Alternative to Cough Medicine

We hope everyone is faring well during the cold and flu season.

We’re doing pretty well over here but did have one bad bout of illness.  It was primarily respiratory in nature and was no fun, especially at night.  Everyone hacking all night long is enough to keep anyone awake a good portion of the night.

Most OTC cold medicine is contraindicated for children below 6, so you may feel the need to go looking for a good alternative to cough medicine.

Talk to any adult (especially one who is a parent) when you have a sick kid and you’ll be sure to get an ear full about what works and what doesn’t.  They’ll tell you what their grandmother used to do and what their doctor recommended.  Their advice will run the gamut.

However, during this most recent illness, we may have cracked the code to taming the cough and it’s an alternative to cough medicine.

An alternative to Cough Medicine

There are many different things you can do to remedy a cough – some more natural than others.

  • Cough Drops (herbal or not)
  • Humidifier
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Vicks Vapor Rub (some say to put it on the bottoms of your feet)
  • Elevated Head when Sleeping
  • Raw Honey (preferably buckwheat)

Each of these remedies can be great but the one on that list that we find to be the best is raw honey and more specifically raw buckwheat honey.

If you’ve ever had buckwheat honey, you’d remember it.  It is dark, rich, and has a distinctive flavor.  To many, it is more like molasses than the honey they may be used to.  And most importantly, recent studies have shown it to be more effective than over the counter medicine in treating coughs, especially children’s cough and especially at night.  (Note: If you are planning to use honey for its health benefits, it must be raw honey. Heating honey (pasteurization) destroys the all of the pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, and aromatics. It is important to remember, though, not to give honey of any kind to infants and children under the age of 2. Children develop the necessary bacteria in their intestines to defend against harmful spores after the age of 2.)

This is HUGE.

More Effective Than Cough Medicine

Not only is giving your child (or yourself) a spoonful of raw buckwheat honey more natural (and probably healthier) than taking OTC medicine, it will also probably work better!  This may be the ultimate win-win situation.

But don’t trust just anyone.  Trust the experts.

A study (published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) found:

Children who received a small dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime slept better and coughed less than those who received either a common over-the-counter cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) or nothing at all.

Researchers have also found that the nutritional make-up of dark honey (like buckwheat honey) has a greater ability to fight illness than that of light honey.

Further, taking 1-2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey during cold and flu season may help your immune system due to the antioxidants and immune-boosting properties of the honey.

However, here’s the challenge. Where do you find raw buckwheat honey?

We’ve found that one of the most reputable sources of raw buckwheat honey – – is Mohawk Valley Trading Company, which is located in Utica, New York.  We were lucky enough to get to try some of their raw buckwheat honey, as well as raw summer wildflower honey, and raw tulip poplar-black locust honey.  These kinds of honey are thicker and richer than anything we’ve ever found at the store.  Simply put, they are amazing (and yes, you can see that we “tapped” the buckwheat honey liberally before we could even get a picture).

We were also given some comb honey to try and it is amazing.  We had never had it before and was surprised to even see it in the box – beautiful, healthy, and delicious.