12 Effective Ways to Use Honey for Cough and Cold in Kids


Is honey for cough and cold effective?

How can I use honey as a home remedy for kids?

What precautions are to be taken when using honey for a cough?

Cough and cold can really bog us down, so imagine the plight of our poor kids. It can turn your bundle of joy into a cranky, tired and sleepless kid in no time.

Fortunately, there are a lot of natural remedies to cure cold and cough. Today’s spotlight is on one such hero – HONEY.

honey for cough

How does honey help a cough?

Using honey to treat for respiratory infections is an age-old practice.

Recent studies also confirm that honey is an excellent cough suppressant and is more effective than many of the over the counter cough syrups.

In Ayurveda honey is considered as the finest source of energy and heat and is recommended for improving immunity and as a cough suppressant.

What makes honey a good home remedy to relieve cold and cough?

Honey works as a soothing agent or demulcent and coats the inflamed mucus membrane. This helps to cure irritating cough and symptoms like difficulty in swallowing due sore throat.

Apart from this, this amber colored liquid has a load of other properties that make it an excellent cough medicine.

Let us take a look at the properties of honey.

Honey is:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti- bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Has antioxidants which contributes to its decongestant properties
  • A natural disinfectant
  • Boosts the immunity power
  • Good for the digestive system due to presence of prebiotics
  • A cure for sleeplessness
  • An energy booster
  • Contains phytochemicals that are important for overall health

Due to these qualities, apart from using honey as a best home remedy for cough, it can also be used as a remedy in a wide spectrum of illnesses and issues like infections, cuts, burns, sleeplessness etc.

Is Homeremedies with honey safe for kids?

Home remedies with honey are generally safe for older kids, but for children below 12 months of age honey for cold and cough is not recommended. This is because honey can cause infant botulism, which is rare but very serious condition.

So honey should not be strictly avoided for children below 1 year of age.

For older kids it is usually safe, but you can watch out for any allergy if you are giving it for the first time.

12 Ways to use honey for cough and cold in kids:

You must be wondering, why so many ways? You can just give honey and wait for it to work its magic right?

Well, I have listed different ways because using it along with the other ingredients listed below helps to increase its potency.

The other reason is – TASTE. So you can choose one your kiddo loves!

#1. Just… honey!

For kids ages 1 to 5 give half a teaspoon of honey and for those 6 and up, offer one teaspoon of honey 3-4 times a day to get relief for cough.

A teaspoon of honey before your little one goes to sleep can help ease night time cough and the irritation associated with it and ensure a good nights sleep. Just remember to brush after; you don’t want to spoil the teeth now, do you?

How does it help?

Honey coats the throat and alleviates irritation brought on by coughing. It also induces salivation, which helps in thinning the mucus. It also helps the little one sleep.

#2. Honey and warm water

This can be used in two ways – gargle and/or drink

For younger kids who are yet to understand the concept of gargling, you can give a glass of water with a tablespoon of honey. You can add the juice of a lemon to this too.

For older kids, you can ask them to gargle with the same.

How does it help?

Apart from the benefits of honey the warm water also helps to soothe the throat.

#3. Dry Ginger and Honey

Take half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder (sonth/ chukku/sukku) and mix it with honey. Consume it for relief.

How does it help?

Ginger is also used for treating infections of the respiratory tract. So ginger and honey makes a good pair to fight against cold and cough.

#4. Ginger and honey

 Extract the juice of some ginger. Take a spoonful of this juice and then mix it with an equal amount of honey. Give it to your little one.

You can also add ginger to some boiling water, switch off the stove and let it steep. Once the mixture is lukewarm add honey and consume.

How does it help?

Ginger is also really effective in curbing cough, relieving cold and soothing the throat. The lukewarm water helps to sooth the throat. So combining honey, ginger and warm water can be an effective way to sooth the irritation due to cough.

#5. Honey and lemon for cough

Who doesn’t like lemonade?

Well, this is a tasty remedy and doesn’t quite have the feel of a medicine. Make some yummy lemonade but rather than using cold water and sugar, use warm water and honey.

How does it help?

Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants that help the body fight of the infection. That and the goodness of honey makes it a good home remedy for cold and cough.

#6. Garlic tea with lemon and honey

Take a cup of water. Crush two cloves of garlic (small) and add it to the water. Once it boils take it off the stove, let it become lukewarm and then add half a teaspoon each of lemon and honey. Consume while it is still warm.

How does it help?

Garlic helps fight congestion and is anti-bacterial in nature.

#7. Honey and Garlic paste

Make a paste with a small clove of crushed garlic and honey. Give it once or twice a day.

How does it help?

The allicin in garlic and the honey help in effectively targeting all the symptoms and gives relief in 1-2 days.

#8. Tulsi and Honey

This also can be had in two ways. In the first method, you can make some tulsi tea by boiling water with a handful of leaves then adding honey to this.

