December 5, 2007

Study: Honey Works Better Than Cough Syrup

A Penn State study found that honey was more effective than dextromathorphan for treating nighttime coughs in kids ages 2-11. The dosages used in the test were equivalent to the cough syrup: half a teaspoon for kids 2-5, a full teaspoon for kids 6-11.

Both parents and kids reported better sleep quality. Kids reported they liked the bear-shaped bottle. Also, remember that episode of ER? Don't give honey to a kid under 1yo.

Honey eases nighttime cough [reuters via consumerist]

6 Comments

Nevermind that. How well does honey work at getting a kid to sleep in an airplane?

I guess I will start hording honey so if they pull it from the market I'll be set.

ok - just two weeks ago I said to the nurse at my pediatrician's office -- after she recommended a teaspoon of benadryl for my coughing 14mo old son -- "how about a teaspoon of honey?" -- and she practically snorted at me and said dismissively "Well, it won't do anything" - and I want to say to her now, HA!

(but I don't remember her name)

Add to all of this that because it tastes a million times better it's about 100 times less likely to be vomited back up on you and it's SOOOO worth it!

I actually tried this out with my recent extreme illness and I can say that it worked as well if not better than any cough syrup I've ever used... which is to say I still slept like a person dying from the plague... but at least it soothed my cough to the point that I wasn't wretching every 20 minutes. That was blessing enough.

Just wanted to add that you can give *pasteurized* honey to infants - honey has botulism spores that can collect in an infant's gut and do Bad Things but if it's pasteurized - not just cooked - the spores are killed. So products like Chestal Honey (a homeopathic cough syrup) are OK for infants.

my son is 18 months old and was sick a few weeks ago (bad cough and fever). The nurse suggested we give him a spoon of warm honey to coat his throat before bed, but since he hasn't yet had honey she didn't want him to have it for the first time when he was sick. So she suggested warm jelly instead. It worked very well (we also sat with him in the bathroom with the hot shower on to loosen his cough). Both of those in combination seemed to work, he slept very well.

[i'm starting to feel sorry for the pharmaceutical company executives. if only steam baths and warm jelly could somehow be turned into a $2bn industry. -ed.]

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