendly bacteria or yeasts that have been used for centuries as natural ingredients in health-promoting foods, and recent scientific studies support the many health benefits of probiotics. Yakult can be taken by both children and adults. After 12 months, the child’s intestinal flora is almost identical to that of adults. Therefore, the amount of beneficial bacteria in Yakult will help to re-establish a balance of intestinal flora in children and adults alike. It is especially beneficial for kids after a bout of diahhrea and vomiting. Now a days pro-biotic curd is also available in markets, which can be eaten regularly.
9. Zincovit – Most beneficial in kids after illness, fever and vomiting ( or other illnesses when they do not eat much), this multivitamin comes in tasty pineapple flavour. The presence of zinc also helps in regulating bowel movement when the child has loose diahhrea but if given regularly in normal conditions does sometimes leads to constipation in kids. Zincovit is an advanced formula of high concentration of vitamins, essential minerals and Zinc and is a supplement for the growth of children. Zinc participates in the regulation of cell proliferation in several ways. It is essential for enzyme systems that influence cell division and proliferation. Zinc may directly regulate DNA synthesis which ensures proper growth. Zinc supplementation in children has been proved to boost up Immunity. Zinc supplementation reduces the deficits in mental development and behaviour that are found in term infants of low birth weight.
10. Ostocalcium B12 Syrup - Its main contents are calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. It is available in reasonable price of Rs 58.10 per 200ml of bottle. It is mainly used for therapeutic purpose, taken after meal twice a day.
11. Raricap L – This multivitamin contains calcium 85 mg, folic acid 0.3 mg, iron 25 mg and is mostly given to kids as dietary supplement and to prevent anaemia. However it can result in constipation if used for longer time.
Teething and Tummy Troubles
12. Calcarea Phos 6X – Calcarea Phos is a homeopathic medicine largely given to kids in their teething stage. This tissue salt calc. phos 6x can be safely given for infants from month 3. Infact Ferrum phos 6x along with Calc. phos 6x is a good tonic for infants. Most doctors recommend using the salt thrice daily for one week continuously. Leave a week without medicine then resume for a week. It’s a well known fact that kids who take Calcarea Phos during their teething period do not usually suffer from upset tummy – a common feature in teething tots.
13. Gripe Water/Bonisson – Woodward’s Gripe water is nothing but largely saunf ( aniseed) water. You can use even Himlayas as they have come up with a new gripe water. It is basically used to ease colic pains in baby and helps resolve indigestion problem. Similarly Himalaya’s Bonnisan has carminative and digestive properties, which relieve symptoms of colic in gastrointestinal disorders in infants and children.
Brain Foods/Alternative Medicine for Kids
14. Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil Capsules – The fish oil is highest source of Omega 3 fatty acid, which is known as brain food. There is a growing body of evidence to prove that omega-3 nutrients deliver a number of health benefits. Many clinical papers have been written on the benefits of omega-3 to support a healthy brain function from infancy to adolescence. Most nutritionists recommend that we eat two fish meals a week, one of which should be oily. Since all kids cannot have fish, it is best to give them Seven Seas’ cod liver oil, but only after consulting the doctor.
15. Shankhpushpi - Shankhapushpi or Convolvulus pluricaulis is an indigenous plant commonly mentioned in Ayurveda, an ancient system of Indian medicine, as an ingredient that is mainly advocated for use in mental stimulation and rejuvenation therapy. Dabur Shankha Pushpi is a natural tonic for mental development of children. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda for rejuvenating nervous functions. Combination of Brahmi and Shankha Pushpi for the mental development of school-going children. Most mother give this tonic to children during exam time.
16. Corn Flakes Fortified With Iron – Iron helps keep the brain alert so it makes Kellog’s corn flakes an ideal breakfast for kids. They are now available in so many flavours like banaba, chocolate, strawberry etc.
Milk Supplements
17. Pediasure Complete – Marketed in India by Abbot for children who do not show interest in eating balanced diet, this formula milk is recommended for kids above 2 years of age. Though slightly expensive by Indian standards ( if you compare it with other brands such as Junior Horlicks and Bournvita Lil Champs), the 400 gms pack cost INR 500 and lasts just 1 week! Don’t know if it’s the advertisement or the way they mentioned the ingredients on the pack ( or the money spent!) I feel really satisfied after my kid has 210 ml of Pediasure AFTER her meals. Never ever give your kid Pediasure before meals as its too heavy for kids to east anything thereafter. It does have that fulfilling effect on their small tummies.
18. Junior Horlicks/Bournvita Lil Champs – India’s answer to Pediasure, available at a very genuine price ( INR 150 for 500 gms) and has DHA – best supplement for brain. For elder kids the companies have always promoted the brands since more than 3 decades now.
Diet Supplement
19. Soy Power - Soypower contains 84.5 per cent protein, providing balanced amounts of all nine essential and non-essential amino acids, which are vital for body’s growth and maintenance. Soypower is soy protein isolate powder and is priced at Rs 280. FDA recommends that consumers should incorporate four servings of at least, 6.25 grams of soy protein into their daily diet. Soy, and most soy-based products, are nutritional powerhouses that work together to create numerous health benefits. Its taste is so neutral that it can be added to your daily daals, curries and even veggies.
20. Kids Spirulina - Spirulina also has the highest level of the protective antioxidant, beta carotene, which is good for the eyes and vision. Rich in Vitamin B-12 and iron, this chlorophyll-rich food contains the rare essential fatty acid, GLA, and gram for gram, has more calcium and magnesium than other foods. These are essential nutrients for healthy skin and strong bones. Doctors suggest 10 – 20 tablets a day for adults, 6 – 10 tablets for children under 12 years old. Nature Complete’s Kids Spirulina is unique in the UK: the only 100% pure certified organic Spirulina adapted especially for children. The smaller, 250mg tablets are easier for young bodies to swallow and absorb. It is also available in a powder form, tasty when mixed with juice. It is a safe and easy way to help your child maintain a balanced diet.
Regular De -Worming for Kids
21. Zentel – Though not homoepathic or ayurvedic, this allopathetic medicine is used for regular de-worming in kids. To start with Zentel I will recommend that you should consult your physician. The usual dose in children between one and two years of age is 10 mL (200 mg) of ZENTEL suspension as a single dose. In heavy mixed infestation involving Strongyloides or Taeniasis, a single daily dose may be inadequate and the dose may be given for three consecutive days.
Regulation of Monthly Periods In Adolescent Girls
22. Ashokarishta – Ashokarishta is a female menstruation tonic ( ayurvedic) largely used to regulate periods, cramps and other possible problems associated with it. Ashokarishta is a very effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, regulating menstruation and menstrual pain and discomforts.
I reiterate that all the above information is based truly on my research and you should consult your doctor before administrating any remedy to your baby.
I would also like to hear what medicines/alternative therapy you as parents use for your kids’ well being. Looking forward to hear from you!
However, some parents are also of the belief that let the kids grow up naturally, with healthy and regular diet.
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