Can honey help alleviate seasonal colds?

Fall is just around the corner, and as the nights grow colder, you may find yourself tossing an extra blanket over the children in order to help them sleep comfortably throughout the night. An all-natural supplement by Dr. Newton’s Naturals like CalMax Kids is specifically formulated with nutrients to help keep kids strong and healthy, but if you haven’t explored this as an option yet, your little ones may be susceptible to colds and nighttime coughing.

While seasonal colds can put a damper on your children’s final weeks of summer, new research suggests that a teaspoon or two of honey may be just the thing to alleviate upper respiratory tract infections for your son or daughter, reports HealthDay News.

“The cough due to a viral [upper respiratory infection] is generally a self-limited disease,” explained study author Dr. Herman Avner Cohen, chairman of the Pediatric Community Ambulatory Care Clinic with Clalit Health Services in Petah-Tikva, Israel. “In light of our study, honey can be considered an effective and safe alternative, at least for those children over 1 year of age.”

Over a billion colds impact the United States each year, reports The National Institutes of Health. Colds can run the gamut of symptoms, but coughing, sneezing and runny noses are among the most common signs of an infection.

Cohen and his colleagues argue that while honey is known to possess antioxidant and antimicrobial capabilities, nerve fibers that control coughing are positively impacted by its sweetness, which may explain why it can help suppress coughs.

For the study, they selected 300 children between the ages of 1 and 5 who had been diagnosed with upper respiratory infections. To test the effects of honey on these ailments, the children were given one of four potential treatments in the half-hour preceding bedtime. Treatments included eucalyptus honey, citrus honey and libiatae honey, as well as one non-honey option.

The authors of the study found that, while all the children reported improvements in nighttime coughing, those administered doses of honey before bed showed significantly greater improvement than children who did not.

The study, which was recently published online and is slated for print in the September edition of Pediatrics, sheds new light on the healing effects of honey and suggests that all-natural forms of treatment may offer relief from minor ailments in ways that traditional over-the-counter cough and cold medicines cannot.

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