Is honey good for a cough and sore throat?
Can honey stop a cough and sore throat ?
While we would be a little reluctant to use the word 'cure', the long history of honey being used to treat coughs and sore throats dates back thousands of years.
Many of us will remember our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents giving us honey and lemon drinks as children to sooth our sore throats and coughs. This knowledge and personal experience of using honey as a treatment seems to have been passed down from generation to generation.
Honey, especially in its raw state, is full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. How honey works for treating the symptoms of a sore throat isn't fully proven scientifically. Most research suggests that it may be due to the known antimicrobial and wound healing properties of honey, which may offer pain relief and reduce inflammation.
NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and Public Health England suggest that honey should be a patients first port of call for a cough rather than antibiotics.
What kind of honey should I use for a cough or sore throat?
All types of honey are generally safe to use for treating a sore throat. But honey must not be given to babies and infants under 1 year old due to the risk of infant botulism. This is a rare but serious form of poisoning, which comes from ingesting spores in honey products.
The usual reason for a sore throat is a common viral or bacterial infection and while it’s not usually a serious condition, it can make your throat feel extremely uncomfortable and cause painful coughing. In these instances we've found that honey can provide excellent relief and possibly also help in fighting off the infection quickly. To get all the medicinal benefits of honey, you need to use Raw Honey. The heating process in most bottled honey will kill almost all of its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Most common coughs and sore throats will eventually get better without any treatment. If your sore throat or cough lasts longer than a week or two, or gets progressively worse rather than better and especially if you notice any other symptoms, then it could be something more serious. In these instances we would absolutely urge contact your doctor to get it checked out, just in case.
How to use honey for a sore throat or cough?
Our favourite ways to use honey for a cough and sore throat relief.
Honey, Lemon and Ginger.
The most convenient way we've found to use honey to treat a cough or sore throat is by using our Raw Honey with Lemon and Ginger stirred directly into a cup of hot (not boiling) water.
Not only will you enjoy the soothing and healing properties of the raw honey, but also extra vitamin C to help combat respiratory infections. This along with the added benefits of ginger that can help calm down any inflammation, makes a quick and easy treatment that also tastes great!
We've found that drinking this twice a day at the first signs on a sore throat can actually stop it getting any worse and can sooth a nasty cough away very quickly.
Milk and Honey
If you fancy something different, another fantastic option is milk and honey. Milk can also be very soothing for a sore throat and a warm mug of milk with a spoonful of Manuka Honey is one of life's small pleasures, regardless if it's for a sore throat treatment or simply to enjoy. We've found this works especially well for a dry or tickly cough.
Honey and Garlic
For a cough with more mucous we recommend a honey and garlic combination. Garlic is an excellent natural decongestant which helps clear out the mucous formed in the throat. It also contains compounds which can help to kill bacterial infections.
To prepare this just add 2 minced cloves of garlic to 100g of our Original Raw Vitamin Honey, stir it in well and leave covered overnight, or for a few hours if you want to use it as soon as possible. Then simply add a teaspoon of the garlic infused honey to a cup of hot water and stir. We've found that drinking this 2 to 3 times a day really helps to clear the mucus away and sooth your throat at the same time.
Simply Raw Honey
Of course if you'd rather you can simply sip our delicious Raw Honey or Manuka Honey right off a teaspoon! It will give you an instant soothing layer of protection on your dry throat which can provide some relief from a scratchy throat irritation almost immediately!
Honey is one of the best natural products for treating coughs, colds and sore throats, so before you reach immediately for that honey and lemon flavoured pharmaceutical drinks powder, why not give the real thing a try first? You might be surprised at the results!
Have you had success treating a cough or sore throat with one of Just Bee's Raw Honey products? If you have please comment below with your experiences. As always, we'd love to hear from you!