Some parents have been choosing honey instead of modern cold medicine when it comes to kids’ colds.
Allegheny General Hospital pediatrician Dr. TaTanisha Smith said there are pros and cons to honey making a comeback with parents who don’t want to deal with the side effects their kids feel from over-the-counter medications.
“It is a traditional homeopathic remedy that has been used for years,” Smith said. “The mechanism by which it works is that it coats the throat. It diminishes the cough reflex, which is what a lot of parents want to give children something for for coughing.”
Smith said she often tells her patients to use a tablespoon of honey, but never to children less than 1 year old because their bodies can’t handle it.
“It’s not harmful over the age of 1,” Smith said. “You don’t have to worry about the botulism now because most of the honey we have is processed and pasteurized.”
Victoria Mata is one of many mothers who opts for honey because she is hesitant about over-the-counter medicine.
“I’m not really into a lot of medications because I know there can be a lot of side effects,” Mata said. “I always run to my grandma’s recipe of tea and honey.”
Studies have shown that darker honey is better when it comes to the healing ingredients. Buckwheat honey is the most commonly used.