Natural Health Tips

Honey Is Better For Treating Coughs Than Cough Medicine

Honey performs better than cough medicine when it comes to helping a child fight off a cough, researchers say. A study has found that honey offers an effective and safe alternative than over the counter children's cough medicines.

Researchers found that honey was better at cutting the severity, frequency and disturbance from night-time coughs of those suffering upper respiratory infection, compared to an over-the-counter cough medicine.

The study found that a small dose of buckwheat honey given before bedtime provided better relief of night-time cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), the active ingredient found in many over-the-counter cough mixtures. Honey also showed a positive effect on the sleep quality of both the coughing child and the child's parents.

Scientists found that the cough medicine ingredient DM made no significant difference to symptoms compared with having no treatment for the 105 children aged two to 18 in the research. They were divided into groups receiving honey, a honey-flavoured DM medicine or no treatment about 30 minutes before bedtime. Parents rated honey as significantly better than DM or no treatment.

The researchers said that honey offered a "safe and legitimate alternative" to DM, which can occasionally cause severe side effects in children, including muscle contractions and spasms.

Honey Is A Natural Healer

Honey has been used for centuries to treat upper respiratory infection symptoms like cough, and is considered to be safe for children over 12 months old.

Honey has well-established antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, which could explain its contributions to wound healing. Honey also soothes on contact, which may help explain its effect on coughs.

It is recommended that you use high quality Raw organic honey. This honey retains a higher array of nutrients and has the enzymes still intact enabling the body to utilize the nutrients more efficiently.

Research Paper Details:

Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, et al. Effect of honey, Dextromethorphan, and No Treatment on Nocturnal cough and sleep Quality for Coughing children and Their Parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1140-1146.