How to Use Honey to Relieve a Cough

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.


Do not give honey to children under 1 year old; honey contains botulism spores an infant's digestive system cannot handle.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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