Honey - effective remedy for coughs

Instead of reaching out for that cough syrup when your child is suffering from an incessant, nagging cough that worsens at night, you might try good old honey as a home-remedy.

honey highly effective for coughs

New research has confirmed the efficacy of honey in treating coughs; in fact it is better than any over-the-counter cough medicine.

In a study, a dose before bedtime easily outperformed a cough suppressant widely used in commercial treatments. Honey was better at cutting the severity, frequency and disturbance from night-time coughs of those suffering upper respiratory infection.

It also helped their sleep, suggesting that parents may be wasting their money on expensive alternatives sold in chemists and supermarkets. The study compared honey to dextromethorphan (DM), the active ingredient in many cough mixtures.

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.

Dr. Ian Paul, a researcher at Penn State College of Medicine, says that advantage of using honey is that it is generally less expensive than OTC medications and brings none of the side effects like dizziness or sleepiness which are caused by cough syrups.

Honey's ability to help coughs may be due to the way it soothes on contact and stimulates saliva.

The stickiness and viscosity of honey makes it the medicine of choice for sore throat and coughs. Dr Paul says that demulcents [like honey] can soothe irritated mucous membranes and thereby remove the irritation that is fueling the cough reflex

Dr. Paul further adds that the type of honey plays a role in the treatment. honey for coughs "Darker honeys have more antioxidants than lighter honeys but  lighter honeys would probably also benefit kids".

However there is a minimum age to have honey whether to eat or to relieve cough. You should not give honey to children younger than 1  because of the risk of botulism.

Since it's not a good idea to give cough syrups and other OTC medications to kids below the age of 6, honey as a cough syrup is a godsend.

It's natural, safe and highly effective. Just 2 teaspoons of honey before bedtime can relieve your child's coughing and give him /her a restful sleep at night.

So what do you do when your kids suffer from a hacking cough? Do you prefer OTC medicines or home-remedies?  Did you ever try honey for coughs and noticed a difference? Do share in your comments.

Also read: Dry cough? Try these effective home-remedies. 
[Updated Post]

Related Posts That You May Like:


  1. Anonymous5:52 PM

    You should not forget to add honey to your tea. Honey is a great anti EVERYTHING. Very beneficial, I must say. My daughter actually took just a tsp of honey straight last time she started to get a cold. She didn't complain about the cold again.Garlic is also good. We make it into a butter (1 tbsp melted butter - 1 clove or more garlic crushed into butter) We spread it on bread and grill it (don't toast, butter might ignite) or we put it on our favorite pasta. Some just pop a garlic clove, but we like the flavor :-)

  2. Ashok9:00 AM

    Very informative post, thank you !

  3. Rohini9:05 AM

    Thank you for the post!

  4. UNKNOWN9:10 AM

    A tbls honey and a little cinnamon is a cure for a lot of things. Take it daily. Just make a paste out of it. Also defiantly do peroxide, and stay away from sugar and dairy


Comments posted on this blog are moderated and approved only if they are relevant, on-topic and not abusive. Avoid using links to your site/blog in the body of your comment unless it is highly relevant to the post.