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Buckwheat Honey Better, Safer for Child Coughs Than Cough Syrups

Buckwheat Honey Better, Safer for Child Coughs Than Cough Syrups

December 6, 2007 —

With the first snowstorms blowing in across the U.S. the annual battle with colds and coughs assails us. For children with coughs, parents running to the drug shelf used to be considered a responsible way to alleviate the cough and its suffering. But as many natural health care advisors have known for a long time: honey is better and safer. Now a study by a team at Penn State University concludes that honey is indeed superior to over-the-counter cough syrups for children (older than 1) in both efficacy and safety.

Penn State's researchers compared children using buckwheat honey (a thick, dark, molasses-type), no treatment and DH (ingredient found in most cough syrups) for night time coughing episodes. The honey reduced the coughing severity, frequency and unpleasantness far better than DH and no treatment. The DH syrups did not do significantly better than no treatment. Honey helped in getting the child to sleep—and adults too.

This is good news for parents of children six and under, as the FDA recently ruled that cough syrups are ineffective and unsafe for that age range. An important caveat: honey should not be given to children under the age of 12 months old. Some say 2 years old. Buckwheat honey was used for the trial. Other honeys may work as well. Buckwheat honey is available online and at natural foods stores, and is available as organic.

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