Honey Most Effective Treatment for Colds and Coughs

Nov, 2020 - By SMI

Honey Most Effective Treatment for Colds and Coughs

According to the researchers, honey is a heterogeneous and complex substance, so some types of honey may be more effective in treating colds and coughs.

A new systematic review by the research team at the University of Oxford confirms the efficacy of honey as a first-line treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (UTRI). According to the team, honey is most effective at reducing cough symptoms compared to other interventions. The research has shown that antibiotics are ineffective for this type of minor cold and cough, and honey provides better symptomatic relief according to the evidence found to date. Upper respiratory infection is a common viral infection that affects the throat, nose, and airways.

Symptoms usually resolve within seven to ten days and include a sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, and cough. In 2018, the United Kingdom’s Public Health and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended health care professionals and doctors, suggesting they should prescribe honey instead of antibiotics for individuals with mild cold and cough. Those previous suggestions were based on previous studies looking at the efficacy of honey in treating various symptoms arising from UTRI.

The new research marks the first systematic review, with a general focus on whether honey is more effective in treating symptoms of UTRI than other interventions. During this research, the researchers examined around 14 clinical trials to determine the efficacy of honey in treating UTRI. The team found that honey is most effective at reducing UTRI symptoms compared to other interventions. A drawback, however, in the research was the lack of placebo-controlled trials directly examining the effectiveness of honey. Therefore, the team recommends the need for a larger placebo-controlled trial. According to the researchers, honey is a heterogeneous and complex substance, so some types of honey may be more effective in treating colds and coughs. The research was published in the journal BMJ Evidence-based Medicine.

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