Natural honey is a more effective remedy for children’s coughs than over-the-counter medicines, researchers say.

A dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime out-performed a cough suppressant in a US study.

Honey did a better job of reducing the severity and frequency of night-time coughs. It also improved sleep quality for children and their parents.

Dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in many cough mixtures sold in chemists and supermarkets, had no significant impact on symptoms.

However, the FSA said honey should not be fed to children under the age of one due to the risk of bacteria Clostridium botulinum.