Honey, I’m Coughing
This had nothing to do with his medicinal prowess; the FDA had recently ruled that over the counter cough and cold medicines may not be given to children younger than 6 due to potentially dangerous effects of dextromethorphan (DM) in young children, including dystonic reactions, severe involuntary muscle contractions, and spasms, according to Penn State.
In a bit of a pediatric pickle, Dr. Zarbock had to come up with an answer to bridge the treatment gap for children, which at the time was to take drugs or do nothing. A simple, wholesome answer came to him in the sweet, sticky form of dark honey, which has been shown by Penn State to alleviate cough and respiration-related symptoms better than DM ever could. In the aftermath of this revelation, Dr. Zarbock founded Zarbee’s Naturals, a company that manufactures cough and immune-support remedies as naturally as possible.
We spoke with Bret Furio, the CEO of Zarbee’s, on the importance of using quality ingredients backed by science. It turns out, choosing a truly natural remedy in the supplement aisle is more difficult than it sounds.
The FDA regulates dietary supplements differently than “conventional” food and drug products, disallowing supplement providers to make any health claims because “unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases.” This makes it difficult to understand what you’re buying and feel good about its ability to cure the ailment for which you bought it.
These inelastic limitations on supplement advertising put strain on both producers and consumers of dietary supplements. A common tactic for suppliers is listing ingredients and what they may do, while health-conscious moms and dads must conduct extra-curricular research and form their own opinions on those suggested outcomes. Furio believes this is easier for consumers when they have credible science made available at their Honey has been used throughout the ages—all the way back to the time of the ancient Egyptians— in various salves, solutions, and remedies. Although honey certainly built up its resume as a trusted healer across centuries and cultures, not all honey is the same. According to research, it’s specifically the dark stuff you’re after, as it holds more antioxidant and antibacterial properties. “We discovered dark honeys overall contain about 8 times more antioxidants than honeys that are lighter in color,” said Furio. It is this highquality honey you’ll find in Zarbee’s remedies like the 99% Honey Cough Soothers. fingertips. For this reason, Zarbee’s always chooses ingredients with a long history of healing and plenty of evidence as proof.
Luckily, Furio sees a positive trend. “I think the overall macroeconomic trend is that there is a greater awareness as to what we are putting in our bodies in general, and moms, parents, and the average consumer are becoming much more [inquisitive],” he said. He even goes as far as to say this homebrewed knowledge is transforming the natural realm at large. “I mean look at Diet Coke. I was a big Diet Coke fan, and then people became more and more aware that maybe Diet Coke is not so good, and sales are struggling.”
But there is still “a lot of confusion as to what is true north,” admitted Furio. For example, if you’re looking
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