Use honey, or propolis, to fight that cough!

 

Ahhhhh, it’s cold season…and I don’t mean winter….I mean the sniffles and sneezes. My youngest son recently endured a month-long relationship with our tissue box before undergoing a tonsillectomy. Poor guy! And while I cared for him, I contemplated home remedies. My favorite? Honey!

According to a study published by the Mayo Clinic, children taking 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime had reduced nighttime coughing and improved sleep. In fact,“honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter dose.”

That’s fantastic! But be careful, not all honey is created equal. Only Raw, unfiltered honey provides the benefits from over 181 antioxidants and antimicrobials and bee pollen – an amino acid rich protein. Other honeys (over 80% of the honey found in the stores) are filtered and pasteurized killing these helpful elements and leaving you with little more than sugar. Feeding your child “typical” honey will do little (or nothing) to curb an illness and to support your child’s body in healing.

Since honey provides a small dose of sugar, vitamins and protein, it’s a healthy method for providing nutrients to your child while treating a cold. It won’t reduce a fever however, so while it’s amazing, it’s not a cure-all.

Added bonus? Kids love the taste, so parents can avoid their own “please-just-drink-this-medicine” headache! I give my kids “honey-spoons” – literally, a spoonful of honey. Right now, I am sipping on a cup of lemon tea (caffeine-free) with honey. (Lemon and tea adds to the healing benefits of honey.) Honey also helps ease a sore throat.

On a recent visit to an artisan market, I discovered a thick, creamy honey which contains a higher amount of propolis, or “bee-glue” as it is commonly called. Propolis is the resin-like substance which bees use to coat their hives to seal openings and to protect against pathogens. It’s a “bee penicillin” that is strongly anti-bacterial, inhibiting the growth of any bacteria, fungus, or other unwanted microbe.

People have been using propolis since Aristotle’s time, who named the substance. Recent research as verified its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties, along with its ability to increase the body’s natural resistance to viruses and infections.

Whether you use straight raw honey, or propolis enriched honey, you and your family will bee grateful (yes, yes, I went there). Perhaps honey belongs in the medicine cabinet instead of the kitchen?!

**Remember, Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.

Here’s an easy “not feeling too good” Snack or Breakfast:

  • Dry, whole grain toast
  • Spread raw, unfiltered honey over toast
  • cover with ground flax seed and cinnamon (optional)
  • spread banana slices on the top

Flax seed adds little flavor, but a powerful fiber and Omega 3 kick. Cinnamon has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. While Banana is easy to digest, so it is a great choice during tummy troubles. Plus, the added potassium and magnesium gives the body a healing boost.

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