Honey: The Natural Cough Medicine

Morinaga Platinum ♦ 1 April 2017

Honey: The Natural Cough Medicine

Cough is one of the symptoms of health problems that are often experienced by your Little One. Coughing is the body's natural mechanism that cleanses the airways of mucus or other foreign objects. Although most cases of cough can heal on its own, if it happens continuously it can interfere with the daily activities of the Little One, including reducing the quality of sleep. Should the Little One be given medication?

Giving over the counter cough and cold medicine is not recommended for Little Ones who are under 2 years old. This was stated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The effectiveness of the existing cough medicine has not been proven 100 percent. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics states unequivocally that cough medicine that circulates freely on the market is not beneficial for the Little Ones under 6 years of age.

Then, how is the safe and appropriate way to relieve the cough of the Little One? Mommy can give him/her a natural remedy, namely honey. Honey has long been known to help relieve cough symptoms. Besides from relieving cough, honey can also relieve symptoms of sore throat. Honey can be given by mixing it into a warm tea or a warm water and mixed with lemon. Honey can also be given just as much as 2 teaspoons before the Little One sleeps.

Ian M. Paul, MD, MSc from Penn State College of Medicine, conducted a study of 105 respondents aged 2-18 years who were suffering from upper respiratory infections. They were given two teaspoons of buckwheat honey before going to bed. Apparently, the frequency of coughing at night were reduced so that their sleep quality improved. The study also compared the effects of honey and dextromethorphan (substances contained in cough medicine). The result was that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan.

Another study published in the journal Pediatrics also showed that complaints of coughing of the Little One who were given honey were reduced, lighter, and they had an improved sleep compared to the group that did not get honey.

Not only that, WHO also recommends the use of honey to relieve cough in developing countries that have limited access to medicine. The mechanism of action of honey in relieving cough is actually unclear. But experts believe that honey contains 181 natural substances that have antioxidant and antimicrobial abilities. This combination can make honey an effective natural medicine.

Mommy can give honey to the Little One over the age of one year because of the risk of serious food poisoning, namely infant botulism. C. botulinum bacteria that may be contained in honey can multiply rapidly in the Little One's intestine and produce toxins, while the Little One under one year of age is not able yet to fight the bacteria optimally.

So that your Little One is protected from coughing, support his/her health by meeting his/her daily nutritional needs. Give a variety of food so he/she can get various vitamins and minerals. Also provide nutrients that contain nucleotides and lactoferrin because they are important in increasing the body's immunity.

Nucleotides are proteins that the body needs to strengthen immunity and support the health of the digestive system, especially for the Little Ones in their infancy. The health of the digestive system of the Little One greatly affects the absorption and distribution of nutrients throughout the body. Not only that, nucleotides also form the body's metabolism.

Then, what about lactoferrin? This substance has various functions including as an antimicrobial, as a regulator of iron absorption in the intestine, a regulator of cell growth, and a regulator of the immune system. Lactoferrin makes the Little One to be not infected more severely than viruses and bacteria in the respiratory tract so that he/she will be prevented from experiencing cough and cold.