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Cold and Flu Center

How to Use Honey to Relieve a Cough

author image Danielle Cort
Danielle Cort has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in psychology, health, education and parenting. She has published articles in "Family" magazine. Before becoming a freelance writer, Cort worked in the public policy research sector, conducting research, creating surveys and budgets. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.
How to Use Honey to Relieve a Cough
Honey may be as effective as cough medicine at suppressing coughs. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

A cough is usually a good thing; it means your body is trying to get rid of mucus that may be collecting in your lungs. However, a persistent cough may be unwelcome if it keeps you up at night or interferes with your activities. Whereas over-the-counter cough medicines contain ingredients that can cause serious side effects, particularly in children, a home remedy using honey may be just as effective. A 2007 study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that honey relieves a child's cough as well as cough syrup.

Step 1

Select darker varieties of honey when shopping, such as buckwheat-flavored honey. The 2007 study indicated darker honeys may be more effective as a remedy than lighter ones, since they contain more antioxidants.

Step 2

Measure 1 to 2 tsp. of the honey and administer right before bedtime. If treating a child, use ½ to 1 tsp. of honey.

Step 3

Swallow the honey undiluted; it must remain viscous to properly coat the throat.

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