There are a lot of cough medications that can be given to ease children’s coughs; however, the presence of various side-effects of synthetic drugs may be harmful for children. If you can have a safer remedy for your children’s night time coughing, then why not use it.
A new study conducted in London has just revealed the possible role of honey in easing the coughing of children at night and this helps them sleep soundly.
Coughing at night is usually disturbing, more so for children as they need more sleep than adults. According to the study, honey may help children sleep soundly at night.
The results of the study showed that a teaspoon of honey given at night to children aged one to five years old may help relieve coughing and throat irritation.
The Effects of Honey
Honey has been a cough remedy for a long time; however, its efficacy has not been fully established in regard to relieving coughing episodes at night. To understand the role of honey as a cough remedy better, the following are some facts about honey:
- It is a rich source of antioxidants
Honey contains high amounts of antioxidants, which are used by the body to get rid of toxins. Antioxidants also help increase the immune system of patients that further stimulates the white blood cells and other antibodies to help counteract any respiratory infection that may be causing the coughing episodes.
- Honey has an anti-inflammatory effect
Honey also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve inflammation and swelling in the throat and lungs; thereby significantly easing irritation and coughing.
- Honey soothes the throat
Most coughing episodes at night happen due to throat irritation. Honey effectively soothes the throat; thereby improving the integrity of the oral and respiratory mucosa.
Advantages of Honey over Medicines
Honey is a good alternative for cough medication because first, it does not contain any chemicals that may produce side-effects. Second, honey is also safe to use and there are no incidences of overdoses, which may be seen when cough medications are given in excess. Lastly, honey is very appealing to children because of the sweet taste so it is not difficult for parents to give it to their children.
What the Study Reveals
The study involved 300 Israeli children that were divided into four groups. The first group received citrus honey, the second group received eucalyptus honey and the third group received labiatae honey before bedtime. The last group received placebo and acted as the control group.
Parents were asked to observe and score the severity of the coughing episodes of their children as well as the frequency of the cough. Aside from this, they were also asked to document how much the cough was bothering their child’s sleep.
The results revealed that children who took honey improved by nine to ten points while the control group improved by six points. The improvement in the control group or placebo group may have been due to the fact that these children were already getting better. Nevertheless, the 3 to 4 points difference between the placebo group and the treatment groups proved that honey indeed was effective in relieving coughing.
The results of the study support the use of honey in relieving coughing not only during the day, but also during the night. However, the authors emphasized that honey should not be given to children below one year of age because of possible infantile botulism that is usually fatal.
Parents can use honey, preferably giving their children one teaspoonful at bedtime to reduce their coughing episodes and improve the quality of sleep for their children.
Posted by Pitt Goumas