Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sweet Home Remedy for Coughs


If a nagging cough is keeping you awake, and cough syrup doesn’t help, there’s something in your kitchen cupboard that might: honey.

It’s been a favored home remedy for sore throats for decades, and now new research shows it’s more than wishful thinking. It really can silence nighttime hacking.

A Little Does a Lot

It may not take much honey to do the trick. In a study of kids, a small dose of buckwheat honey -- 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, depending on age -- was enough. (Caution: Never give honey to a child who’s not yet a year old, because there’s a risk of botulism.) And many doctors recommend a bit of honey for adult patients, too. Try it with tea and lemon for extra throat lubrication. Bonus: Honey is a great source of antioxidants. Find out which kinds of honey have the most.

It Might Help Sinuses, Too

Scientists have only just begun to tap into honey’s medical uses. Early research shows it may have a strong antibacterial edge and might fight sinus infections, too. Research is ongoing. In the meantime, if you’re suffering from sinus issues, try these self-care tips:

Flush ’em. Nasal irrigation will both reduce nasal symptoms and boost bacterial resistance. Try a neti pot. Or buy this little number at your local drug store.

Drink up. Staying hydrated helps keep your sinuses moist and less susceptible to infection. What’s the right amount of water for you? Find out here.

Protect ’em. From smoke, dust, allergens, and any other nasal irritants -- until your sinuses feel better. Check the pollen counts in your area.

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