None of us want our children to come home from school with a cold or cough but unfortunately, this happens. The best thing we can do is be prepared! Don’t wait for your child to be sick to figure out what to do. Do your research now; talk to your doctor and stock your medicine cabinet so when they start showing symptoms you can treat them right away.
With so many products on the shelves, it can be very confusing trying to determine which products to buy. Which is why I like to research these products because I don’t want to take a chance that one product will work as well as another (even if they appear to be similar).
Unfortunately, a lot of products look similar but if you take a closer look on the packaging, the brand’s website and do some research you can figure out if it’s a product that meets your standards.
Here are four things to consider before you buy any supplements or medication:
Is the finished product backed by research?
In other words, is there science that shows it really works? When you buy a natural supplement that claims it can do certain things, they’d better have science to back this up!
Many times you’re better off with the original brand that created a supplement. This is because when a reputable company brings a new product to market, they’ll typically invest in the science to show that it does what it’s intended to do, and that it’s safe. Brands that have been well researched will say so on their websites.
You can also contact them and ask them about their studies. They should be able to prove with science that whatever they claim is true.
Was the whole finished product studied or just one of its ingredients?
Some manufacturers may add to the confusion by saying that their active ingredient has been researched. But is their active ingredient exactly the same form and potency as the one used in the original research? And what else did they put in their product? Sometimes those extra ingredients may influence the effectiveness of the finished product.
Any company should be able to provide you easily with this information and if they can’t, I would stay away.
Does the product contain allergens, glutens and artificial colors?
Always read the label to make sure the product doesn’t contain any nasty or weird additives that are not needed. You’ll be surprised how much unnecessary stuff is sometimes added to supplements.
This is just as simple as reading the back of the label!
Is the product suitable for the entire family?
I like to buy supplements for cold season that work for everyone in my family. Usually when one person gets sick, so do the rest. So it’s easier to have a supplement that works for everyone and that you can give to everyone at once.
Some important questions to ask, can it safely be given to children over age 2 or 3? Are there adult formulas? Will children like the taste or will giving it to them become a struggle?
Now, I know all this sounds like a lot! But keep in mind that most of the time you only have to do this research once. When I find a product that fits my standards I just stick to that one because I know what’s in it!
Also, when in doubt call the company! I have found that the good ones are very transparent about their practices and also very helpful in answering all my crazy questions.
Here’s an example of how I determine how to buy a supplement:
I knew I wanted to buy a black elderberry product for my family. Black elderberry is AMAZING when it comes to supporting your family’s immune health, which is important during cold and cough season.
I’d already done some reading and discovered that black elderberries have nearly twice the amount of natural anthocyanins (compounds that support the immune system) than any other fruit. That’s probably why black elderberries have been used since ancient times in a variety of traditional remedies and why they are so popular!
A Google search turned up the top brands, including Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract. A quick look at the website told me that the original Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract is the same finished product used in nearly 20 years of scientific research.
I compared brands. I learned that not all black elderberry products are alike. Sambucol uses the whole elderberry in its extract, so you get the benefit of the berry’s natural balance. Most of the other brands I found only use part of the elderberry. Using the whole berry or part of it doesn’t make the same product – it’s a fundamentally different ingredient! So, this made my research easier since I eliminated all the options that didn’t use the whole berry.
I read the labels and spent more time on the brands’ websites. By this point, I was practically sold on Sambucol but I still had questions. I found that Sambucol’s deep purple color comes from the berries themselves.
And I also discovered they have fruit-flavored Sambucol Gummies! I don’t know about your kids but my kids will take anything in gummy format which meant I had found a supplement that would supporttheir immune system and that they would actually take on a regular basis.
These gummies are great because they don’t contain artificial flavors or colors and they are also gluten, nut, soy, dairy and egg free. The best part is that they’re really tasty, so tasty that my husband said he wanted the gummies too!
During cold season I always put 2 gummies in my kids’ lunchboxes! (Check out my Instagram Stories highlights where you can see my kids’ school lunches).
I compared the range of products.
In addition to the Gummies, there are Sambucol syrups for adults and kids (age 4 and older), pastilles and effervescent tablets. So, there are all sorts of easy ways for everyone in the family to get a daily dose of its powerful immune-supporting antioxidants.
This is important for me because not every member in my family likes to consume supplements in the same format so I LOVE when a brand has different options to meet all of our needs.
Currently in my medicine cabinet I have:
We use the first 2 on a regular basis. We stick to the dose on the bottle’s label when we’re using it regularly and then up the dose to 3 times a day once anyone in our home is sick. This is per our doctor’s orders so always double check with your doctor before taking a different dosage.
We also take the homeopathic remedy when we’re feeling sick.
As you can see, the process of figuring out what to buy has a few steps but it’s not too hard! Most of the time, if you look for a product with scientific studies that back itup, you won’t find that many. This means you won’t have that many options to choose from, which means your research won’t take too long. And once you find that product, you will know what to buy from now on.
I hope these guidelines will help you choose products and supplements that meet your standards for your family.