After hearing about Zarbees on Healthy Child Healthy World I knew I wanted to try some. I was sent some Zarbee’s All-Natural Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink to review and we love it. My 4 year old very rarely gets sick, but she has bad allergies which lead into sinus infections and nasty coughs. We never tried Tylenol or any other brand and since the recalls that started happening a few years ago, I decided to avoid them all together when E got stuffy. Last year we tried homeopathic remedies and some worked, some didn’t.
We tried honey cough syrups and again, some worked some didn’t. So I was very curious to see if the Zarbee’s would work. The day we got it in the mail E had come down with a sinus infection. So perfect, we got to try it right away. E is one of those kids who doesn’t feel good yet can still run a marathon. So I was extra curious to see if the All-Natural Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink would make her drowsy. And guess what, it did! E was able to sleep through the night without hacking and she was able to go to bed early to get some much needed rest.
The All-Natural Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink is gluten, dye, and preservative free. It is safe and natural and contains no drugs or alcohol. Plus it tastes great- kid and mom tested and approved! You add 1 packet to 2 oz of warm water. We used cold and it still worked. So after trying and getting great results I was curious how it worked and how the concept was created.
I was able to have a Q&A session with Dr. Zak Zarbock, M.D. who is one of the country’s top pediatricians and the Founder and President of the fastest-growing children’s cough and cold brand in the country and thought I’d share!
Q. How did Zarbee’s begin?
A. Most parents feel extremely frustrated when they go to the doctor and don’t come away with a solution to their child’s problem. On the flip side, as a pediatrician, it is also very painful to send away a sleep-deprived mother with an answer of, “I’m sorry you have been up all night, but there is nothing you can do for your child’s cough.” It was during those moments that I realized there had to be a better answer. After extensive research, I came across a study touting the benefits of buckwheat honey and its ability to relieve coughs more effectively than drug-based alternatives. That was the birth of Zarbee’s – the only natural, safe alternative with clinically proven results and recommended by more than 40,000 other pediatricians nationwide. With the help of my test subjects (aka our four sons), I was able to create a great tasting, all-natural, vitamin-enhanced, safe and very effective product, Zarbee’s All Natural Cough Syrup, specifically designed to keep mothers from going insane. We also recently added a new nighttime drink for children 2 years and older, Zarbee’s Cough & Sleep Drink, containing immune-boosting Vitamin C, zinc and elderberry and a small amount of melatonin, which research shows safely and naturally helps kids fall asleep – another big concern for parents.
Q. What causes children to overdose on OTC meds?
A. Parents must be extremely careful when giving more than one OTC cough and cold medicine to a child. Many OTC cough and cold medicines have more than one “active ingredient.” If you use two medicines that have the same or similar “active ingredients” a child could get too much of an ingredient which may hurt your child. For example, do not give a child more than one medicine that has an antihistamine.
Q. Why is Dextromethorphan harmful?
A. If used exactly as recommended, most OTC cough and cold meds will cause little, if any harm. The problem is, they are still ineffective and have potential for harm and/or abuse. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, dosage guidelines for cough and cold mixtures are extrapolated from adult data and clinical experience, and thus are imprecise for children, which can lead to adverse effects and overdosage. Additionally, studies have shown that traditional OTC cough medicines, including Dextromethorphan, in children from two to 18 years of age are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, a glass of water would give you the same results. So the obvious question becomes, if these products are ineffective and potentially harmful, why are we giving them to our children?
Q. How are they able to keep it on the shelves if it can poison a child?
A. Despite the many strong warnings, lack of efficacy, reports of abuse, severe side effects and several deaths, Dextromethorphan (DM) continues to be used by many parents for their young children with coughs and colds. Because this drug is generally viewed as safe and somewhat effective for adults, many continue to extrapolate that it must be the same in children. And until recently, there haven’t been any safe and effective alternatives for the pediatric population, which is why I created Zarbee’s. Additionally, many physicians and pharmacists continue to reluctantly recommend DM products when a persistent parent is clamoring for a solution to their child’s symptoms. For all of these reasons, I think it will take a new generation of parents and a persistent awareness campaign to healthcare professionals to heed current warnings.
