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Well, it's that time again.
We are approaching the dreaded winter + cold + flu + sickness time of the year. Missed days of school and work. Long sleepless nights.
I want to make sure you are prepared and all set with the cleanest, organic natural remedies for your children.
But today, we're going to talk about "natural flavors" used in mainstream cough syrups and other over-the-counter products.
Are "natural flavors" really natural?
Are "natural flavors" really natural? The truth is...not really.
Sometimes they contain synthetic chemicals, preservatives, solvents and GMO derived ingredients. They may only contain a tiny origin from the original source, but then it's enhanced in a lab and added to your food or product. And that tiny origin is all that is needed to be able to call it "natural".
It can also end up containing between 1 to 100 ingredients just to make that "natural flavoring".
"Natural" just means that an ingredient was "originally" found in a "naturally occurring source". It doesn't have anything to do with what happens to it after it's been "originally" found and is now in a lab being prepared to add to your "natural" product. As long as it's labeled "natural", you are led to believe it is natural, that it hasn't been altered, and is safe.
Why all the trickery and vague manipulation of words? Why not just use REAL ingredients from REAL WHOLE FOODS?
Here's a few examples of how the food industry uses the word "natural" when it's far from it:
- Petroleum - did you know that studies have shown that a petrolatum impurity is a known carcinogen?
- Melatonin - did you know that when "melatonin" is listed as an ingredient in a product, it’s a man-made synthetic?
- Hydrogenated Oils - did you know that hydrogenated oils are only one molecule away from plastic!
- Natural Flavors - did you know that "natural flavors" can consist of anywhere from 1 to 100 ingredients? Including synthetic chemicals, preservatives or GMO derived ingredients?
How can you trust a brand that cleverly disguises the true contents of their product? And knowingly give that product to your child or loved one?
You never have to worry about any of these ingredients being included in Maty's products...ever.
While it's always a good idea to stay away from "natural flavors" and "natural coloring" for these reasons, it's best to find products that are transparent, don't use "natural" ingredients and ones use real, whole food ingredients with nothing to hide.
Maty's Organic Cough Syrup's only uses whole food ingredients...not "natural flavors".
You can save yourself all the worry and wondering of "is this really safe?" or "is this really natural?" by just purchasing products like Maty's that you know are made with real food ingredients that you would find in your own kitchen, not ingredients from a lab.
children's cough syrup showdown
Just like in the clean eating recipes I share with you, I try to emphasize the importance of ingredients that are used and why they are important and beneficial, like in my "5 Fast Facts". This is the same thing I want to share with you about Maty's and their products.
On most of my recipe posts, I show a S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) ingredient list of a similar product to show you the difference between clean, real food ingredients like I use and what the mainstream food manufacturers are trying to pass off as "food".
Here's a comparison of Maty's Cough Syrups with another mainstream brand highlighting organic + real food ingredients vs. "natural flavors" and "synthetic melatonin":
Maty's = Real Food Ingredients / No "Natural Ingredients" + 10 Immune Boosters In every spoonful
Zarbee's = "Natural" Grape Flavor + 5 Immune Boosters
Maty's is made with Real Food Ingredients, doesn't have any "natural" flavors and has 2x the amount of Immune Boosters in every spoonful
Maty's = Organic / Real Food Ingredients / No "Natural" Flavors + 10 Immune Boosters in every spoonful
Zarbee's = "Natural" Grape Flavor + 5 Immune Boosters
Maty's is Organic, doesn't have any "natural" flavors and has 2x the amount of Immune Boosters in every spoonful
Maty's = Organic / Real Food Ingredients / No "Natural" Flavors + No Melatonin
Zarbee's = "Natural" Grape Flavor + Synthetic Melatonin
Maty's is Organic, doesn't have any "natural" flavors and doesn't contain any melatonin
The comparison between these two brands is a no-brainer. With Maty's, you get Organic, real food ingredients, no "natural flavors", no synthetic melatonin and 2x the amount of Immune Boosters.
What Maty's Uses Instead
Now that we know Maty's never uses petroleum, fragrances, hydrogenated oils, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, mineral oils, gluten or chemicals ~and~ their products are dairy-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free and uses no animal testing, let's look at what Maty's does use in their products.
For example, instead of using "natural lemon flavor", Maty's uses pure lemon oil. The real thing.
