Our parents or grandparents often gave us a good spoonful of honey or prepared an herbal tea with honey, when as a child we had a cough. The image of these “home” remedies are sometimes negative. However, two studies have shown the opposite. In children, honey is more effective than conventional drugs such as dextromethorphan (to treat a dry cough).
Secrets of honey to relieve cough
The first study is Israeli, it appeared in the edition of the scientific journal Pediatrics. This research work focused on 300 children aged 1 to 5 who suffered from cough.
The researchers gave one group of children a spoon of honey before sleeping and the other group a spoon of a substance of the same texture but which was not honey (date syrup). In both groups the children saw their symptoms as well as the quality of sleep improve.
However, according to parents who gave a score on a scale of 1 to 7 based on symptoms, the group that took honey scored on average one point higher than the placebo (date syrup) group.
According to these researchers, honey is extremely rich in antioxidants thanks to its components such as vitamin C or flavonoids. Honey also has an anti-infectious action (we know that dry cough is often of viral or bacterial origin).
Another interesting property of honey is its almost mechanical ability to make the child salivate, this allows better lubrication of the upper respiratory tract (pharynx, larynx, mouth) and is particularly effective in case of dry cough.
Reduce coughing and restore good quality sleep
Another American study, carried out by the University of Pennsylvania published in the scientific journal Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, showed that honey was more effective than dextromethorphan (a substance widely used in syrup against dry cough).
This study involved 3 groups of children: with honey (from buckwheat), dextrometorphan or a placebo. Honey and dextrometorphan showed superior results on cough frequency and severity. The study also showed that honey had a significantly better effect on coughs than dextrometorphan.
The researchers also showed that honey was better tolerated in children, especially at night. According to these researchers, the good taste of honey and its soothing power make it possible to increase the secretion of mucus in the respiratory tract. The child will see his cough decrease and the quality of his sleep will improve.