Kids have a cough? Try a little honey

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a spoonful of honey may actually be medicine.

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine had parents of 105 children older than 2 monitor them for two nights. On the first night, children received neither honey nor medicine. On the second night, half received some dark buckwheat honey, and half received honey-flavored cough syrup.

The half with true honey experienced better sleep and fewer symptoms, as well as a little more hyperactivity. The findings were reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Researchers theorized that the real work of cough syrup is done by the sheer viscosity of the liquid. Honey, even stickier than syrup, would therefore work better.