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View Full Version : Honey proves a better option for childhood cough than OTC cough syrup.



PitBull
01-14-2011, 02:05 PM
It's an old article, but I did not find it previously posted using the search engine. So here it is for all you moms and dads out there, in time for most of the winter cough season.

A study by a Penn State College of Medicine found that a small dose of buckwheat honey given before bedtime provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medications. Complete story here (http://live.psu.edu/story/27584).

kudapucat
01-14-2011, 10:33 PM
This is unsurprising to me.
there's a particular honey we can get here called Manuka it's meant to be 10 fold stonger than normal honey for healing. However: It's hard to extract, because the combs are really tight, and it has a medicinal twang to it, and it's terribly expensive.

I find for a sore throat or cough, honey water and lemon juice is very effective. If the patient is old enough a shot of whiskey makes it even better as a night cap for the sick.

wayneb
01-14-2011, 10:51 PM
I find for a sore throat or cough, honey water and lemon juice is very effective. If the patient is old enough a shot of whiskey makes it even better as a night cap for the sick.

Ah, the "universal" cold/cough/flu treatment -- my first taste of whisky was in this particular mix, and I must have been about 5 or 6 years old at the time! It worked, at least as I remember... ;)

We still use this today for all members of the family when a cold or the flu strikes.

mmclean
01-15-2011, 02:56 AM
Ah, the "universal" cold/cough/flu treatment -- my first taste of whisky was in this particular mix, and I must have been about 5 or 6 years old at the time! It worked, at least as I remember... ;)


Same here. :)

Chevette Girl
01-15-2011, 12:40 PM
Yup, and it tastes a LOT better than Buckley's!!

... although very young children aren't supposed to have unpasteurized honey, if I recall correctly.

There's also an African honey I read about years ago that has antibacterial properties, nothing like that in clover honey or any other North American variety though.

mmclean
01-15-2011, 01:54 PM
Yup, and it tastes a LOT better than Buckley's!!

... although very young children aren't supposed to have unpasteurized honey, if I recall correctly.

There's also an African honey I read about years ago that has antibacterial properties, nothing like that in clover honey or any other North American variety though.

All honey has antimicrobial properties. :)

That's why microbes won't grow in it.

mccann51
01-15-2011, 06:55 PM
Unfortunately I don't have a source to back this up, but honey is supposed to be as good a cough suppressant as codeine, which is considered the standard by which cough syrups are judged (ie codeine is a very good cough suppressant).

Tannin Boy
01-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Unfortunately I don't have a source to back this up, but honey is supposed to be as good a cough suppressant as codeine, which is considered the standard by which cough syrups are judged (ie codeine is a very good cough suppressant).

Hmmmmm?

Seems if I go into the memory banks I can remember Mom And Grandma giving this to me with something that put me to sleep...Grandpa sure did like his whiskey?

And it worked too.....:angel12:

TB

Chevette Girl
01-16-2011, 02:35 AM
All honey has antimicrobial properties. :)

That's why microbes won't grow in it.

Microbes won't grow in corn syrup either, I blame the low water content, nothing to do with antimicrobial properties, just not a nice place for bugs to grow. Plus, I have had diluted honey go moldy (it had crystallized in my squeeze-bottle and I added a small amount of boiling water to liquefy it again), even though it's said to produce hydrogen peroxide... <shrug>

But that aside, this study I read about actually indicated that using honey as a contact antibiotic did something. I seem to recall several honeys were tested and the African honey worked actively to kill bacteria but North American didn't perform the same way.

This (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3874/is_200301/ai_n9211229/)isn't it, but it's the closest I've found in 30 seconds with a search engine.

kudapucat
01-16-2011, 05:54 AM
<snip>
Plus, I have had diluted honey go moldy (it had crystallized in my squeeze-bottle and I added a small amount of boiling water to liquefy it again), even though it's said to produce hydrogen peroxide... <shrug>
<snip>

Don't add water... that's a recipe for mead ;-)
heat to 36 degrees to decrystalise. Keep at 36 or below 0 to stop it crystalising.
Apparently the bees keep the honey at 36 degrees and that is what stops it crystalising in the hive.

also honey has oft been used in poultices and is said to aid healing.

