Honey – an excellent cure for child cough

A teaspoon of honey taken at bedtime could bring in relief for children suffering from severe cough, suggests a new study.

The finding is based on reports of the children’s symptoms recorded after they were subjected to various treatments, and the researchers concluded that honey proved to be far better than a cough medicine.

The research report that was published in Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine detailed the study conducted by a group of researchers, who carried out their study on 105 children with upper respiratory infections from a clinic in Pennsylvania. The parents of the children were given a paper bag that contained a dosage device. While some where empty, some had age-appropriate dosage of honey-flavoured cough medicine, containing dextromethorphan. The others had similar dosage of honey.

The parents were enquired about the children’s sleep pattern and cough symptoms before and after bedtime treatment. The symptoms were rated on a seven-point scale.

The paediatricians who read the study said they would advise parents seeking alternative medicines to try honey. However, they cautioned that children below one year of age should not be given honey due to the rare, but serious risk of botulism.

The researchers stated that the benefits of honey could be due to its anti-oxidants and microbe-fighting effects. But the dark variety of honey is better than the buckwheat honey, due to its richness in antioxidants.

The researchers concluded that a teaspoon of honey before bed helps in calming children’s cough, and helped them sleep better.