Honey – the new remedy for your child’s cough?

One spoonful better than over-the-counter syrups, study finds

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A spoonful of honey before bed may help children with a cough sleep through the night.

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In a study published in Pediatrics journal, researchers found that kids who were suffering from throat infections coughed less often and slept better after taking 10g of honey before bedtime.

The study randomly assigned 300 Israeli children, aged 1 to 5, to one of four different nighttime cough treatments.

Three quarters were given a teaspoon of either eucalyptus, citrus or labiatae honey before bed, while the rest took a placebo.

Parents were asked before and after the treatment to score the severity and frequency of their child’s cough. 

For each tot taking the honey improved by 9-10 points overnight, while those who took a placebo improved on average by only 6 points.

Researchers believe that honey’s high level of antioxidants could make it a viable alternative to cough syrups, but were quick to emphasise it’s not safe for infants under 12 months.

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