Used in traditional medicine for centuries, honey has finally been recognised by scientists as a better alternative to a more conventional medication when it comes to sore throats, irritating coughs and common colds.
A recent study from the Oxford University has shown that a spoonful of honey has antimicrobial properties and is excellent for treating coughs and colds; so much so, that it comes as more effective than the usual medical care.
Honey has long been seen as an effective and affordable natural remedy that can be readily available for most households. Popularly recognised and used in traditional cures, it is now a recommended alternative to antibiotics and over-the-counter medication when it comes to upper respiratory tract illnesses.
Clinicians traditionally opt to prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs), but their effectiveness is rendered null when those illnesses result from virus infection. When this is the case, the administration of antibiotics actually outcomes in increased antibiotic resistance.
"Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate" concluded researchers in the article published in the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine online journal.
Oxford University researchers went through various scientific databases to compare Pure Honey and solutions that include honey as an ingredient against common medicine for coughs and colds – cough suppressants, painkillers, expectorants and antihistamines.
They discovered 14 suitable clinical trials that involved 1,761 participants of various ages. Data resulting from these trials concluded that honey was more effective than the usual care in easing and improving symptoms. When used as a treatment, symptoms lasted between 1 to 2 days less than with prescription medicine.
Improvements were particularly felt in the frequency of coughs, reduced by 36 per cent, and their severity, cut by 44 per cent.
When clinicians need to prescribe for URTI, honey provides a safer alternative to antibiotics. This option is now backed up by research as more effective, less harmful and more affordable than the usual medicine for URTI.
Better results can be achieved when going for the most natural and organic product possible. Local beekeepers usually sell packaged organic honey that can be kept for very long and always be at hand for when the cold hits.
If, however, you live in a more urban area or you don't have access to a local honey producer, we can help. The Hopsack has available an excellent variety of natural, organic honey.