5 Honey Cold and Flu Remedies
If you were to look out of the window of Just Bee HQ today you might be forgiven in thinking that we are deep into winter already. The weather here in Manchester has certainly taken a wetter and colder turn over the last couple of weeks and that change in weather will no doubt unfortunately bring some seasonal colds and flu into our lives.
Honey has many natural properties that can help treat colds and coughs. Honey contains antioxidant, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that fight against the virus and treats the cold and its underlying symptoms. It also helps to soothe a sore or scratchy throat naturally and it can boost the immune system when you are feeling under the weather. And it's not just us saying this! It has been proven by scientists at Oxford University! So all of these factors can reduce the severity of a cold and can also prevent future colds and other viruses.
In this blog we'll look at some other additional ingredients you can combine with honey and new ways of using honey to try and keep those seasonal colds and flu at bay and help with those runny noses, sore throats and mild fever.
It should go without saying that if you become very ill or your symptoms drag on for longer without any signs of improvement then we always recommend seeking medical advice from a doctor.
For treating regular mild cold and flu symptoms these are some of the most effective things we've tried though and hopefully some of them will work for you too!
1) Honey and Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the best spices to combine with honey as a cold and flu remedy. Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus "Cinnamomum" and it has been used in cooking and medicinal uses for thousands of years.
It has high anti-inflammatory capabilities that can really help fight off infections. Taken regularly, honey and cinnamon can help fight off cold viruses and treat underlying symptoms.
Simply stir a teaspoon of our Just Bee Original Vitamin Honey into some hot (not boiling) water and add one quarter of a teaspoon of high quality ground cinnamon.
If you drink this twice a day for a few days you should start to see some improvement. Because of its anti-inflammatory capabilities it can reduce the symptoms of colds and flu quite quickly and provide a lot of genuine relief.
You'll find that the cinnamon doesn't really dissolve in the hot water, so give it a stir before you drink it or you will find all the cinnamon at the bottom of your mug after drinking! If you prefer you don't even have to make it into a drink, you can just mix a little cinnamon into a spoonful of honey and lick it right off the spoon!
2) Honey and Lemon Gargle
I know of some people who used to gargle with diluted TCP when they had a cold or sore throat, but quite frankly, it tastes revolting! So as a natural, nicer tasting alternative try gargling with this honey and lemon mix!
Simply mix a tablespoon of lemon juice into a large mug of hot (not boiling) water, then stir in a teaspoon of Just Bee Original Vitamin Honey (or Just Bee Lemon & Ginger Vitamin Honey.) Let the solution cool to warm room temperature and gargle with it several times a day.
If you have a sore throat with your symptoms this is especially effective. But it can also help your body fight off colds faster and give you a boost of Vitamin C, D, B6 and B12 at the same time!
3) Manuka Honey
Manuka honey contains more minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants than any other type of honey. This makes it especially effective at boosting the immune system and providing energy when you are suffering with a cold.
Manuka honey has a naturally occurring active ingredient Leptosperin, which is a chemical compound that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Methyglyoxal is responsible for Manuka honey's antibacterial effects. Consuming Manuka honey regularly can help to prevent cold and flu symptoms.
For the best results we would recommend eating a teaspoon of Manuka honey every day straight out of the pot!
4) Honey, Lemon and Ginger
At Just Bee we've made this classic combination of ingredients a breeze with our Just Bee Lemon & Ginger Vitamin Honey.
Simply add a teaspoon or two into a mug of hot (not boiling) water, stir and enjoy!
If you wish to use Manuka honey or our Original Vitamin Honey, then here's a simple recipe you can make in a clean jam jar.
Grate half a lemon peel into zest, then cut the lemon into roughly 8 chunks and put that all into the jar. Grate a thumb sized piece of ginger into the jar too, fill the jar up with honey and give it all a good stir as you do so. Leave to sit for a couple of hours before using. Then you can simply add a teaspoon or two to a mug of hot water.
This is a potent combination in fighting off colds and flu, giving your immune system a boost and soothing cold and flu symptoms. The ginger is full of antioxidants and the lemon will give you a kick of vitamin C. It can help clear any nasal congestion too, as well as giving you the soothing benefits of the honey itself.
5) Honey and Brandy
Alcohol is always something we would recommend with caution but we feel it's certainly worth a mention in this blog (for over 18's only of course!). Brandy has antimicrobial properties that can thin the mucus that builds up during the night when we have a cold. If you are struggling to get a good nights sleep, this could help you limit your cough, ease a sore throat and help you breath easier during the night.
Add a teaspoon of brandy, a teaspoon of honey and a wedge of lemon into a cup, then fill with hot (not boiling) water, give it a stir and drink before bed.
We obviously only recommend this only for adults who already consume alcohol.
Honey can be a very effective way of preventing and treating colds and cold symptoms, but it is important not to give it to children under 1 year because of the risk of botulism.
Also while rare, some people can be allergic to honey and the other ingredients mentioned, so if in doubt then please consult a doctor before trying any of these remedies.
Common colds and influenza are not usually a serious condition for most people and they are usually treated at home and pass quickly but if you are suffering with any underlying conditions or your symptoms are more serious, then always seek professional medical advice.