Honey, age-old remedy helps kids' coughs

Dec. 25, 2007 at 9:55 PM
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NASHVILLE, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Parents seeking to give their children relief from upper respiratory infections common in winter might want to try buckwheat honey, a U.S. pediatrician reports.

Dr. Michael Warren of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville says that since a U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined this year that over-the-counter cough medications pose more risk than benefit to children under age 6, parents have been anxious to find alternatives.

"Parents are often desperate for the 'magic bullet' that will make the symptoms go away," Warren said in a statement. "Supportive care like nasal saline spray/drops, bulb suctioning, cool mist humidifiers, fever-reducing medications, fluids and rest are the mainstays of therapy for children with cough and cold symptoms."

But Warren found previous research showing buckwheat honey reduced bedtime cough symptoms in children by 47.3 percent.

He said the study's authors "note that darker honeys -- such as buckwheat honey -- consist of more phenolic compounds than other varieties and that the associated antioxidant effect might have contributed to the improvement seen in those children treated with this kind of honey."

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