Do you take medications like NyQuil to make you feel better to later find out they are masking the illness by (possibly) ridding the symptoms for a short amount of time. Don’t worry, I have a NyQuil alternative that is holistic! Today we will be talking about all things NyQuil and why you should leave it on the grocery store shelf and dispose of what you already have at home. Your liver, kidneys, brain and future health will thank you mucho. If you are here to defend and protect your beloved hyperactive drug, I ask that you find a different blog to visit. Here at Simplholistic we focus on health, wellbeing, and quality of life. + We love the products and practices in life that support the very things listed above. .
NyQuil is a sedative drug that is used to lessen the desire to cough and to knock you the heck out. P&G, Procter and Gamble, own this drug along with other known products like Swiffer, Dawn, Febreeze, Gain, Tampax and Olay. It’s a little (a lot) weird to me that the makers of these cleaning products would also own an oral drug to “help” you out when you’re sick. On a side note, Olay uses palm oil that supports deforestation (the home of orangutans) and they seem to have no shame about that. Back to NyQuil, any product that contains NyQuil or is NyQuil contains: alcohol, sedative antihistamines and hypnotics. Killer combo (literally). There’s another ingredients we need to focus on because ignorance isn’t bliss.
Or DXM, is a drug that went up in abuse by 15% from 1999 to 2004. It was first put on the market in the 50s, later removed then later put back on the market under a different name. It 10% alcohol and can actually cause a high which explains lots of my weird childhood NyQuil nights. Dextromethorphan takes away your desire to cough aka it masks the congestion that is underlying. When abused or taken in excess, DXM can cause brain damage, seizures and even death. The symptoms of acute use/toxicity are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, ataxia, slurred speech, mood swings, perceptual changes and aggression. It can even trigger limbic seizures, depression and psychosis. Holistic alternatives to NyQuil won’t contain these harsh ingredients.
DXM is metabolized by the liver. Specifically, a P450 enzyme called CYP2D6. A significant amount of our population happens to have a dysfunctional CYP2D6 enzyme which means we are not even metabolizing these products. Other common drugs like SSRIs and antidepressants also use this enzymatic pathway which increases the chance of negative drug interaction.
The long-term use of DXM can cause liver and brain damage. Overuse causes an irreversible shrinkage of the Cerebellum. This is the part of our brain that controls sensory, motor and integration: balance, touch, feeling, etc. Overuse of DXM can also cause rhabdomyolysis which is high serum protein due to muscular cell death and breakdown (too much protein floating around in our bodies) = kidney failure. DXM is highly addition. Go figure. No wonder we need to choose holistic alternatives to NyQuil!
The active ones.
Taking a loot at the active ingredients we see several different long names which leaves us with many questions. The rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce it, don’t but it. Of course this rule has a few exceptions like quinoa, ashwagandha, turmeric and other fun spices. One of the active ingredients is acetaminophen which is an antipyretic (prevent/reduce fever) and analgesic (pain reliever). The body uses three liver pathways to break down acetaminophen. The first two are “safe” but when they become overwhelmed, the third pathway starts to convert acetaminophen into a liver toxin.
The inactive ones.
The inactive ingredients are enough to make me cringe and only pray that you never give this to your kids again. The toxic combination of artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup, windshield wiper fluid and alcohol has me asking how a product like this is on the shelf. At least they use purified water though, right? HFCS is a no-go. It suppresses the immune system which, ironically, is already suppressed. Artificial dyes have proven in study after study to cause hyperactivity in children (ADD, ADHD, Autism). If anything, they stimulate your brain in negative ways and send false signals of satisfaction. When I mentioned windshield wiper fluid above, I am talking about propylene glycol. This is in antifreeze and also in our food system. Here is an awesome article on it from Dr. Axe. He sheds light on the importance of finding an alternative to NyQuil.
I was with my family last Thanksgiving in Lake Tahoe and one of my brothers got a little cold and asked my mom to get him something for it. Mom came home with NyQuil and I was like “wait, what?!”. After asking him if he minded my guidance, I began to read the ingredient label to him. Needless to say, after I read the windshield wiper fluid portion, he threw it on the counter and said “Heck no, I’m not taking that.”. He couldn’t believe it and neither can I. I could tell you story after story of my NyQuil nights as a child. NyQuil literally made me high/drunk, not sure which one and it surely knocked me out. I always felt trip after taking it. If I fought the tiredness it made for even more of a psychedelic episode.
So, what is the holistic alternative to NyQuil?
Your are probably thinking that there could possibly be no good here but there is! That is what is go great about natural medicine and the human body. The body is its own medicine and often times just needs a little boost to get it back into that immune boosting zone. I have included a few natural options for the next time that cold or headache hits.
Lavender oil: perfect for headaches, anti-inflammatory and sinus issues
Lemon oil: great for detoxification and ridding congestion
Peppermint oil: also wonderful in ridding congestion and headaches
You can create a nice blend of these three oils for a cold fighter that’s ready to go when the next one hits.
Sandalwood, Frankincense, Bergamot and Vetiver are wonderful for those sleepless nights. You can apply this topically or aromatically. If you choose to use it aromatically you can put 4-5 drops in an essential oil diffuser and get the good vibes flowing.
Probiotics, coconut oil and slippery elm are all great things to have on hand. Probiotics help to repopulate good gut bacteria. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial and slippery elm feels lovely on the throat when it has a little tickle.
Elderberry Syrup is the syrup I use throughout the winter to keep the nasty bug away from me and my husband. We take a tablespoon a day when it seem like we are getting a little cold and BAM it knocks it right out. You need organic vodka, elderberries and a mason jar to make it. It is fun for us to go our foraging for the elderberries and make it from our own bounty. If you want to purchase some from me, email me and I will get you some! If you want to make it yourself, here is the recipe.