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Honey: Another Long Forgotten Cough Suppressant

Feb 25, 2008
Most of us can attest to the fact, that having those old annoying cold symptoms of a stuffy head, sore throat, and that general run down feeling is almost bearable compared to the uncontrollable coughing that often disrupts normal routines and prevents night time rest. An old natural folk remedy, however, has recently been rediscovered in helping to reduce your child's cough due to a cold, or an upper respiratory infection.

As you have probably heard recently, OTC (over the counter) cough and cold syrups, for children under the age of 2, have been voluntarily pulled from the market by the manufacturers of these products.

Coincidently, following a petition filed by concerned pediatricians and public health officials, who have been questioning the effectiveness of these particular preparations for years, a FDA advisory panel also issued a warning statement to parents that these OTC formulas should be avoided in children under 6.

The serious health risks that may occur from using these products comes from unintended overdoses, or accidental ingestion. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) endorses the FDA warning in children under age 2 because previous research studies have already shown that these products are not only ineffective, but youngsters simply react to drugs differently than adults.

As a concerned and loving parent, this is surely a piece of important information that can help protect against your child from having an unnecessary, adverse reaction to a drug, but it actually makes some good common sense too, does it not? Imagine the possible affects that any artificial chemical could have on a small body mass that weighs about 1/4 of an adults.

As a parent you may be franticly searching for a safer, more effective, alternative method in helping to reduce your child's cough the next time relief is needed. After all, a better night's sleep is what you want to be able to give your child, as well as one for yourself, right?

Before opting to take the path of least resistance by shopping the shelves of the nearest pharmacy, remember OTC cough syrup preparations only treat the symptoms and not the cause. They may make some pretty tempting promises, but there are plenty of other, more natural, alternative remedies that help relieve a cough while promoting the body's, own, natural ability to heal itself.

Well, at last, here comes some good news. And, while there will always be some naysayers and critics in any crowd, this study at least enlightened some people, to the fact, that a natural method can, realistically, compete in reducing a common symptom of a cold.

Recently, a medical university study lead by Dr. Ian Paul, director of pediatric clinical research at 'Penn State', further explored the effectiveness of an old folk remedy, honey, at reducing children's coughs due to colds or an upper respiratory tract infection. Several years prior to his honey study, he was also involved in a clinical study that proved that over-the-counter cough medications were no more effective at reducing a cough than a placebo. Out of frustration, he was determined to find safer alternatives.

Paul's honey study selectively used 105 children, ages 2-16, with coughing symptoms that prevented sleep due to upper respiratory tract infections. Doses ranged from 1/2 teaspoon for children 2-5, one teaspoon for 6-12 year olds, and 2 teaspoons for 12-18 year olds.

Out of this group, 35 of the study group received the honey treatment for coughing. The parents of these kids reported that coughing episodes were relieved enough that the children slept better, than the group of children that were not given any treatment. In comparison with the group that received OTC cough syrups, the children that used honey faired slightly better in the reduction of symptoms.

Statistically, the differences may not have been that noticeable, but consider how rather small and unpolished the study was. Obviously, the results were promising enough that more alternative studies, like this one, should be done.

It is also important to help spread a note of caution, here, that giving honey to an infant is never recommended. Children under the age of 1 pose an uncommon risk of developing infantile botulism. Honey can, sometimes, contain a rare form of bacteria that an infant's internal system is not capable of fighting off, resulting in a paralytic illness that can lead to death.

Paul's study also used 'buckwheat' honey, a notably darker colored, a rather molasses like, or malty tasting, type substance than the lighter colored, more popular varieties. This type of honey was chosen for it's known antimicrobial properties, and higher antioxidant, mineral content. In other medical studies this particular honey was also shown to help heal wounds effectively.

Buckwheat honey is thought to help calm a cough because of it's natural sweetness, causing an increase, and swallowing, of saliva produced in the mouth, thus, keeping the throat more coated and protected.

Another, often overlooked, natural cough expectorant is water. Remember to have your child to drink plenty of water during the duration of an upper respiratory tract infection, colds, or any other type of temporary sickness. Water works rather diligently at breaking down the excess mucus. Once the cough becomes productive in the loosening of phlegm (never try to suppress a phlegm type cough), the sufferer can begin to eliminate it, in time, from the body.

As you will discover, upon investigating, there are many different ways a parent can safely offer, natural and alternative approaches to dealing with an irritating cough in a child. You will also be clearing your conscious, and giving yourself a better nights sleep in the process.

More natural tips on treating coughs, and other ailments, due to the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections can be found by objectively searching the internet.

Coughing is the body's natural, defense mechanism in being able to clear out air passages of irritating excess mucous, other foreign secretions, or objects. This is an important body healing process. A certain amount of this action is normal and to be expected, and should not be prevented with artificial chemicals, that at best, have been clearly shown to be ineffective. Another point to consider, is that multi-symptom formulas are often mixed with a host of other chemical ingredients in the sugary base that you may, or may not, need.
About the Author
Brenda Skidmore has spent the last five years actively researching natural health care alternatives. It is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information. To improve your health today visit
mywater4life.com
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