Honey for Children’s Cough

Honey may be an effective ingredient for easing nighttime coughing in young children, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Israeli researchers recruited 300 children who, for at least one week, showed symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection and a nighttime cough. Parents administered a single dose of 10 g of honey (eucaluptus honey, citrus honey, or labiatae honey) or placebo (silan date extract) at bedtime. Parents were asked to complete a survey on child coughing frequency and quality of sleep on two occasions: the day of supplementation and the day after.

The researchers noted improvement of health in all groups following supplementation, but honey groups demonstrated greater improvement. Due to concerns regarding drug use for cough relief in young children and interests in food-based relief, honey may be a viable way for relieving cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood upper respiratory tract infections.