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Coughs: Why Herbs Work Wonders


  • Absolutely love baby balm. My 6 week old had flakey, dry skin and nothing I had tried was helping until I tried baby balm. Her skin is so much better. I can't believe how fast it worked. Thank you Kiwiherb!!!
    – Alex Lazzaro
  • Received a bottle of children's chest syrup to trial and what can I say it's magic in a bottle!! After a single dose they didn’t cough the whole night which meant a better sleep for everyone after two days they were so much better and they liked the taste which is great, can't wait to try more of your products
    – Daniella Bhagat
  • On Sunday we bought De-Stuff for our 3 year old daughter who has struggled with a cold all week. After 2 doses of it, along with the Chesty formula, she slept so well that night and woke up looking and sounding so much better. Now almost 3 days later her cold is all but gone. I wish I had have found out about it sooner.
    – Bridgette Robinson
  • My wife and I have been using this product for years and they are amazing and work fantastic!!! We have the all the children's stuff including the echinature, chest syrup, throats syrup and the De-stuff!!! Absolutely amazing products We love them
    – Craig Hume
  • I brought a bottle of De-stuff for my 11 month old daughter yesterday who has had a runny nose for the last 5 days, I've been wiping her nose constantly but after 2 doses of De-stuff I've only had to wipe her nose twice today. I wish I'd known about this sooner. I will be using this straight away in the future
    – Melissa Bayne
  • I love Kiwiherb! Finding something that worked so well, and was safe for my daughter when she was at an age where she couldn't have all other medicines, it was such a great help! And now I use nothing else
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  • I'm not often inspired enough to go seek out a brand's Facebook page just to give them my positive feedback - in fact this is the first time ever. I just wanted to express how much I love the children's cough syrup, it's always worked wonders on my kids - it's now taken to the next level with the inclusion of the syringe which is long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle - hurray! It's always been the bane of my mum-life trying to reach the medicine when the bottles have run low with syringes that aren't long enough - thank you!
    – Melissa White
  • Brought a bottle of children's chest syrup and it works like magic no more coughing during the night. Also my son loves the taste
    – Philippa Quigley

Coughs: Why Herbs Work Wonders

Coughs: Why Herbs Work Wonders

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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Coughs come in many shapes and forms – wet, dry, chesty, hacking, tickly, deep, productive – which is perhaps why herbal medicines work so well to treat them.  Coughs can be shape-shifters and tend not to stay still for long; a dry cough can become chesty overnight, a tickly cough can turn deep and congested. A single herb often has multiple actions which target a cough in different ways, and when a few key herbs are added together into a formula, voila! you have a multi-faceted approach to suit a variety of different coughs.

A good herbal cough medicine not only eases the symptoms of a cough, it addresses the underlying causes and speeds healing and recovery. 

Medical herbalists talk about the therapeutic actions of a herb. This means the way a herb acts in the body. Key actions for coughs are:

Expectorant-helping to break down mucus and remove it from the lungs. Herbs such as ElecampaneWhite HorehoundMulleinThyme and Hyssop are all expectorants and feature in our Herbal Chest Syrup and Children's Chest Syrup.

Anti-Spasmodic-relaxes the spasm of a cough that won’t stop, and eases the tightness in the chest. Herbs such as White Horehound, Elecampane, Hyssop and Thyme are all anti-spasmodic.

Anti-Inflammatory & Soothing-reduces inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tissue in the lungs, as well as soothing this tissue that has  been irritated by the presence of a respiratory virus, and aiding in its healing. Herbs such as Marshmallow and Mullein do this, as does Thyme honey.

Anti-Microbial- attacks bacteria, viruses and fungi, in other words, gets to the cause of the cough! Elecampane, Thyme, and Manuka and Thyme honeys all have this capacity.

Anti-Catarrhal & Decongestant-catarrh is an old-fashioned name for mucus or phlegm, so this action describes herbs which reduce the production of excessive mucus and help it break down, such as Mullein and Thyme. 

You will notice from this list that many herbs have multiple ways of working in the body. Nature is truly amazing. We hear all the time from people that it is wonderful to have a cough syrup in the cupboard which can be used for any kind of cough, and something for all ages too. This makes dosing the family up brilliantly simple!