mmclean
01-16-2011, 06:50 AM
Chevette Girl,

From Wikipedia,


Osmotic effect

Honey is primarily a saturated mixture of two monosaccharides. This mixture has a low water activity; most of the water molecules are associated with the sugars and few remain available for microorganisms, so it is a poor environment for their growth. If water is mixed with honey, it loses its low water activity, and therefore no longer possesses this antimicrobial property.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is formed in a slow-release manner by the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey. It becomes active only when honey is diluted, requires oxygen to be available for the reaction (thus it may not work under wound dressings, in wound cavities or in the gut), is active only when the acidity of honey is neutralised by body fluids, can be destroyed by the protein-digesting enzymes present in wound fluids, and is destroyed when honey is exposed to heat and light.[58] Honey chelates and deactivates free iron, which would otherwise catalyze the formation of oxygen free radicals from hydrogen peroxide, leading to inflammation. Also, the antioxidant constituents in honey help clean up oxygen free radicals present.[60]

C6H12O6 + H2O + O2 → C6H12O7 + H2O2 (glucose oxidase reaction)

When honey is used topically (as, for example, a wound dressing), hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution of the honey with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.

In diabetic ulcers

Topical honey has been used successfully in a comprehensive treatment of diabetic ulcers when the patient cannot use topical antibiotics.[61]

Acidity

The pH of honey is commonly between 3.2 and 4.5.[57] This relatively acidic pH level prevents the growth of many bacteria.

Methylglyoxal

The non-peroxide antibiotic activity is due to methylglyoxal (MGO) and an unidentified synergistic component. Most honeys contain very low levels of MGO, but manuka honey contains very high levels. The presence of the synergist in manuka honey more than doubles MGO antibacterial activity.[58]

Chevette Girl
01-16-2011, 11:17 AM
Aah, thank you mmclean. It was probably the methylglyoxal content that they were studying in the artcle I'd read :)

Starring_Emma
03-18-2011, 01:01 PM
My grandpa would mix a couple of ounces of honey in a glass of whiskey for a bad cough. He seemed to have bad coughs a lot.

Tiwas
03-18-2011, 03:52 PM
Hmmm...must remember to take honey with my ethylmorphine (sp?) next time ;)

wildoates
03-18-2011, 04:43 PM
The only thing my parents ever used whiskey for was to give to sick children. Nasty, but I'd sleep.

Nowadays that'd probably be child abuse. :mad:

Tannin Boy
03-18-2011, 07:06 PM
Same here. :)

Ditto that!!!
It works and then some...
Those German grandparents knew a thing or two....


TB

Meriadoc
03-18-2011, 07:24 PM
sooooo... when we say "honey makes a good wound dressing", what it really means is that peroxide is good on wounds, and honey contains peroxide?

Chevette Girl
03-18-2011, 07:35 PM
Yes.

Although ounce for ounce, peroxide is WAY cheaper than honey... ;D

TheAlchemist
03-18-2011, 07:35 PM
Honey is a good preservative, too. I believe some pharos were mummified with it...

JayH
03-18-2011, 11:35 PM
If you are really interested in using Honey as wound dressing, here is more information than you will hopefully ever need.

http://bio.waikato.ac.nz/honey/

The University of Waikato in New Zealand actually has a Honey Research Department dedicated to studying all of the medicinal uses of honey.

Dr P.C.Molan, BSc, PhD is the Director and actually kindly spent time talking with a friends doctor about wound care.

Lots of good stuff out there.

TheAlchemist
03-19-2011, 12:03 AM
http://bio.waikato.ac.nz/honey/



Thanks for posting this, Jay

icedmetal
03-19-2011, 03:54 AM
Honey is a good preservative, too. I believe some pharos were mummified with it...

By with it, you mean, honey was placed in the tomb with the mummy, I assume? AFAIK, they haven't found any honey-soaked mummies yet...

fatbloke
03-19-2011, 09:41 AM
But as I understand it, the article referred to by the OP, is old news. It was published here about 3 or 4 years ago and caused a rush on the limited amount of buckwheat honey available here.

since then, it seems that it was just convenient that the original author of the article chose buckwheat and it would seem that any honey works as well.

As for the Manuka effect, well I don't really know if there's been any proper study or research done, all I know is that depending on how strong the manuka element is, affects the price greatly. Whether it's a "wonder honey" thing or just the various limited amounts of each one that's available causing the cost to be high, is more to the point......

JayH
03-19-2011, 03:19 PM
If you are interested in the antibacterial activity of manuka honey, this is a good place to start.

http://bio.waikato.ac.nz/pdfs/antibacterial.pdf

randrick
03-19-2011, 11:30 PM
My wife was looking at a catalog today where they were actually selling a tube of manuka honey as a topical wound ointment.