Consume a tablespoon of honey before sleeping reportedly is effective to cure cough in children. Not only that, it makes children sleep more soundly. Honey as home remedy for coughing apparently is not a myth. Two research from World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommended honey to cure cough.
There was other research that suggested taking a tablespoon of honey every few hours to reduce irritation in throat. “WHO recommended honey for coughing in developed countries where their accesses medications are limited. So, even the proof is not strong, it shows that probably there is honey effect on acute cough in children,” Dr. Ronald McCoy from Royal Australian College of General Practitioner said as quoted from Suara Merdeka.
A US study found that honey was better to reduce cough frequencies and symptoms. Honey essence, dextromethorphan, even is used as main ingredient in various cough medicines.
However, since the studies mostly were done in children, it was not clear whether honey had the same effect for adults. But, as long as people don’t have any diseases where they should avoid honey (for instance, diabetes) there is nothing wrong to add honey on our diet.
“Adults will need higher dosage and increased frequency (to consume honey). But, I suggest that you should add honey in warm lemon water,” children respiratory/physician, Professor Anne Chang said.
There was no exact explanation on how honey help reduce cough in children. Research suggested that honey contained more than 181 natural ingredients, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
“Besides that it coats throat and triggers swallowing mechanism, there is possibility that it changes sensory fiber sensitivity. There is an interaction between local nerves in central nervous system that is involved in cough mechanism regulation,” she said.
However, honey is not suggested for children under 12 months, whether they have a cough or not. This because it becomes a spore botulism source in babies. It rarely happens, but baby’s immune system is not enough to fight it.