honey In Honey is better than childrenís cough syrups for a silent night we learn that honey is nature's cough medicine. That's right. Put that Robitussin down and grab a honeycomb.

Honey did a better job of reducing the severity and frequency of night-time coughs. It also improved sleep quality for children and their parents.

Seriously. They studied this and found that honey actually performed better than Dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in most over the counter cough medications.

Dr Paulís team observed 105 children and teenagers with respiratory tract infections. The study ran over two nights. On the first, none of the participants was given any treatment. On the second, they were divided into groups who received either honey, an artificial honey-flavoured DM medicine or no treatment, about half an hour before bedtime.
Parents answered questions about their childís symptoms and sleep quality, as well as their own ability to sleep. They rated honey as significantly better for the relief of symptoms. The findings are reported today in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

It's funny. My barber told me that raw honey is also helpful in reducing pollen allergies. I tried it a few years ago and found that it worked pretty well for me.

I wonder what else honey is good for?

Posted by jzawodn at December 06, 2007 06:20 AM

Reader Comments
# COD said:

I've used honey to carbonate home brewed beer. A little honey into the bottling bucket provided just enough sugar for the leftover yeast to react with to provide natural in bottle carbonation.

on December 6, 2007 06:44 AM
# Jeff said:

Using honey to for allergies (pollen, hay fever, etc.) seems to have helped me. I was told to be certain to get the honey from a local beekeeper so the bees are exposed to the same environment as me -- which makes some sense though I don't understand it.

on December 6, 2007 06:53 AM
# Basil Mohamed Gohar said:

Honey is a recommended treatment for a lot of ailments in Islam:

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/071.sbt.html#007.071.584
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/071.sbt.html#007.071.588

I'm certain that many other traditional treatments include honey as well, and it is not just limited to the teachings of my own way of life. It's always exciting when scientific study confirms these as well.

on December 6, 2007 07:32 AM
# Gordon Weakliem said:

Back when I was a music major, a lot of the voice performance majors swore by honey as a way to cut the mucous in your throat. I've tried it since then and it's always worked for me - hot tea with honey is the best treatment for a cold, I think.

on December 6, 2007 07:57 AM
# handsome rob said:

I heard if you eat a whole bottle of honey, you trip your face off and have to get picked up from the hospital by your parents.

Oh wait, no, that's dextromethorphan.

on December 6, 2007 08:06 AM
# James Day said:

"Honey as a topical antibacterial agent for treatment of infected wounds": http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-agent.html and a web search will produce lots of hits relating to its use for ulcers with infections, for example "Topical honey for diabetic foot ulcers" http://www.jfponline.com/pages.asp?aid=1956&UID= (caution: this contains graphic photographs of foot ulcers that may be disturbing).

It notably increased the healing rate for a 9+ month duration injury for me, using honey certified as having the required active ingredient, though results are variable so it's in the worth a try rather than guaranteed benefit category.

This Cedars-Sinai page has useful information on a range of vitamins that may be of assistance, a combination of which also appeared to help my healing rate: http://healthinfo.cedars-sinai.edu/library/healthguide/en-us/Cam/topic.asp?hwid=hn-3568007 .

Anyone still using regular sticky plasters over minor wounds might also look at search results for "occlusive dressing". Faster healing than the old standard coverings, with reduced scarring.

I'd still have preferred not having a reason to learn about this. :)

on December 6, 2007 09:01 AM
# Don MacAskill said:

Honey makes a great disinfectant for wounds, and was used heavily as recently as WWII. Apparently the sugar content is so high, it kills all the bacteria. So they'd just pack it into any wounds they could and boom, no infection.

Pretty sweet. :)

on December 6, 2007 09:09 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

I thought it was kinda "duh" as well. I know the most common solution to sore throats in my house was a spoonful of honey with some lemon juice.

Of course, this study was funded by the Honey Industry. God bless industry sponsored science!

on December 6, 2007 09:24 AM
# John said:

It's good for burns too, if you get it on minor burns quickly it can heal them right up.

OT: how well does that spam filter work? I've often wondered why spam filters aren't more based around things only humans could make sense of.

on December 6, 2007 09:29 AM
# Micah Dubinko said:

Honey makes for an excellent fermented beverage, called mead, the nectar of the gods. It can be as sweet as raw honey or as dry as champagne, or flavored with all manner of fruits or spices. This is one of my hobbies, so I keep details and recipes up at http://blog.360.yahoo.com/meadblog/

To elaborate a bit on other properties of honey: in the raw state, it contains pollens of whatever flowers the bees visited to make it, thus gives your body a 'safe' dose of allergens, much like getting a flu vaccine.

Honey contains natural hydrogen peroxide, which makes it an excellent disinfectant.
-m

on December 6, 2007 09:46 AM
# Jo Stockley said:

Growing up back in Blighty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blighty), my brother kept two hives of bees so we always had plenty of raw honey. I used it to sweeten my tea and had a teaspoon of it every day to help with my allergies. It worked really well. Then my bro' got stung one time too many and swelled up like a balloon. That was the end of the apiculture experiment!

on December 6, 2007 11:25 AM
# Bao Le said:

Honey can also cause infant botulism so it is better not to give it to your baby.

on December 6, 2007 12:50 PM
# Nigel said:

There's also Royal Jelly ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_jelly ), along with deer velvet it's pretty impressive stuff.

on December 6, 2007 01:23 PM
# Mark Mascolino said:

I can't believe people haven't mentioned that honey tastes a zillion times better than cough syrup...That makes the experience of using this remedy so much better.

on December 6, 2007 09:33 PM
# Weiran said:

FYI, if you want honey to help you against allergies such as hayfever, you need to eat local honey rather than big chain store bought stuff.

on December 9, 2007 05:37 PM
# sernak plywood said:

Honey can also cause infant botulism so it is better not to give it to your baby

on December 12, 2007 02:07 AM
# ray said:

Raw Honey is more effective than liquid or honey that has been heated, blended, and processed. Raw Honey has all of the pollen, live enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and aromatics are in the same condition as they were in the hive. Buckwheat honey is high in mineral content and antioxidant compounds.

on February 6, 2009 08:44 AM
# ray said:

For the longest time you could not give Buckwheat honey away or it was used for baking because of its strong flavor and dark color. Today, it is in high demand (along with manuka honey) because of its medicinal properties. http://www.tenonanatche.com/raw-buckwheat-honey.htm

on February 6, 2009 10:27 AM
# Manuka Honey said:

I use Manuka Honey for my eczema and it works wonders! So normal honey would work as well

on August 20, 2009 07:29 AM
# babies cough medicines said:

Very useful information on babies cough medicines.

on March 3, 2010 05:44 AM
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