This is something that works really well when my son is sick: Raw Honey For Coughs And Colds. A teaspoon before bedtime does the trick. I can see how he sleeps better and coughs less. Read on to learn about one of the tastiest home remedies for coughs & colds!
Raw Honey For Coughs And Colds
Just a couple of quick notes. This is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Remember to always talk to your doctor about taking any medications or natural remedies. Also, children under 1 should not eat honey. Got it? Good. Let’s check out the benefits of raw honey for cold symptoms.
I am a huge believer in natural remedies. In my experience, they really work and also help the body fight the illness. Please read My Story to learn more about why I believe in them so much.
When it comes to natural remedies for coughs and colds, there are some really strange tips out there! Wear dirty socks to bed. Eat lizard soup. Slather tallow (a nicer word for sheep or cow fat) all over your body. Yet there’s one remedy that’s not only backed by science, but is actually tasty, too! Raw honey!
Health benefits of raw honey
Did you know studies have determined that children who get a dose of raw honey cough less and sleep better than those who get cough and cold medicines?
That’s great news since cough and cold medicines are NOT RECOMMENDED for children under 6 years old. Not only are they totally ineffective but they’re also potentially dangerous.
That’s not all, though! Raw Honey also boosts the immune system and helps the body fight the colds faster. Ready to give it a try? Let’s talk dosage, then we’ll get into some tips on choosing the right honey.
Several recent studies also indicate that honey can significantly help reduce the symptoms of certain viruses. For example, this 2020 study looked at whether or not honey can help fight against the coronavirus. Researchers conclude that based on their study along with previous studies, “honey may act as a preventive agent against hyper-inflammation caused by SARS-CoV-2.”
Now, that doesn’t mean that honey alone is enough to prevent or treat a serious virus, but it definitely shows just how powerful the sweet treat really is when it comes to relieving coughs, colds and more.
How much honey should I use?
While there really isn’t an exact dosage guideline for using honey for coughs and colds, the studies were based on two teaspoons given at bedtime, so that’s a good start. Remember, although it’s more natural and better for you, honey is still mostly sugar. Granted, it contains a far more complex mix of sugars than the common white stuff, but it’s sugary, nonetheless. So, don’t overdo it.
By the way, although we’ve talked mostly about the benefits of honey for helping soothe your child’s coughing and cold symptoms, it’s also just as good for you! The big question now is which type of honey to get.
Raw versus filtered: which type of honey is better?
According to the National Honey Board, there’s really no nutritional difference between raw and filtered real honey (more on real versus “fake” below). Raw honey does have more pollen in it (which is good for helping you deal with allergies), but beyond that, they say that the nutritional composition is essentially the same.
So why am I recommending raw honey? Well, first, most of the studies about the benefits of honey used the raw version. Second, the research cited by the Honey Board was done by them, not an independent source, so there’s a bit of experimental bias. Plus, when it’s safe to do so, you should always choose raw (aka “as nature intended”) over processed! I really believe raw is better and the infographic below tells you a bit more about the difference between raw and filtered honey.
Bottom line: Buying raw honey is for sure better. The benefits are amazing, and all the nutrients are intact. Raw honey is full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. There are so many science-backed health benefits if you choose real raw honey. Plus, it tastes a million times better! Once you try raw, you’ll never want to go back to the over-filtered stuff. Now, let’s talk about how to find the good stuff! If you just want a few recommendations right now, check out some of my favorite products below.
Is 75% of honey sold in stores really fake?
Here’s where things start to get a little confusing. A few years ago, a report on Food Safety News came out stating that 75% of honey sold in stores isn’t “real honey. ” There were a lot of misunderstandings with that report, and a few days later NPR told everyone to relax and presented their argument for why it really is all real honey. So, which side is right? Both, really, but the Food Safety News argument made a lot more sense.
Basically, the report said that most store honey contains no pollen, and without pollen, there’s really no way to determine the source to find out if it’s safe. Lack of pollen also means that the honey has been filtered to the point that it no longer resembles what the bees made. They even ran independent tests on honey at major retailers to look at the pollen count. Here’s what they found:
- 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
- 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
- 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
- Samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.
The article went on to mention that in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. While that’s not entirely as cut and dry as it sounds, the FDA does have rules regarding the labeling of adulterated honey. Adulteration happens when important parts of the food are removed, or other things are added to bulk it up. So, you could easily argue that removing the pollen “adulterates” the honey, in which case it’s absolutely true that 75% of honey sold in stores is NOT real.
Then how do you know if you’re actually getting “real” raw honey?
So, how do you know whether you’re actually getting raw honey versus filtered? Unfortunately, since the USDA and FDA don’t have an official definition for raw honey, you can’t rely entirely on the label. The Honey Board came up with their own definition, calling it “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.” However, as they explain, this definition carries no legal weight.
MyBeeLine has a fantastic guide to determining whether honey is raw or filtered. While you can’t always tell just by looking at it, raw honey is typically thicker and may have crystals and other impurities in it. In this case, those impurities are a good thing! Clear honey almost always means it’s been filtered. If it looks like the picture below, there’s a pretty good chance it’s been filtered.
Raw honey also moves a lot slower when you turn the bottle upside down. In fact, most of the time you’re better off just using a spoon to get it out of the jar! Honey sold at farmer’s markets and other similar markets is more likely to be raw than the stuff sold in stores, although you’ll want to ask to be sure. If you would like to buy raw pure honey online, I recommend Tupelo honey from Florida. I buy it for my family and love the taste.
FAQs About Using Raw Honey for Coughs and Colds
Let’s go over a few more questions about raw honey and do a quick recap of what we discussed above, shall we?
What kind of honey is best for cough?
If your cough is related to allergies, then locally harvested raw unfiltered honey is the best. It usually has some small traces of the pollen that triggers your allergies and works as immunotherapy. Raw unfiltered honey in general is great for coughs and colds. Manuka honey from New Zealand is also a fantastic option.
How much honey should I take for a cough?
There’s no specific dose, but for children over age one, try one to two teaspoons every few hours. While you can’t really “OD” on honey, remember that it is high in sugar, so don’t overdo it. Try adding just a teaspoon to some hot tea, which also helps loosen up chest congestion.
Can honey cure viruses?
No, honey cannot outright cure viruses. However, numerous studies show that honey can significantly reduce the severity of symptoms associated with certain viruses. As mentioned above, one recent study also discovered that honey “can suppress viral growth by inhibiting viral replication and/or virucidal activity.”
How does honey help a sore throat?
Along with easing the pain from a sore throat, honey may help you get over it faster, too, because it is loaded with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Even the CDC recommends honey for a sore throat.
How much honey should I use for a sore throat?
Again, there’s no specific “dose,” but you can mix one or two tablespoons into about 6 ounces of tea (or just hot water, if you’re not a tea fan). Drink as often as needed without going overboard. If you’re diabetic or on a special diet that requires limiting your sugar intake, however, please ask your doctor or nutritionist for guidance on how much honey is enough versus too much.
What else besides colds and coughs is honey good for?
Along with easing your cough, sore throat and other cold symptoms, studies show that honey helps speed up wound healing, manage diabetes, reduce asthma symptoms, improve heart health, improve your memory, ease digestive discomfort and even protect against some forms of cancer.
It is always good to stay informed to make the best decisions for you and your family. If you are interested in more natural remedies, please see 6 Natural Ways To Protect Your Family From The Flu and Detox Baths.
This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.
Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API