The second method involves extracting the juice from the leaves first. Add an equal amount of honey to it and let your kiddo consume it whenever you find he or she is struggling with a bad bout of cough.

How does it help?

Tulsi has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which makes it a sought after remedy to fight cold and cough.

#9. Cinnamon and Honey

Honey and cinnamon for cough and cold is a proven remedy. A pinch of cinnamon powder with half a teaspoon of honey can work wonders for your little one’s cold and cough. Consume this two times a day for three days.

If your child finds the taste of cinnamon too overpowering, you can also steep the bark in some hot water and add honey to it.

How does it help?

Cinnamon helps to fight infection in the body due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal nature.

#10. Pepper and Honey

Dry roast 4-5 peppercorns, grind it to a fine powder, mix it with honey and consume for relief from cough and cold.

For younger kids pepper can be hard to consume as it is very spicy. So you can avoid giving this to younger kids if they are not used to eating spicy food.

How does it help?

Pepper is effective in loosening the phlegm, when used with honey. So it helps to make breathing easy for your kiddos.

#11. Pepper, Water and Honey

You can crush 3 or 4 peppercorn and boil this in water. Once the water is lukewarm, add honey to this and let your kid sip this.

How does it help?

Pepper stimulates circulation and mucus flow. Warm water soothes irritation. Honey is a natural cough suppressant.

#12. Turmeric milk with honey

Just add half a teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm turmeric milk for a great remedy against cold and cough. Taking this remedy before bedtime aids in better sleep too.

If your child has thick mucus, then you can replace milk with a glass of warm water for this home remedy.

How does it help?

The anti-viral and anti-bacterial nature of turmeric helps in fighting cold and cough while the anti-inflammatory nature helps in relieving chest congestion.

For more home remedies on cold and cough read 61 home remedies for cold and cough in babies

Symptoms to be worried about:

These remedies with honey are for treating only common cold and cough. But if your child has the following symptoms then consult a doctor.

  • Cough that isn’t subsiding and is getting worse
  • Cold and cough that lasts for more than a week
  • Fever
  • Wheezing or asthma
  • Loose motion

Precautions to be taken when giving honey to kids:

While honey is generally a safe product to consume, like any other edible certain precautions are to be taken while giving honey to kids. Let us see what the precautions are-

  • Don’t heat honey

Honey should not be heated or mixed with hot foods. So don’t put honey in boiling hot water or milk or any food that is hot.

Allow the water, milk or food to cool down or become lukewarm before you mix honey in it.

  • Should not be given to kids below 1 year

As discussed earlier, honey can cause botulism in kids below one year as their digestive system is not well developed to handle all the micro-organisms present in honey.

  • Look for pollen allergy

Honey can contain very small traces of pollen. Those kids who are allergic to pollen should take precaution or completely avoid honey as it can trigger an allergic reaction.

  • Read the ingredients

When you buy honey always read the ingredient table.

If the ingredients contain high-fructose corn syrup or commercial glucose, then it is not pure honey. So don’t use it for home remedies, it will not be effective.

Use only natural pure honey for home remedies.

  • Use certified organic honey

Honey can be adulterated and so always go for certified organic honey to get pure honey.

If the honey you have is adulterated, it will not work as a cough suppressant or be effective as a home remedy.

To find if the honey is pure, pour a little quantity of honey into a glass full of water. If the honey is artificial, it will dissolve in water if not it will stay as such.

Another way to test for purity of honey is to take some honey in a small cotton roll burn it. The pure honey will burn easily but the impure honey will not burn properly as it contains water.

  • Honey should not be consumed in large quantities for longer periods of time

While benefits of taking honey daily are many, it is not recommended to consume large quantities of honey daily for a longer period of time.

  • Maintain dental hygiene

Consuming honey regularly and not cleaning your teeth after that can cause dental damage. Make sure to clean the kid’s teeth and after eating honey.

Must read:

Dear mommies, remember that common cold is just a part of growing up, so don’t you worry.

Try these home remedies for cough and cold with honey and also keep infections at bay by maintaining proper hygiene and boosting immunity.Do let us know if these were helpful.

How do you use honey for cough and cold in toddlers and kids? Please write in comments the way you use honey for cough relief.


About Author

A stay at home mom for a feisty 19 month old named Ahaana, Chitra Santosh has rekindled her romance with words once again now. Though Arakkonam is her home, she can be seen migrating to Mavelikara, a quaint little town in Alappey during summers. Studies have shown that this has no connection with the migratory patterns of birds.

1 Comment

  1. No words to thank you dear chitra..This blog is perfect! Thanks dear Sangeetha..
    Could you please suggest from where we can buy organic honey?also can u suggest the cheru theen which we buy from medical shops are good?Now I’m using dabur.request your valuable reply. GOD bless

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