This Food Is A Natural Cough Suppressant

There are many home remedies and old wives tales that aim to soothe the common cold, which resources such as Healthline outline. One of the more annoying and uncomfortable symptoms of a cold is a persistent cough and subsequent sore throat. Especially during the time of the year when winter colds are going around, having a few home antidotes up your sleeve can be extremely helpful. 

One such remedy that has been in use for years and years is honey. Tea with the sweet bee-produced food — even just a spoonful or two — is a common recommendation for easing a sore throat and cough at home. "Next time your throat hurts, ease the discomfort by mixing a little honey with warm water and lemon, or simply swallow honey straight from the spoon," suggests. One study published in the Archive of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in December of 2007 even found that a single dose of buckwheat honey consistently scored better than the popular over-the-counter cough suppressant dextromethorphan in reducing nighttime cough in children, and that parents rated it "most favorably for symptomatic relief of their child's nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection."

Honey's superpowers suppress pesky coughs

But what is it about honey that actually helps? The sweet and sticky food product is a demulcent, which is defined as "a substance...for soothing or protecting an irritated mucous membrane." And its sweetness doesn't only impact its taste — it also "can calm the throat's nerve endings and reduce coughing" (via The Cleveland Clinic). 

Honey's superpowers don't stop there. As reports, honey also has potent antimicrobial properties as well, which by definition can help kill or stunt the growth of bacteria or viruses. One study published in The American Journal of Therapeutics explored the various antimicrobial aspects of honey, listing many important characteristics — including high sugar concentration and anti-inflammatory properties — that contribute to honey's medicinal nature. 

But be aware, as Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security explains, "Honey is not a cure for cough, but a substance that can decrease its intensity." So while it can ease the symptoms, honey can't cure the cause of a cough (via Women's Health).