Use of Herbal Tea/Herbal Preparations for Children with Symptoms of Viral Upper Respiratory Infections

Turk J Pharm Sci. 2023 Mar 2;20(1):8-15. doi: 10.4274/tjps.galenos.2022.65475.


Objectives: Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are common in children. To treat the symptoms of simple health problems, individuals look for natural healing methods that can be easily prepared at home. The aim of this study was to determine the plants and herbal products used by the parents of children suffering from viral upper respiratory tract symptoms by questionaire. In the study, applications and products, other than plants used by families for their children were also investigated.

Materials and methods: This study is a cross-sectional survey conducted at Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University (Ankara, Türkiye). A questionnaire form was used by scanning the existing literature and reviewed with the patients face to face by the researchers. The data obtained from the study were analyzed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) statistical program.

Results: About half of the participants reported that they used non-chemical drug practices for their children with upper RTIs. The most common practice was to prepare herbal tea (30.5%), followed by mandarin/orange and/or their juice (26.9%) for oral application. The most used herbal tea for upper RTIs is with linden (Tilia sp.). Patients who used linden usually prepared it as tea, in other words by infusion, and served their children 1-2 cups/1-3 times a week. Except for herbal tea, the participants mostly used honey (19.0%) for their children's symptoms.

Conclusion: Where available, appropriate doses and dosage forms of herbal supplement products with scientifically proven efficacy and safety should be determined for the pediatric population. Parents should use these products based on the recommendations of their pediatrician.

Keywords: Pediatric; cross-sectional survey; herbal tea; respiratory tract infection; symptoms.