Here's the real food ingredient list for their Organic Cough Syrups:
Different varieties to choose from for different situations
There are (4) different cough syrup varieties to choose from, depending on the cough situation:
- Maty's Organic Children's Cough Syrup - "Sooths little throats, Quickly Calms Coughs, Pediatrician Recommended"
- Maty's Organic Children's Goodnight Cough Syrup - "Turns Coughs Into ZZZ's, Soothes Little Throats, Pediatrician Recommended"
- Maty's Organic Childrens Mucus Cough Syrup - "Soothes Little Throats, Clears Out The Yucky Stuff, Pediatrician Recommended"
- Maty's All Natural Children's Cough Syrup - "Soothes Little Throats, Quickly Calms Coughs, Pediatrician Recommended"
You have one for regular daytime use for general coughs made with organic ingredients, one for nighttime coughs to help them sleep better (without melatonin) made with organic ingredients, one for coughs with mucus made with organic ingredients, and one for regular daytime use for general coughs made with all natural ingredients.
Quick Note: Because Maty's cough syrups contain "honey" as an ingredient, they should not be used for infants or any child under 1 year of age.
My "Stay Well " Strategy while traveling abroad
So now that I've told you why you ~must~ grab a bottle of Maty's cough syrup before cold and flu season starts, let me share with you my "stay well" strategy for this upcoming winter season ~and~ while traveling.
When I say traveling, I don't mean a trip down the interstate to grandma's house to spend time with family.
No...it's much worse than that.
My family will be traveling to Europe. On a Transatlantic cruise. For 21 days. In 6 different countries. At 10 different ports of call. And on 3 different airline flights through 3 countries. Yes, it's true. Being a germ-phobic, just typing all that makes me want to change my mind! Just kidding...the experience more than outweighs the risk of getting sick.
But...I am going to be proactive to make sure we are prepared on this trip in case sickness strikes.
And it's possible it will.
So for our upcoming trip, I'm going to be packing along the Organic Cough Syrup, Organic Mucus Cough Syrup and the Organic Goodnight Cough Syrup, because it will be extremely hard (if not impossible) to find something clean and organic to use while being away from home.
My best advice - BE PREPARED IN ADVANCE 🙂
Be prepared and have a bottle on hand before you need it!
You don't have to take a long, extended international trip to be worried about coughs and colds this winter. Think of school, shopping environments, play dates, day care, work environments, family visits, etc.
And of course, any commercial traveling like flights, subways or buses. The chance of getting sick is the worst during this time of year and you'll want to make sure you have something already in your cabinet for your little ones if sickness strikes.
If you're like me, you will be so worried about your little sick one's comfort and recovery that the last thing you want to be worrying about is a) having to run out to go buy something at the last minute and b) standing in a grocery aisle reading ingredient lists and worrying or trying to figure out which brand to buy and why.
I've already done all the hard work for you!
Grab a bottle of Maty's on your next grocery trip, add it to your cabinet, or if traveling, drop one in your purse or diaper bag and you're good to go!
Not only can you buy Maty's products online from their website or Amazon, but there are so many convenient places to buy Maty's now like Target, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid and many, many more. Just visit their "Where To Buy" page to see all the stores that carry their brand.
Check out their new packaging and website!
If I haven't convinced you already that Maty's should be your #1 choice for organic and whole food remedies, I have to take a moment to let you know they've updated their packaging and I L.O.V.E. love it! I'm the type of person that will buy a product that is equal to another just because of cute packaging and presentation alone (and besides the fact it's the best organic and whole food remedy out there), I would pick Maty's on their packaging alone!
One of the logos on their new packaging is "Whole Food Health". I LOVE that...because that's exactly what it is. It's taking care of your health using whole foods, which is the foundation of their products.
Their website has gotten a cute makeover too to match their new branding and packaging...make sure you check it out here.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is their high quality, whole food ingredients. Their cough syrups contain 10 whole food Immune Boosters in every spoonful.
Even though today's post was focused on Maty's cough syrup line, they have other natural products that follow the same philosophy as their cough syrups...like All Natural Vapor Rub (no petroleum), All Natural Baby Ointment (no petroleum or hydrogenated oils) and All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief (naturally drug-free, for adults and pregnant + breastfeeding mothers). View their entire product line here.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Maty’s Healthy Products. I was compensated for my time and received product for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and comments are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that make this website possible!
Hi, I'm Karielyn! I'm the published cookbook author of CLEAN DESSERTS and content creator of The Healthy Family and Home website since 2012. I specialize in creating easy, healthy plant-based recipes that are gluten-free + vegan and made with clean, real food ingredients that you can feel good about eating.