By Diane Ako
What do you give your children when they have a sore throat or a cough? I recently had to take Olivia in to the pediatrician for a lingering cough. Because it had developed mid-week and was still around after a long holiday weekend, I had given in to buying her over-the-counter cough medicine.
Her doctor told me to ditch the medicine and just feed Olivia warm water or warm milk with a minimum of one tablespoon of honey, and a maximum of as much honey as my daughter can tolerate (some kids don't like it too sweet). Add some ginger if they'll accept that, too.
She said it's been a trend over the past few years to treat children with this all-natural remedy, because honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties, and you can't overdose on it so it's safe.
The Journal of American Medical Association reports about trials testing the effectiveness of honey versus honey-flavored dextromethorphan (DM) in a 2007 issue: "Results: Significant differences in symptom improvement were detected between treatment groups, with honey consistently scoring the best and no treatment scoring the worst. In paired comparisons, honey was significantly superior to no treatment for cough frequency and the combined score, but DM was not better than no treatment for any outcome. Comparison of honey with DM revealed no significant differences."
Having shared this piece of organic advice, I'd like to clarify that I'm not a medical professional and you should check with your doctor before starting a course of treatment for your child.