We think honey for cough, especially chesty cough, should always be considered over DM. Every pharmacy and grocery store in America is loaded with an enormous amount of over-the-counter elixirs, medicines, drops, and sprays (OTC’s); all claiming to remedy coughing and sore throats. These medications contain a wide variety of substances, such as expectorants and antihistamines; covering a full range of coughs, such as acute or chronic.
Coughing is big business. It’s so big, in fact, that the amount of money spent each year on these products tally up to over three billion dollars. We spend three billion dollars, yet the Cochrane Review assesses their effectiveness to be questionable at best. Some of them no better than a placebo. There must be a better alternative, and we here at American Honey Producers know what it is. It tastes great, it won’t make you drowsy, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. That’s right, we’re talking honey, of course, honey for cough.
What’s Your Cough?
We’ve all been that person. The one at a seminar or in a movie theater that can’t stop coughing. It’s frustrating, annoying, and ultimately rushes us down that pharmacy isle. But what kind of cough do you have? Will the wrong choice just provoke it? Worse yet, is this cough a symptom of something much more serious to come? These are all valid questions. Questions that if not answered properly could send you home from work, or even a trip to the hospital. Before we look at the beneficial applications of honey for cough, it’s important to identify the culprit. Coughing is the leading cause for family doctor visits, and therefore we recommend making an appointment if you are unsure about your symptoms. Also visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information regarding children.
A cough is classified by four existing factors
Duration of Cough
The duration of a cough is defined as being either acute, subacute, or chronic. Coughing that lasts no more than three weeks is considered acute. Subacute coughs last from three to eight weeks, and if it lasts more than eight weeks it’s chronic. Acute coughs can cause complications such as fainting, insomnia, and red eye; whereas chronic complications include pelvic hernias and rib fractures.
Character of Cough
Coughing has many different characteristics. We define these characteristics more in children than adults. Its sound has been described as barky or staccato with variations based on whether the cough is productive or non-productive (substance producing); often referred to as a dry or wet cough. Coughing can also primarily take place only at night, only during the day, or both night and day.
Quality of Cough
The quality of a cough is basically part of its character in relation to its production. Dry, non-productive coughs can be a normal reaction to pollutants in the air, allergies, or something still lingering after a respiratory infection (postinfectious). Wet, productive coughs produce phlegm, and usually result from infections such as bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold.
Timing of Cough
The timing of a cough is characterized in two ways; what time of the day it occurs, and its repetition per occurrence. Though coughing spells most often take place at any given time of the day, there is a classification taking place only at night called a nocturnal cough. Repetitious coughing generally continues until the production of sputum/phlegm is concluded.
Why Honey For Cough?
We classify honey as a nutraceutical, or “functional food”. The word nutraceutical has recently become a popular term for describing a natural food that delivers a particular health benefit along with its normal nutritional value. Marketing trends for nutraceuticals have exploded in the last decade and include foods such as almonds, brown rice, and dark chocolate. This explosion is, in part, due to the rising amount of expenditures on cough medicine. Our country is starting to look more towards preventative measures now, rather than curative medicine.
Curative medicines, such as OTC cough medicine DM’s; are mostly ineffective, expensive, terrible tasting, and cannot be used on children under six. OTC medications for coughing also contain chemicals such as hydrochloride, dextromethorphan, and hydrobromide. These chemicals come with a laundry list of side effects that have created an imperative need for alternative medicine. We believe honey can fill some of these needs, especially honey for cough, sore throat, and sleeplessness.
Some Side Effects From Cough Medicines:
Some Side Effects From Honey Include:
Oh Wait… There Are None!
Pure Honey Breakdown
The chemical composition of honey is fairly complex. Honey contains glucose, fructose, phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients), amino acids, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and a small amount of vitamins and minerals. (Because 2/3rds of honey is made up of a unique 1:1 ratio of Fructose and Glucose, several pages of our website will refer to it.) Nested in this chemical composition lies the great many secrets of honey.
Secrets that include: the ability to act as an antioxidant, providing protection against pollutants; honey’s antibacterial properties, eliminating the ability for bacteria to grow; and acting as an anti-inflammatory by using it’s hygroscopic characteristics to seal wounds. So which one of these characteristics play the dominating role in relieving your cough and sore throat? As it turns out, all three do.
Honey For Cough Wrap-up
The science behind using honey for alternative medicine seems to still be in its baby stages. Only recently have we seen proper case studies being conducted seriously. Its viscosity coats the throat, allowing sore areas to find immediate relief. Meanwhile honey’s anti-inflammatory effects let the esophagus heal through less irritation. Theoretically, coughing is relieved from a combination of coating the throat, neutralizing bacteria, and acting as an antioxidant; killing foreign particles. To put it simply, we know it works, but science is still working on the “how”.
Now, what science has proven, is the impact honey has on stabilizing blood sugar levels. There is more in-depth information on this topic coming soon on our website. This area is truly fascinating. American Honey Producers will continue to recommend honey in the morning, afternoon, and evening, preferably two spoonsful three times a day. How then, can something give you energy in the morning and afternoon, yet also help you sleep at night? Sounds absurd right? The reason lies in that fructose and glucose combination we talk about.
Through the facilitation of fructose, the glucose in honey is converted to glycogen in the liver. According to the body’s needs, it can be utilized immediately for energy, or stored for later use during rest and recovery. The body will often run out of glycogen during eight hours of sleep, causing the body to panic and create insulin spikes. A process that will keep you from having a good night’s sleep.
Not only does honey before bed help keep glycogen stores throughout the night, but it aids in the production of melatonin as well. We’ll explain this exciting process in another topic. The bottom line is: We love honey for cough, but we also think you will agree, we love honey all day, every day. So eat more honey!
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