Posted by: theprovidentwoman | July 26, 2009

You Want Me To Try What?

One persons sweetner is anothers medicine

Okay, so if you’re like us, then every year your household finds its medicine cabinet with a bag of cough drops and bottles of cough syrup. I was just looking for some vitamins a few days ago and out of the cabinet spilled several bottles of syrup and cough drops. You know the ones that melodically ring within your mind with their silly commercials and  catchy yodeling, such as with “Ricola!” These commercials always seem to play during Thanksgiving meal or any other time that the thought of lemon and cough medicine are unpalatable with turkey and ham.

I imagine that I’ve just set into motion a neverending replay of oddly familiar and over-played commercials, but it was necessary. Even those grape and cherry cough syrups which taste awful, seem to always be present in our house as we work with comforting our children’s painful coughing throughout the seasons. We try to find the medicines that taste good, but I’m pretty sure we’re looking in the wrong places. We have been looking for great options for a healthy and safe alternative to over-the-counter cough medicines. Okay, so we may have lost die-hard OTC cough medicine user’s, but if you stay with me you might be surprised about how honey may be the next best thing for you and your children the next time you hear that dreaded cough.

In 2006 a group of chest physicians began discouraging the use of over-the-counter cough medicines stating that doses of the drugs within are too low to be effective or even unproven to relieve coughs. This past January, the FDA affirmed that the use of over-the-counter treatments for children under 2 should never be used. Their warning as founded in the article FDA Officially Nixes Cough and Cold Meds for Babies and Toddlers on re-iterated the FDA’s warning – “that these medications can have serious and potentially life-threatening side effects’ in babies and toddlers.” These medicines have been removed from the shelves of consumer stores, however, may still be found in Americans homes. With the safety of such medicines in question, Penn State College of Medicine began research to discover alternatives to help parents deal with the troublesome coughs which their children develop.

The study found that honey (specifically, buckwheat honey – a dark and flavorful honey) provides better cough relief to children between 2-18 years of age than medicines containing dextromethorphan (DM), a common cough suppressant in over-the-counter medicine. Honey is a safe, natural, and effective source of relief for troublesome coughing which can cause throat discomfort and sleep disruption. Our children love to eat honey and are often found in the efforts of convincing dad to let them have a spoonful before bed, so maybe next time they won’t have to parade around the room for some when they have a cough. For more information check out the article Honey proves a better option for childhood cough than OTCs at and remember that honey should never be fed to children under 12 months.


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