The ZarBee’s Children’s Cough Syrup Story

Hello and thank you for visiting our blog. My name is Dr. Zak Zarbock, M.D.  Not only am I a practicing pediatrician, but also a grateful husband married to the love of my life and the father of four energetic boys.  After finishing medical school at Ohio State, we moved our family to Utah where I completed a pediatric residency.  It was also in Utah that we experienced many cold winters, filled not only with many beautiful ski days, but plenty of coughs, sore throats and runny noses.
Towards the end of the 2007-2008 cold and flu season I grew tired of watching my patients and my own children suffer through coughs and sore throats with no relief.  Like many parents, we were also frustrated with the FDA bans on cough and cold medicines, even though we never really felt like they worked.  It was just comforting to be able to give a medicine rather than listen as one or more of our boys hacked away all night.  It was during one of those long, sleepless nights that I decided to find a better way.
Starting with extensive research and a literature review, I found that there has never been a good study showing that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are effective in children.  In fact, most of the clinical trials show that cough medicines are no more effective than using nothing at all. Fortunately, I came across another clinical trial performed at Penn State University.  The study involved children, aged 2-18 with upper respiratory infections, and showed that buckwheat honey was more effective than dextromethorphan (also called DM and commonly found in Robitussin, Dimetapp, Delsym, etc.) in reducing nighttime coughs, child sleep, and parent sleep.
This all sounded too good to be true, and in some ways it was.   I found out the hard way when I tried to gulp down a large spoonful of buckwheat honey, and my heart sunk further when my 3 year-old’s gag reflex was in full effect with the first swallow.   The research continued.
I found that buckwheat honey, a dark honey colored by the flower from which it is derived, isn’t the only honey that is high in antioxidants and very nutritious.  I was able to identify several varieties of dark honey with different types of antioxidants that when combined form a more complete antioxidant profile.  The taste though, being much stronger than traditional clover honey, was still an issue.  This is the part where I involved my chemistry friends.  Together, we were able to find all-natural lemon and cherry flavors, subtle enough to give a pleasant taste, yet strong enough to take off the edge.  This was confirmed when my weak stomached 3 year-old asked for a little bit more.
To make it complete, we added a full serving of vitamin C with each dose and zinc gluconate to provide a little assistance to the immune system.  And, using an old family nickname, we called our concoction “ZarBee’s.” What we created was an incredibly effective cough syrup that is safe enough to be used in children all the way down to 12 months of age.  Time and time again, it has proven to be effective in reducing coughs and sore throats due to throat irritation.  And lucky for us as parents, it has provided a few extra hours of much needed shut-eye.
And that, is the story of how ZarBee’s Children’s Cough Syrup came to be.  Thank you for visiting our blog.  Please leave us comments and feedback.  Check the blog frequently for upcoming news, tips, coupons, and promotions.


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