Honey, I’m Cough­ing

Natural Solutions - - Publisher's Note -

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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