Honey for Cough

It can be hard to console and comfort a sick child in cold season. Not only do they have difficulty understanding and telling how they feel but a wide number of treatments that are available to adults is not safe for childrenwith similar symptoms. Because of many pharmaceutical options not suitable for children, parents often find themselves turning to old home remedies, and none is more popular than honey for cough. But is this old fashioned and time honored strategy effective or even safe? New research could uncover the facts behind this tasty cough suppressant.

Is It Safe to Give Kids Honey for Cough?

Honey is commonly thought to be a wholesome and harmless substance, but its usage as a remedy for children is not actually as safe as it seems. It is usually considered to be safe to give kids honey for a cough, however, giving honey for a kid younger than 1-year-old can be dangerous, which can lead to infant botulism. Older children may experience an allergic reaction or similar adverse effects.

As tempting as it can be, talk to your doctor before using this at home as a treatment, particularly if your child is on any medication or has a preexisting medical condition, which can save you and your child from a much more severe medical problem.

How Does Honey for Cough Work?

Using honey to combat discomfort from respiratory infections is certainly nothing new. A variety of ancient and modern cultures across the globe have used honey to treat symptoms of upper respiratory infection and irritations. In recent years a number of scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness of honey as a home remedy for coughs, which gives a more objective perspective of this soothing substance.

In recent years Israeli scientists also found that certain honey types can contain different antioxidants such as vitamin C. And its natural antimicrobial properties can help to fight viruses and bacteria that can cause discomfort and irritation. It is also a rich source of antioxidants which can also help to combat upper respiratory infections.

Unlike lighter counterpart, darker honey is richer in nutrients, especially the buckwheat and avocado honey, which had been found to contain the highest concentration of beneficial properties. However, these are specialty honeys and are not always available, but choosing the darkest honey is recommended. Another type of honey that has been proven particularly effective is Manuka honey with its proven anti-microbial properties. Talking to the people at your local health food store can help you to pick the best local honey for treating your child’s cough.

How to Give Honey to a Child with Cough

Whilst honey does not have any common side effects, there are of course recommended to quantities for children of different sizes and ages.

One of the safest and easiest ways to give your tiny patient honey is to mix the honey with warm water in a cupthen it canbe dissolved for easy ingestion.


  • 1 to 5 years old: Half a teaspoon
  • 6 to 11 years old: One teaspoon
  • 12 years and up: 2 teaspoons

A good guide is to give your child ½ a teaspoon of honey for every 11 kgs of their weight, 4 to 5 times a day. Under the case of a sever coughing fit, do not attempt to give your child honey while they are coughing, wait until a lull in the coughing and then assist them to drink the honey dissolved in warm water.

Children under 1 year old can become sick from honey due to the microorganisms contained in honey. They may also choke because their swallowing function is still developing and ingesting the honey can be quite difficult for infants

The following video contains information on how to make your own homemadecough syrup:

More Tips for Parents

  • Children who are having difficulty sleeping may benefit from being given a dose of honey 30 minutes prior to bed time. Ensure they brush their teeth after drinking mixture of a noncaffeinated or carbonated beverage.
  • Herbal tea can be mixed with honey to create a tasty and calming remedy. Recommended tea needs to be non-caffeinated and could be chamomile, lemon or mint.
  • Use dark honey for greater effectiveness.
  • Contact your doctor to get a proper diagnosis if the symptoms are severe.

Other Options to Soothe Cough in Kids

Whilst over the counter cough medicine can be effective for adults with coughs and other cold and flu symptoms, treating toddlers with cough is not that easy. Natural and home based remedies reduce the risks of adverse effects that can be experienced when using pharmaceutical remedies. If you are hesitant about using honey or just want to try some other techniques, there are other options available. Please note that therapeutic cough suppressants as a rule are not recommended for children under 6 years of age and natural remedies are recommended in their place.Several home or natural remedies can include:

1. Lemon Tea

Use warm, not boiling water. For babies, try using a baby bottle filled with 8 ounces of warm pre boiled water, a small amount of natural sweetener and lemon tea.

2. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea can be administered similarly to lemon tea. Combine boiling water and crushed ginger and allow it to cool. It can be used 2 to 3 times a day for great effect.

3. Milk with Honey

This soothing drink can be used before bed time to reduce post nasal drip and ease coughing. Dissolve recommended amount of honey in warm milk with a pinch of pure turmeric.

4. Soothing Vapor

Using eucalyptus oil designed for massage apply to your child’s chest and neck or use water soluble eucalyptus oil in warm water to and apply with a wash cloth to your child’s chest. You may also like to put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your child’s bath.

5. Steam Therapy

Fill your bathroom with steam from a hot shower then sit with your child in the bathroom for 15 minutes. The inhaled steam can clear congestion and relieve your little one’s cough.