By now, you've probably heard all the news about cold remedies for kids. The pharmaceutical concoctions are causing toxicity and even death in small children! Many of the warnings are for the most popular cough syrups, and most have similar formulas for adults. These formulas are every bit as toxic - it just might take longer to do the damage. Fortunately, you don't need these dangerous drugs to stop your cough.

When I was a kid, I got colds and sore throats like all kids do. My mom, looking after her kids, provided us a variety of remedies. I was too young to know the difference between drug and non-drug therapies. But I remember to this day what I always wanted to fight my cough and sore throat. And it wasn't a cough medicine. It was honey in warm milk! I remember how it made my throat feel so good. It soothed my throat. And I coughed less.

But honey can't stack up to high-tech drugs, can it? Well, some researchers wanted to find out. So they compared it to one of the more popular potions - dextromethorphan (DM). DM is a narcotic derivative. It's the most commonly used over-the-counter anti-cough drug for children. You might be familiar with it in Robitussin DM and other products.

The researchers randomized 105 children to receive one of three treatments. The children received either no treatment, a honey flavored DM, or just buckwheat honey. The researchers packaged all of the treatments in identical 10 ml syringes. The average age of the children was five years old and they had been sick for seven days or less prior to treatment.

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To the researchers surprise (but not mine), buckwheat honey provided the greatest relief from cough! It was far superior to the drug and placebo. There was no difference in illness duration. Just more relief from cough.

People have used honey to treat colds for centuries. It soothes and has both antioxidant and antibacterial properties. And honey - taken in small amounts - has no side effects. Compare that to DM, which can cause psychosis, mania, hallucinations, ataxia, dependence, and even death.

You don't have to be the parent of a small child to reap the rewards of this news. Most, if not all, Pharma cold remedies are garbage in my view. If they work at all, they simply suppress symptoms so that other problems can emerge somewhere else.

If you get a sore throat and accompanying cough, consider organic raw honey for relief of your discomfort. You don't need a prescription or a doctor's visit. More clear evidence that what God made will almost always beat chemically made Pharma snake oil.

Ref: Family Practice News, January 1, 2008.

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