Honey Reduces Upper Respiratory Symptoms

The British Medical Journal published a thorough review of the medical literature reviewing the beneficial effects of honey in reducing the intensity and severity of coughs in viral upper respiratory tract infections. The study was performed at Oxford University by Abuelgasm, Albury, Lee and associates. They reviewed fourteen published studies on the subject and then ran that data through their own stringent tests to assure the hypothesis was accurate. We are heading into the fall-winter cold and flu season with cold weather forcing individuals to remain indoors. We can add to this the ongoing Covid-19 respiratory pandemic as a source of coughing. For years now doctors, scientists and public health officials have tried to convince their colleagues and the public that antibiotics do not lessen the course or duration of a viral upper respiratory tract infection. There are dozens of over the counter non- prescription cough preparations sold in pharmacies and groceries. We read regularly about these products causing severe illness, deaths and adverse effects in children and the elderly. Honey solves these issues.

In an online review accompanying the article experts suggest mixing 1.5tablespoons of honey with 6-8 ounces of oolong tea. Let it cool down so it isn’t too hot and it is a great cough suppressant and source of hydration for children one to five years old. The darker the tea the more nutrient rich antioxidants the patient gets from the tea leaves along with caffeine. They suggest later in the day switching to a chamomile tea to avoid all that caffeine. Younger children will benefit from 2-3 servings per day providing hydration plus cough suppression. Adults and older kids can use two tablespoons of honey and consume a larger volume of warm fluids.