Alternative to Cough Medicine

An Alternative to Cough Medicine :: Five Little Homesteaders

I hope you are all fairing well this 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.  Three little kids hacking all night long is enough to leave a (prone to over-worrying) mother awake a good portion of the night.

Since most OTC cold medicine is contraindicated for children below 6, this illness, in particular, had me 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, I have to say, that I think with this most recent illness, I may have cracked the code to taming the cough and it’s an alternative to cough medicine.

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 I 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 me, it is more like molasses than the honey I am 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.)

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 more healthy) than taking OTC medicine, it will also probably work better!  To me, this is the ultimate win-win situation.

But don’t trust me.  Trust the experts.

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

that 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.1

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.2

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.3

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

I’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.  I was 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 honeys are thicker and richer than anything I’ve ever found at the store.  Simply put, they are amazing (and yes, you can see that we “tapped” that buckwheat honey liberally before I could even get a picture).


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


And now, for the best news of all, Mohawk Valley Trading Company – has generously offered to giveaway the three raw honeys pictured above (not the comb honey, unfortunately, as conditions were bad this year) to one lucky reader.  (A $45 value!)

We’re going to keep this easy, to enter:

Simply leave a comment on this post letting us know what YOUR favorite use for honey is.

(Be sure to input your entry in the Rafflecopter widget below.  It just makes it easy for me to quickly and fairly choose a winner.)

Good luck! 

Disclaimer: Mohawk Valley Trading Company provided me with a free sample of these products to review.  However, I wasn’t under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.  They are also providing the giveaway product to one reader free of charge. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway –
A winner will be chosen via This giveaway ends at 11:59PM on Sunday, February 16th, 2014. The winner will be contacted by email, and will have 48 hours to respond.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to US residents 1. [ ABC News Article – ] 2. [ Science Daily – ] 3. [ PRWeb – ]


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