Honey Soothes Children’s Cough: Find Relief for Nighttime Sleep Interruptions
Parents looking for a safe, effective alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine should give honey a try, says a new study by Penn State College of Medicine. The researchers enrolled 105 children between the ages of 2 and 18, giving them a small dose of buckwheat honey just before bedtime. They found that buckwheat honey provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep interruptions than dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant commonly found in over-the-counter children’s cold medications.
These findings are notable because a Food and Drug Administration advisory board has recommended against giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children under the age of 6, citing their lack of effectiveness and risk of side effects. Honey, to the contrary, has a well-established healthful antioxidant and antimicrobial effect. In some cultures, this sweet solution has been used for centuries to treat upper respiratory infection symptoms such as cough. Honey soothes on contact and is considered safe for children once they’ve passed their first birthday.