It is a common fact that honey is an age-old remedy for various health problems, including cough. Here are some tips for using honey to stop a cough.
Cough is the natural bodily mechanism of expelling foreign materials and mucus from the respiratory tract. However, the condition can be really annoying, especially for young kids. Most of the conventional cough medications try to suppress cough, which is not advisable. This is one of the reasons why some people resort to home remedies. Apart from relieving cough, these remedies are also said to help the body to expel phlegm. Honey is one of the widely used home remedies for cough. It is used as such or in combination with other things, like ginger.
Natural Ways to Stop a Cough with Honey
Though, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of honey in combating cough, it has been used for this purpose, throughout the centuries. Various studies have been conducted in this regard and their results too point towards this direction. Honey is also claimed to be better than some of the commonly used cough syrups.
The working mechanism of honey against cough is still not clear. The smooth and syrupy consistency of honey is said to work wonders in soothing the irritated membranes of the throat. Apart from that, it is believed to have antibacterial properties, which counter the bacteria causing cough. Another contention is that honey has powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals that may be involved in causing cough. According to Ayurveda, honey is effective in eliminating phlegm from the lungs, thereby relieving cough and other related symptoms.
- A tablespoon full of raw honey before bedtime is found to induce sleep and to relieve cough as well. A study involving small kids (above the age of two) showed that a teaspoon of honey administered before bedtime is more effective in relieving cough, than some of the commonly used cough syrups. You may also mix a teaspoon of honey to a glass of lukewarm milk and consume it before bedtime.
- A combination of honey and ginger has always been popular as a cough remedy. All you have to do is to mix a tablespoon each of honey and ginger juice and consume it before bedtime (or every 2 to 3 hours, as per the severity of the cough). This remedy is also good for eliminating excess phlegm in the respiratory tract. Some people like to warm the mixture lightly, before consumption.
- You may also take honey and lemon juice for cough. In order to prepare this special honey-lemon cough remedy, you have to boil a whole lemon for a few minutes. Once the lemon gets cool, squeeze it and mix its juice with a cup of honey. You may take one to two tablespoons of this mixture at an interval of four hours. This honey-lemon mixture is found to be more effective in those with cough linked to severe throat irritation.
- In some regions, a special homemade cough syrup is prepared with honey. In order to make this cough syrup, you need ¼ teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and ground ginger, along with a tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix these ingredients with two tablespoons of water. You can use one or two teaspoons of this mixture, at an interval of five to six hours.
- You may also use honey mixed with onion juice, for reliving cough and for getting rid of phlegm. Mix a teaspoon each of onion juice and honey and ingest one teaspoon twice a day. Another method is to boil a tablespoon of honey with a cup of water, a tablespoon of oregano and a couple of crushed garlic cloves. Let the mixture boil for ten minutes, before removing from heat. Drink the mixture slowly, when it is lukewarm.
Though there is no conclusive evidence to prove its effectiveness, honey is highly popular as a remedy for cough. However, honey should not be administered to kids below the age of one, as there is a risk of botulism. Even those who are allergic to honey, must avoid using it as a cough remedy. If you find no relief from cough and related symptoms, even after taking honey for a week, then it is always advisable to consult your doctor.