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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Honey as a Remedy for Coughs

Have you ever tried the old-fashioned remedy of using honey for coughs? Well, guess what? It really works, and it's even better than over the counter (OTC) cough remedies for children-- particularly at night--by reducing the severity and frequency of coughing. And it showed a positive effect on sleep quality according to researchers at Penn State University in State College, PA.

This is good news in light of the recent FDA advisory cautioning parents not to give OTC cough medicines to children under the age of 6 years old. Most OTC cough medicines contain a cough suppressant called dextromethorphan (DM), which can cause involuntary muscle contractions.

The anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties of honey have been well documented and it is sometimes used to treat diaper rash. Many cultures have used honey to treat coughs due to colds. If your child doesn't like the taste of honey try adding a few drops of lemon juice.

Keep in mind however, that honey should not be given to children under the age of 12 months because of the potential for infant botulism to develop, a rare but severe form of food poisoning. Bees pick up botulism spores from flowers, which are widely found in soil and in nature.

Related reading: Natural Treatments for Diaper Rash

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