Honey for Colds

You’ve probably heard that honey is a great remedy for colds and sore throat, and you might even have been given honey and hot water as a child. There’s a great basis for this too, as studies have shown that honey really can help, especially if you’ve got a cough.

Honey has anti-microbial properties, which makes it a great choice when you’re sick. Studies have shown that certain types of honey can boost immunity and help your body bounce back more quickly. When you’ve got a cough running alongside a cold or flu, honey can be effective in relieving it. According to a 2007 study, honey worked really well at soothing kids’ coughs overnight – perfect for those relentless coughs that affect sleep! For some kids, it worked better than over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.

Combining honey with cinnamon is great for cutting the length of a cold and easing symptoms. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant qualities, so it’s a great move to increase your immunity. Ceylon cinnamon can take things up a notch as it contains more nutrients. If you don’t want to take a pure mixture of honey and cinnamon, try adding a teaspoon of honey and a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon to a cup of hot water to make tea instead. Sip this 2-3 times a day whenever you first feel the symptoms of a cold or flu.

When it comes to honey, not all types are equal. A lot of the honey you’ll find readily available on shelves in the grocery store is full of sugar and other processed ingredients. Look for raw honey instead, preferably the organic and unpasteurized kind. Local would be a bonus. Raw honey is often harder to get hold of, but it’s much more nutritious and far better at boosting immunity. Manuka honey can be quite pricey, but it’s one of the best types of honey from an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory perspective.

Honey isn’t a great choice for babies aged 1 or under. They haven’t developed immunity against infection at this age, which can be problematic given that some bacteria spores can make it into honey. This can potentially lead to botulism, which can be serious. For adults and older kids, honey can be an underrated weapon in the battle against colds and flu!

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