Cold-induced coughs can be stubborn: In one study, 39 percent of people were hacking for up to eight weeks after their other symptoms abated. Now scientists in the _Primary Care Respiratory Journal _have pinpointed a strategy that delivers relief in days. When they had adults with a nagging cough sip honey-sweetened instant coffee for one week, cough frequency dropped by 93 percent. Some cold meds, on the other hand, had no effect. “Caffeine is in the same chemical category as _theophylline, _a bronchodilator used to treat asthma,” says Cathleen London, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. As for honey, it forms a soothing film over injured tissue, plus delivers antioxidant phenols to speed healing. The study-backed daily dose: 2 to 3 cups of strong coffee (instant or brewed), each with 1 Tbs. of honey.
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