Cough, cold, sore throat? Experts recommend honey

Honey is better for coughs and colds than over-the-counter medicines says Oxford University.

New research out today has revealed that honey should be used above conventional treatments for coughs, blocked noses and sore throats.

Read more about the research here.

The report from Oxford University saw a team of scientists analyse 14 clinical trials involving 1,761 participants of varying ages to establish honey’s effectiveness against Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs).

These types of infections affect the nose, throat, voice box and the large air passages (called bronchi) that lead from the windpipe to the lungs.

Analysis of the clinical data showed that honey was more effective for improving symptoms, (especially the frequency and severity of coughing) than usual treatments.

In fact, in two of the studies the positive impact of honey meant that people’s symptoms lasted a whole one to two days less among those treated with honey vs alternatives.

The new research also says that Doctors could recommend honey as a suitable alternative to antibiotics, which are often prescribed for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, even though they are not effective.

Writing in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, the authors of the research said:

“Upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription. Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate.”

“When clinicians wish to prescribe for URTI, we would recommend honey as an alternative to antibiotics.”

“Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance.”

And if you are buying a jar of honey to keep at hand this Winter for these reasons, why not upgrade to a New Zealand Manuka honey?

As the researchers note, not all honey is created equal. This new report stats that honey is a complex and diverse substance, so some types of honey may be more effective in treating coughs and colds that others.

What makes Manuka honey different to other honey, is its unique anti-microbial properties that other types of honey does not display.

The naturally occurring compound that gives Manuka these properties is called Methylglyoxal, or MGO for short.

The strength of Manuka honey is often measured in MGO level. The higher the number the more milligrams of MGO is contained in the pot of honey.

Read more on the scientific research here.

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