New Delhi, Aug 8: Honey, well known for its health benefits across East Asia, is gaining grounds in scientific circles of West as the latest study conducted by Tel Aviv university of Israel claims that small dose of the natural honey before bed may help your little kid cough less and allow you sleep better.
Study paper published in Pediatrics says that parents reported that after giving honey to kids, their coughing was less severe and less frequent.
As most of the therapies for cough, most common and troublesome disease, are not so effective and have side effects, honey could be the best alternative as it is natural without any side effect, said Dr. Karim Khan.
Specially in case of kids, these over-the-counter cough and cold syrups are not recommended as these come with a "do not use" warning for kids under four.
To judge the effectiveness of honey, researchers from Israel randomly gave 300 kids of 1-4 age group one of four different cough treatments. For the experiment purpose, parents were told to administer 10 gram of one of three types of honey - including eucalyptus and citrus-based honey - or syrup made from dates that was also sweet but honey-free.
Later, parents reported the effect over telephone and in written. Interestingly, findings suggested that kids on honey coughed less and their parents had better sleep.
"Cough symptoms and sleep scores fell by 2 points, on average, in kids who ate honey, compared to a 1-point drop after a spoonful of date extract,", Dr. Herman Avner Cohen of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues reported Monday in Pediatrics.
Scientifically, honey is very rich in antioxidants that might helps in combating infection causing cough.
Cohen and his colleagues noted that different types of honey may contain different antioxidants - including vitamin C and flavonoids - and that darker honey tends to have more.
In addition, "There's something about having a thick, viscous, sweet liquid that provides some sort of relief," Paul said.
Sweet liquid also causes salivation, he explained, which can thin mucus and lubricate the upper airway.
So, all those parents having sleepless night should have a bottle of dark honey with them if their kid has cough problem.