Safe cough medicine for children

September 14, 2008

In the USA there is a call for a ban of all cough medicines for children age 6 for two very good reasons. One, they don’t work well and two, the incidences of drug overdose for the children who use them are too high. A safe and effective home remedy is to go to the store cupboard and get out the honey as researchers at Penn State University recently found that giving children a spoonful of honey before bedtime was significantly better for quieting coughs, compared to a commercial cough suppressant containing dextromethorphan or no treatment at all. Honey soothes the throat by coating the area that is irritated and is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-microbial compounds that are very beneficial for healing.

Children ages 2 to 5 can have a half teaspoon; ages 6 to 12 can have a teaspoon; and ages 12 and over can have two teaspoons.

It may be helpful to follow the honey with a warm – not milky – drink such as decaffeinated tea. The type of honey makes a difference – go for a tested honey such as manuka, it’s more expensive, but it is more effective.


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