Your Mother Was Right (Again!)

Scientists validate a favorite home remedy for colds

Posted Mar 08, 2015

Henry Mayo Bateman
Source: Henry Mayo Bateman

The researchers reviewed three different randomized controlled trials comparing how well the following relieved cough symptoms: no treatment, placebo, honey, and two commonly used over-the-counter medications, dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine. The review was published in the prestigious Cochrane Database Systems Review.

It turned out that honey was better at relieving cough than all of the above except for dextromethorphan. This is especially good news for parents of young children, in whom over-the-counter cough remedies should not be used (although honey, too, should not be given to babies under twelve months of age because of the risk of botulism).

While the scientific team did not include interviews as part of their study, you can be sure that if they had, they’d have heard a lot of “well of course it works, what did you expect?”

It makes you wonder what this group will study next… Chicken soup, perhaps?

About the Author

Dennis Rosen, M.D., is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist who practices at Boston Children's Hospital.

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