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Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications

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  • Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications

    Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications<o:p></o:p>

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2007) ? A new study by a Penn State College of Medicine research team found that honey may offer parents an effective and safe alternative than over the counter children's cough medicines. <o:p></o:p>
    The study found that a small dose of buckwheat honey given before bedtime provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medications. <o:p></o:p>
    Honey did a better job reducing the severity, frequency and bothersome nature of nighttime cough from upper respiratory infection than DM or no treatment. Honey also showed a positive effect on the sleep quality of both the coughing child and the child's parents. DM was not significantly better at alleviating symptoms than no treatment. <o:p></o:p>
    These findings are especially notable since an FDA advisory board recently recommended that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines not be given to children less than 6 years old because of their lack of effectiveness and potential for side effects. <o:p></o:p>
    In a previous study published in 2004, Ian Paul of Penn State College of Medicine and colleagues showed that neither DM nor diphenhydramine, another common component of cold medications, performed better than a placebo at reducing nighttime cough or improving sleep quality. However, honey has been used for centuries in some cultures to treat upper respiratory infection symptoms like cough, and is considered to be safe for children over 12 months old. Honey has well-established antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, which could explain its contributions to wound healing. Honey also soothes on contact, which may help explain its effect on cough as suggested by the World Health Organization. <o:p></o:p>
    In the latest study, the researchers enrolled 105 children between the ages of 2 and 18 at a single university-affiliated physician practice site. On the first night of the study, children received no treatment. Parents answered five questions about their child's cough and sleep quality as well as about their own sleep quality. On the second night, children received either honey, artificial honey-flavored DM or no treatment about a half hour prior to going to bed. Parents answered the same five questions the following morning. <o:p></o:p>
    The randomized study was partially double-blinded: Medical staff did not know what treatment each participating family received when distributing their sealed syringe-containing envelope. Parents of children who received honey or artificial honey-flavored DM in a measured syringe were blinded to their treatment group. Parents of children in the no treatment group received an empty syringe, and therefore were aware of their child's treatment group. <o:p></o:p>
    Across the board, parents rated honey as significantly better than DM or no treatment for symptomatic relief of their child's nighttime cough and sleep difficulty. In a few cases, parents did report mild side effects with the honey treatment, such as hyperactivity. <o:p></o:p>
    "Our study adds to the growing literature questioning the use of DM in children, but it also offers a legitimate and safe alternative for physicians and parents," said Paul, a pediatrician, researcher and associate professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Children's Hospital. "Additional studies should certainly be considered, but we hope that medical professionals will consider the positive potential of honey as a treatment given the lack of proven efficacy, expense, and potential for adverse effects associated with the use of DM." <o:p></o:p>
    Potentially dangerous effects of DM in young children include dystonic reactions, severe involuntary muscle contractions and spasms. Further, DM is a commonly used as a drug of abuse by adolescents. <o:p></o:p>
    Cough is the reason for nearly three percent of all outpatient visits in the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region>, more than any other symptom. It is particularly bothersome at night because it disrupts sleep. Consumers spend billions of dollars each year on OTC cough and cold medications despite little evidence that these drugs provide significant relief.<o:p></o:p>
    Journal reference: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1140-1146. <o:p></o:p>
    This work was supported by an unrestricted research grant from the National Honey Board, an industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    credits Marsey

  • #2
    Re: Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications

    older article about Manuka Honey from New Zealand

    Manuka Honey - Tasty Medicine From New Zealand
    By Mark Kerwin

    Modern science is often very slow to recognize the ancient, tried and true wisdom from the ages. More often than not, science has scoffed at the folk remedies and communal healing practices of different cultures, only to be proven wrong later on. Fortunately, the situation is slowly changing.

