A Spoonful of Honey to Ease Night Time Coughing

TAU researchers find honey soothes coughs in sleeping children

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a sweet remedy for children's night time coughs.

A spoonful of honey a half-hour before bedtime was found to temper the frequency and severity of a cough in small children, says Dr. Herman Avner Cohen of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine in a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Because many over-the-counter cough medications cannot be given to children under the age of four, safe and effective ways to soothe a small child's cough are important. And unlike medication, this natural remedy does not have any dangerous side effects.

Approximately 300 children from one through five were randomly assigned to one of four different natural cough remedies — three different kinds of honey or a sweet syrup made from dates that did not include any honey. The researchers then followed up with parents, who were asked to rate their children's cough symptoms, how well their children slept the night before the treatment, then how well their children slept the night of the honey treatment.

On average, parents rated the severity and frequency of their children's coughing and their sleep disruption a "three" or "four" on a seven-point scale without the honey. But on the night that the children took a spoonful of honey before bed, the numbers dropped by two points. For those who had received the date syrup treatment, numbers dropped by only one point. The success of this honey treatment could be related to the antioxidants commonly found in honey, especially darker varieties.

There was a bonus for parents, too: they themselves slept better thanks to their children's more peaceful slumbers, say the researchers, who recommend this treatment for children one year and older.

For the full story on how honey can ease your child's cough, see the Chicago Tribune story:


For more news about pediatric medicine research from Tel Aviv University, click here.

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