New research shows honey to be a safe, effective, and cost efficient cough suppressant for the common cold and upper respiratory infections. The study used 3 different honey products (eucalyptus, labiatae, and citrus) and a placebo made from dates that had the same traits as the honey. These products were given to 300 children who were suffering with upper respiratory infections.  It is important to mention that children with asthma, pneumonia, and sinusitis were not used so the effects of honey as a cough suppressant for these illnesses are not included in this study.

The parents completed questionnaires asking about the frequency and severity of their child’s cough and the degree to which the cough affected the child and the parent’s sleep.  The same questions were asked both before and after the children were given the honey or placebo. The researchers found that there were no differences between the three honey extracts because all of them improved symptoms compared to the placebo. When the honey products were administered at bedtime it was very successful in reducing the frequency and severity of the coughing during the night.

If you are suffering from a persistent cough, a teaspoon of honey at bedtime could go a long way.

Source: Cohen H, Rozen J, Kristal H, et al. Effect of honey on nocturnal cough and sleep quality: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Pediatrics, 2012, 130: 465-471.

Honey for Cough

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