There’s nothing quite like a lingering cough to drive you to distraction. And if it’s your kids that are afflicted with the non-stop hacking – even worse!
But did you know that there is a natural cough remedy that’s been shown to be as effective as over-the-counter drugs, but without the potentially nasty side effects? Instead of side effects, this particular remedy comes with a fringe benefit: it’ll tickle your sweet tooth.
We’re talking about honey. Yes, that’s right – honey as a natural cough suppressant.
Sound too good to be true? Read on.
Studies Have Shown…
In 2007 scientists at Pennsylvania State University performed a study that compared treating children with honey versus treating with dextromethorphan (the primary active ingredient in common over-the-counter cough suppressants).
The children ranged in age from 2 to 18, and all suffered from upper respiratory tract infections resulting in nagging coughs and difficulty sleeping.
The result? Honey was more effective at suppressing coughing than the commonly used medication. A similar study performed in 2010 at the Shadid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences produced the same results.
The researchers aren’t entirely sure why honey is an effective treatment for suppressing coughing. But the sticky viscosity of honey is probably a factor in soothing the mucous membranes of the throat. Honey is also a rich source of antioxidants, and is known to be a natural antibiotic.
A Note of Caution
On rare occasions, honey has been suspected of causing a serious form of food poisoning called infant botulism. For that reason, experts recommend never giving honey to children that are under 1 year of age. Honey is perfectly safe for older children and adults.
Want to Try It?
As Doctor James Steckelberg of the Mayo Clinic notes: “Since honey is low-cost and widely available, it might be worth a try.”
If you’d like to give it a try, here are the dosages used by the scientists in the Pennsylvania State University study:
- 1/2 teaspoon for children ages 2 to 5
- 1 teaspoon for children ages 6 to 11
- 2 teaspoons for children 12 and older
One thing’s for certain: rare are the children who will turn up their noses at this spoonful of medicine!