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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow HONEY FOR KID'S COUGHS

This is a great little study from the December 2007 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Relying on parents' reports of their children's symptoms the study showed that a teaspoon of honey before bed seemed to calm children's coughs and help them sleep better. Honey worked better than cough medicine or no treatment in a three-way comparison. Honey may work by coating and soothing an irritated throat, the study authors said.

As reported in my Sept. 29 2007 blog, "Just Say No" federal health advisers have recently warned that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines shouldn't be used in children younger than 6. Some manufacturers are taking some products for babies off the market.Just remember that honey should not be given to children under age 1 because of a rare but serious risk of botulism.

For this study, researchers recruited 105 children with upper respiratory infections from a clinic in Pennsylvania. Parents were given a paper bag with a dosing device inside. Some were empty. Some contained an age-appropriate dose of honey-flavored cough medicine containing dextromethorphan. And some contained a similar dose of honey.The parents were asked about their children's sleep and cough symptoms, once before the bedtime treatment and once after. They rated the symptoms on a seven-point scale. Honey consistently scored best in parents' rating of their children's cough symptoms.

Because the sugar in honey will lower your immune response it wouldn't be my first choice. However, it's nice to see some simple remedies get the limelight. I would recommend the wet sock treatment, which is a wonderful hydrotherapy approach to decrease congestion, increase immune response, and ease sleep. If necessary you can combine it with the Vitamin C protocol.


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