    Honey, among other herbal and natural remedies, is finally gaining international, scientific recognition and attention as a wonderful food and medicine. Besides tasting great, and having a sublime consistency, honey is very good for our bodies. Honey has been used medicinally in India, the Middle East, and Africa for thousands of years. In particular, a specific type of honey, Manuka honey, from New Zealand is quickly gaining ground as the ideal type of honey to carry in a first aid kit, and to keep in the kitchen cupboard. Here's why:

    For the past 19 years, honey researchers at the University of Waikato have been investigating what many local New Zealanders have accepted as common wisdom for centuries: local Manuka honey is a superior treatment for wound infections. Manuka honey is gathered and made in New Zealand, by bees, from the flowers of the manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, which grows uncultivated throughout the country.

    The clinical observations recorded are that infection is rapidly cleared, inflammation, swelling and pain are quickly reduced, and healing occurs rapidly with minimal scarring. The antimicrobial properties of honey prevent microbial growth in the moist healing environment created, and unlike other topical antiseptics, honey causes no tissue damage. Another benefit of using honey as a dressing for wounds is that the honey on the wound surface prevents the dressing from sticking, so there is no pain or tissue damage when dressings are changed.

    The Honey Research Unit in New Zealand offers us many amazing facts and figures about manuka honey. The Honey Research Unit was set up in 1995, with financial support from the New Zealand Honey Industry Trust, in recognition of the University of Waikato's expertise in the study of the antimicrobial activity of honey. Most of the research and information regarding Manuka honey comes in thanks to Dr. Peter Molan of the Honey Research Unit. A debt of gratitude for his work is acknowledged here.

    Honey has antibacterial qualities, due primarily to hydrogen peroxide formed in a "slow-release" manner by the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey. The potency of this antibacterial quality varies considerably depending on the type of honey. Some honeys are no more antibacterial than sugar, while others can be diluted more than 100-fold and still halt the growth of bacteria.

    "Active Manuka honey" is the only honey available for sale that is tested for its antibacterial activity. It contains an additional antibacterial component found only in honey produced from Leptospermum plants: what has been called the "Unique Manuka Factor" (UMF). There is evidence that the two antibacterial components may have a synergistic action.

    Internally, Active Manuka Honey stimulates the immune system and helps the body deal with infections. Research has shown that Active Manuka Honey also promotes the rehydration of the body, causing the earlier clearing of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach upsets. Active Manuka Honey is also effective in killing the Helicobacter pylori bug, which is present in stomach ulcers, and is effective in treating cuts, burns, wounds, acne, abscesses, cracked skin, sore gums, sore throats, colds, indigestion, eye infections and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    According to the research, some people have found relief from duodenal and stomach ulcers by spreading a generous amount (about one teaspoon) of Active Manuka Honey on a slice of bread one hour before meals, without fluids, and again at bedtime. The bread is supposed to ensure that the honey stays in the stomach for a longer period. Some people have also reported that they have had good results when they even ate the honey straight from the spoon.

    Honey can also be used in treating gum inflammations. The honey has pain-reducing qualities and reduces gum inflammation at the same time. Who in the modern world would have known that medicine could taste so sweet if it were not for the wisdom of the ages?

    Honey, despite being sweet, has also been found to disrupt the process by which bacteria in the mouth are able to cause tooth decay. The bacteria Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus sobrinus, and Lactobacillus caseii, which inhabit the mouth and produce harmful acid, have been found in laboratory testing to have their acid production sharply reduced and almost stopped altogether in the presence of moderate antibacterial strength honey.
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    • #3
      Re: Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications

      Some years ago while going through my grandmother's recipes, I found one she used for whooping cough in her kids way back in the early 1920's.

      It consisted of honey, lemon and flax seed. I can remember her giving this to me when I was young and had a bad cough.

      (This is not medical advice)
      The salvage of human life ought to be placed above barter and exchange ~ Louis Harris, 1918


      • #4
        Re: Honey A Better Option For Childhood Cough Than Over The Counter Medications

        A reminder- honey should never be fed to children less than 1 year of age due to the risk of infant botulism.
        Separate the wheat from the chaff