Q. How are your products natural, yet effective?
A. Each of the all-natural ingredients in Zarbee’s were specifically chosen for their clinically tested ability to serve a particular purpose. For example, recent clinical trials have shown that buckwheat honey is more effective than traditional over-the-counter medicines at reducing coughs associated with the common cold (it’s high in antioxidants, helps coat the throat and reduces irritation). Other carefully chosen ingredients include immune-boosting Vitamin C, Zinc and elderberry (which studies have shown can dramatically decrease the length of an illness caused by the influenza virus) and a small amount of melatonin in the Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink, which research shows safely and naturally helps kids and adults fall and stay asleep.
Q. What are some other hidden dangers in OTC cough syrups?
A. Not reading or understanding labels continues to be the number one mistake parents make when administering OTC medicines to children. Combination products also pose a problem because a parent may be unknowingly doubling up on certain ingredients which may lead to an overdose. Extreme care should be taken to read and understand all of the active ingredients in any OTC product. Parents should always consult their child’s healthcare provider with any questions or concerns.
Q. Do most OTCs contain preservatives such as harmful parabens?
A. Most drug-based OTC cough and cold medicines (Delsym, Triaminic, Little Remedies) contain chemical preservatives. Many of those preservatives are in fact parabens, which may carry health risks and have already been banned in other countries for young children.
Q. Why are dyes harmful?
A. Food dyes, which are found in most OTC products, have been linked to hyperactivity in children, cancer (in animal studies) and allergic reactions. In general, it is better to avoid products with added dyes if an equal alternative, such as Zarbee’s, if available.
Q. Could these preservatives, dyes, alcohols, and artificial flavors cause other health problems or aggravate the cold/cough?
A. Most of these added items would not aggravate cough and cold symptoms. However, they do carry potential for other side effects that may be even more worrisome or harmful.
Q. What is the difference between your cough syrup and regular honey?
A. Zarbee’s uses a blend of dark honeys, including buckwheat honey, which has been clinically proven to reduce coughs. Dark honeys are much higher in antioxidants than the typical honey you’d find at a grocery store. Zarbee’s is also fortified with Vitamin C and Zinc to help speed up recovery and support the immune system. Because buckwheat honey has a strong flavor, often not appreciated by young children, Zarbee’s also contains natural flavors to make it taste much better.
Q. Is the cough syrup supposed to be used during the day and the cough & sleep drink at night?
A. Zarbee’s All Natural Cough Syrup can be used anytime, day or night. In fact, in the clinical trial with buckwheat honey, children not only coughed less, but they also slept better, and so did their parents. Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink is designed to be used specifically at night. It is a warm drink that not only contains our antioxidant-rich honey but also melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance that has been studied extensively in both children and adults, and found to be very effective at helping people fall and stay asleep.
Q. Often a fever accompanies coughs, what do you suggest to reduce the fever naturally?
A. Recently, more attention has been brought to the fact that a fever is not harmful, and using natural means to make children more comfortable may be a safer way to help our children feel better. This could be dressing in lighter clothing, reducing the amount of bedding and keeping a child’s room at a cooler temperature. It may also help to apply a cool cloth to the forehead or a soak shortly in a lukewarm bath. Adequate rest and an emphasis on hydration are also keys to bringing a fever down naturally.
Q. Over the past couple of years there have been many children OTC recalls due to higher concentration levels of active ingredients, is this something to worry about with all-natural products?
A. Despite all the negative attention, drug-based OTC products may not be the only products that can cause problems due to regulation of active ingredients. As a pediatrician and a father, I recommend reading every label to understand what you are giving your children. Even if the product is natural, if there is something on the label you don’t understand, it may not be something you want to give your child.
Thank you Dr. Zak Zarbock for your amazing answers! Here is a little bit more about Zarbee’s:“About Zarbee’sThe fastest-growing children’s cough and cold brand in the country, Zarbee’s is proven safe and effective for children 12 months of age and older. Developed by Dr. Zak Zarbock, one of the country’s top pediatricians, Zarbee’s products—a children’s cough syrup with a special blend of honeys fortified with immune-boosting vitamins that is also safe for women who are pregnant or nursing and a nighttime drink that soothes coughs and promotes healthy sleep—are recommended by more than 40,000 pediatricians nationwide. Zarbee’s products are all natural and gluten free, contain no drugs, alcohol and dyes, have no side effects and carry no risk of overdose. Zarbee’s All-Natural Children’s Cough Syrup and Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink each retail for a suggested $8.99 and may be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Kmart, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Albertsons and Meijer stores nationwide as well as on www.zarbees.com. For more information, visit www.zarbees.com .”
Giveaway: Win a bottle of Zarbee’s Cough Syrup! (click read more if the rafflecopter widget doesn’t show up)