Treating a Cough with Honey

Treating a Cough with Honey

          If your child has a cough, try giving him honey before bed—it may cut down on nighttime hacking, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. This is good news, since traditional cough meds are no longer advised for kids ages 6 and younger.

          The thick syrup coats and soothes the back of the throat, while the sweet taste causes salivation, which thins mucus and reduces the urge to cough. Honey’s antioxidants may even help the body fend off nasty cold bugs, thereby alleviating cold symptoms, says Ian Paul, M.D., lead study author.

          For kids ages 1 to 5, start with half a teaspoon (don’t mix the honey in tea—this could dilute its effect), and for those 6 and up, offer one teaspoon. Feel free to re-dose as often as needed, but remember: Never give honey to children under 1 because in rare cases it can cause infantile botulism.

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