Mayo Clinic Minute: Can honey help with coughs?

Coughs due to respiratory infections such as colds are common this time of year. An effective treatment for a disruptive cough might be sitting in your kitchen pantry.

Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician with Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, says honey can help soothe coughs for adults and children. But, she says, never give honey to a child under 1.

Adding honey to warm water or tea, or just a spoonful of honey itself can help with coughs.

“It has been shown to be more effective than over-the-counter cough medications,” Mattke says.

Honey helps by soothing the throat and coating cough receptors.

She recommends using a teaspoon every two hours. And this dosage applies equally to children older than 1 and adults.

“And if you do choose to give honey for cough suppression, we would recommend that you use pasteurized honey,” adds Dr. Mattke.