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Health Tips: How to use Honey to treat Cough

Have you ever considered using honey to cough? Many people actively look for natural remedies that provide soothing relief and reduce the distress associated with coughing. In children, coughing can affect sleep and other important activities.

Most people have a viral infection which does not respond well to antibiotics. Rather than buy cough mixtures that may have some unpleasant side-effects, some people prefer natural remedies which compliment other forms of treatment.  Honey is one of the most widely used natural remedies for treating cough. It is also one of the natural remedies backed up by scientific studies.

According to a systematic review,  by Dr Bisi Oduwole and her team, using honey significantly reduces the frequency and severity of cough. It may be as effective as some cough syrups in providing symptomatic relief in children.  It also improves sleep in children with cough.

Consider 3 ways of using honey to treat cough for children (above 2 years) and adults:

Option 1: Take it in its undiluted form

All you have to do is give two teaspoons of honey before bedtime.

This alone reduces night time coughing and improves sleep. In children above two years, reduce it to ½ to 1 teaspoon.  Note that it may not be safe to give honey to children less than two years.

Option 2: Mix honey with lemon or lime

Put one table spoon of lemon or lime juice in a cup. Add two table spoons of honey and half a cup of warm water. Then stir thoroughly.

Adding lemon or lime gives extra benefits. First, it is rich in vitamin C which may help with colds. Also, lemon or lime juice aids congestion, a common problem associated with cough.

Option 3: Mix Honey, ginger and lemon

Shred or grate ginger root and add table spoon in hot water. Then add two table spoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon.

Ginger has been found to reduce inflammation of the airways (which commonly occurs in cough). Therefor some persons combine honey and ginger for soothing relief.

Note that ginger may be associated with gastrointestinal upset and complication and serious complications may occur when combined with other medications (e.g. aspirin).

These methods are effective ways of how to use honey to treat cough.

It is important to note that cough is actually a symptom of infections, allergies and other health problems. In view of these, over the counter medicines, antibiotics and anti-allergy medication may be needed. If the cough persists, you may need to consult your doctor.

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