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Honey more effective at treating cough, cold than antibiotics: Study

Web Report
Filed on August 19, 2020
cough, cold, antibiotics, respiratory tract infection, Covid-19

(Photo: Alamy)

It was revealed that honey reduced the frequency of coughing by 36% in patients and cut its severity by 44%.

Experts at Oxford University found that antimicrobial compounds in honey are more effective in relieving coughs, sore throats and congestion as compared to antibiotics and over-the-counter medication.

The study compared the effectiveness of honey against cough suppressants, antihistamines and painkillers when treating upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms which include a cough and cold.

It was revealed that honey reduced the frequency of coughing by 36 per cent in patients and cut its severity by 44 per cent. Not only this, there was also evidence that honey reduces the time it takes to recover from URTIs by up to two days, Daily Mail reports.

"Honey was associated with a significantly greater reduction in combined symptom score, cough frequency and cough severity," the study in the British Medical Journal said.

It added that the so-called 'nectar of the gods' is cheap, readily available and has virtually no side effects. Experts stressed that doctors should ask patients to have a spoonful of honey instead of prescribing antibiotics for coughs and colds because most of these are caused by viruses.

"Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of URTIs. It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate," researchers said.

However, honey should not be given to children aged under one year old due to the risk from bacteria that can produce toxins in a baby's intestines, leading to potentially fatal infant botulism.


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