October 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Health Blog


As a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, I find the most effective treatment for coughs and chest infections is a formula of (medical potency) herbal medicines that I make up for my clients which includes herbs such as Myrrh, Elder flower, Boneset and Golden seal, to name a few, but for those that find themselves stuck during the night with a sick, coughing child, you may want to try Honey.

The research shows that honey can be more effective than many of the cough medicines available and of course, doesn’t have the potential side effects.

NOTE: When purchasing honey, make sure it’s raw honey (not the type found in jars on supermarket shelves) and that it’s as fresh as possible.

TIP: The darker the honey is, the more medicinal properties it contains.



Honey May be More Effective Than Dextromethorphan and Diphendramine for Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Disruption in Children

J Altern Complement Med 2010;16(7):787

Cough is the most common reason for outpatient visits in the United States and coughing at night adds significantly to its morbidity. Despite its high prevalence, there is no convincing evidence for the effectiveness for any treatments against cough secondary to upper respiratory tract infection (URI). In children, popular over-the-counter antitussives, like dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine, have been shown to be no more beneficial than placebo for nocturnal cough or sleep quality. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the use of codeine and dextromethorphan-containing antitussives in children.

Historically, honey has been used for a variety of conditions affecting children, includingURI. Research for this indication has not been unsupportive. For example, in a randomized trial involving 130 children ages 2 to 17 years with untreated rhinorrhea and cough lasting at least 7 days, a single dose of buckwheat honey was associated with a reduction in nocturnal cough and sleep disruption in children. Compared with artificial honey-flavored dextromethorphan and no medication, parents reported significant improvements in cough frequency, cough severity, and sleep with honey.

A subsequent trial, published three years later, updated and extended these favorable findings.

Researchers randomized 160 children ages 2 to 5 years with <5 days of URI-related cough to one of four single-dose treatment groups: natural honey 2.5 mL (type unspecified), dextromethorphan 7.5 mg, diphenhydramine 6.25 mg, or supportive treatment only. Treatments were given once at bedtime, and all patients received saline nose drops, water vapor, and acetaminophen as needed. Parents rated symptom severity at about 24 hours. Of the 139 (87%) patients included in the analysis, honey was associated with significantly more symptom improvement compared with all other groups in terms of cough frequency, cough severity, child sleep disruption, and parent sleep disruption.

The consistent findings of these two trials suggest that honey has advantages over the most popular over-the-counter treatments for URI-related nocturnal cough in children. Neither dextromethorphan nor diphenhydramine have demonstrated efficacy against placebo and are associated with the risk of adverse effects Honey, on the other hand, is safe when used after infancy.

Note: Honey should be avoided in children younger than 12 months of age, however, because of its potential to serve as a dietary reservoir for Clostridium botulinum spores linked to infant botulism.


Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


Earth Medicine TM


Email: [email protected]



Helping you achieve optimal wellness, hormonal balance and disease prevention with personalised, professional naturopathic health care, clinical pathology testing and high-quality herbal medicines and supplements 

Sar Rooney is a Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner specialising in Anxiety and Depression |Women’s Health| Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Genetic Polymorphisms (MTHFR/Pyroluria) | Nutritional Medicine | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention 

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