Tips to Protect Your Child with Down Syndrome from RSV and Other Respiratory Viruses Naturally

Updated: Nov 22

This year many children are falling victim to respiratory illnesses namely respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and rhinoviruses (the virus that causes the common cold).

You're probably worried about how virulent the strains seem this year and you're sure to want to know how to better protect your child or children from getting sick.

Conventional wisdom states that there's nothing to be done against these viruses other than prophylactic flu shots and the hand washing and social distancing. Other than shots, hygiene, and social distancing, there's not much more that conventional medicine has to offer when it comes to preventing a viral infection, let alone caring for your child with one.

RSV is one of the main causes of respiratory illness, hospitalization, and death in young children, especially those with Down syndrome. Therefore, its important to keep your child with Down syndrome as healthy as possible when it comes to protecting him or her from RSV and other respiratory illnesses.

Here are some tips on how to protect your child from RSV, influenza, and other respiratory viruses naturally.

Chinese Skullcap

Scutellaria baicalensis, also known as Chinese skullcap, is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese medicine. Chinese skullcap is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family.

Chinese skullcap has many different phytonutrients that help to boost its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. One of these is baicalin. Baicalin is a flavone glycoside that studies suggest packs the most antiviral punch against respiratory viruses like RSV.

One animal study found that RSV greatly damaged lung tissue and caused T cell infiltration into lung tissue further promoting an inflammatory response in the lungs.

Inflammation in the lungs leads to pneumonia which can be deadly to individuals with Down syndrome.

The study went on to find that the baicalin in Chinese skullcap was effective in reducing the T cell white blood cell infiltration in the lung tissue as well as reducing the viral load in the lungs.

This means that Chinese skullcap may help to reduce lung inflammation while reducing the amount of RSV that enters into the lungs. This translates into a shorter and less severe bout of illness.


Astragalus membranaceous, commonly known as astragalus, has a long history of antiviral activity in ancient Chinese medicine. Astragalus has been found to have specific antiviral activity against the flu virus.

Studies show that astragalus helps to block influenza virus from entering into cells, increases anti-oxidant activity through the superoxide dismutase pathway, and reduces MDA or malondialdehyde, a marker of inflammation commonly high in people with Down syndrome.

Animal studies also suggest that astragalus helps protect against viral induced myocarditis, a serious condition that is characterized by inflammation of the heart.