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Is Honey Your All-Natural Cold & Flu Season Essential?

By now, we’re all familiar with various home remedies and all-natural cures that our grandmothers swore by — that special brand of tea for congestion, salt water rinses or chamomile for tooth aches, fish or caster oil for everything. And for many of these, their effects are exaggerated if-not full placebo effect — but it turns out there might be a bit more truth behind the folk remedies that will make you reach for a spoonful of honey next time you feel your throat getting that tell-tale sore feeling.

Yes, the honey your mom and grandma said would help with your cough and cold symptoms actually might have some science to back it up. In a new study from Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Oxford University’s Medical School, researchers found evidence that honey was super helpful in soothing symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. So maybe the sweet stuff isn’t overrated after all?

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“There is a need for effective alternatives to antibiotic prescribing,” the researchers wrote in the study published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “Honey is a lay remedy for URTIs, and has an emerging evidence base for its use.

Researchers looked at the results of 14 studies (nine involving kids) comparing honey to over-the-counter treatments and medicines. They found, ultimately, that “Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.”
Honey has previously been noted by healthcare providers as having some serious bacteria-killing power. Researchers have found that honey (which also has some noted beauty benefits) has been effective against e.coli and salmonella as well as helping sooth kids nighttime coughs more effectively than some popular OTC antihistamines.
“It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics,” the researchers concluded. “Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo controlled trials are needed.”
Yet another reason to thank bees for doing their thing!

Before you go check out our favorite natural products to soothe your kid’s cold symptoms

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