Honey for Suppressing Coughs

Honey for Suppressing CoughA study featured in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine(2007;161:1140-6) found that honey may be an effective cough suppressant. A single dose of buckwheat honey was given at night time to children 2 to 18 years of age. According to the principal investigator,Ian Paul,the following doses are considered appropriate: NO honey for children under the age of 2 for fear of botulism, for those 2 to 5 years,1/2 teaspoon; for those 6 to 11years; 1 teaspoon; for those who are 12 or older; 2 teaspoons per dose. Doses may be administered every 3-4 hours as needed, though in the actual trial ,doses were limited to once per evening.

Researchers assessed cough frequency and severity, and sleep quality of both child and parent as assessed by surveys completed by parents. For most symptoms, honey scored 15 to 39% better than Dextromethorphan(DM). When I was sick with a cold last winter, my medline search revealed that DM is no more effective than placebo. Remember that DM acts centrally on the brain to inhibit the cough reflex,may be linked to side effects, and has the potential for abuse.

Honey is a bacteria fighter and even has wound healing properties. Some holistic doctors recommend honey to increase resistance to pollen and prevent seasonal allergies. Buckwheat honey is dark brown and typically contains more antioxidants than lighter honeys. According to Herbs for Health http://www.herbsforhealth.com/, buckwheat honey has 5 times more antioxidant strength than light acacia honey.

So what do you have to lose? The next time you or a loved one has a cough grab some yummy honey. I have also include a recipe for honey scones:

Honey -Lemon Scones

2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
honey for topping scones

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour,oats,baking powder,baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans.
In a small bowel, whisk together egg, honey,yogurt,lemon juice and vanilla . Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour liquid mixture in the well and mix the center in with the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Coat a 12 inch cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray or oil. With floured hands, pat dough into skillet. Score the top into 8 pie-shaped wedges.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with honey drizzled over the top.

Published by Kate Pietrowski, RN, L.Ac.

Kate Pietrowski, RN, L.Ac. is a fitness instructor, weight loss consultant, acupuncturist, nurse, and a health/wellness advocate. As a nurse she worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Friends Hospital, and Bayada. Her nursing experience includes working in mental health/addictions, cardiology, rheumatology, women’s health, and general medicine. As a fitness instructor, Kate has taught a wide spectrum of group fitness classes, trained clients one on one, and worked at a wellness center at the FBI. Kate’s been studying health, nutrition, herbal medicine, and holistic studies for over 20 years.

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