Amanda Payne, an avid beekeeper, shares her love of natural remedies and all things honey bees.
The Common Cold
A cold is a harmless viral infection. It affects the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms, which vary, usually start between 1-3 days after exposure to a cold-causing virus. It usually takes 7-10 days before a cold goes away and typically does not require medical attention.
Common symptoms include sore throat, cough, congestion, runny and stuffy nose, sneezing, fever, body aches, and headaches. See a doctor if your symptoms do not improve or you suspect it might not be a common cold.
Does Honey Soothe Common Colds?
There are many ways to use honey, besides a sweet treat. People have used it for years medicinally. We did not always have doctors and pharmacies. We had to use what we had on hand. Honey contains natural antimicrobial and antibiotic properties. It will provide relief when you have allergies, a cold, or flu. You should also get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and eat properly. Relieve symptoms according to your doctor.
You can use honey for sore throats, cough, colds, and allergies, or add cinnamon or lemon juice. You can even add it to coffee or tea. Most people love this remedy because it helps, but it also tastes great.
Honey is not a cure for colds. However, it will bring some comfort. A study compared honey to diphenhydramine and dextromethorphan. They discovered that honey performed considerably better than the medication in reducing coughs and enhancing sleep.
What Kind of Honey Should I Use?
Use raw honey to soothe a cold. Raw honey is unpasteurized honey without additives of any kind. It may or may not be filtered. Filtered and unfiltered raw honey are both satisfactory for treating colds.
Pasteurizing is a heating and filtering process. The process prevents crystallization and fermentation, which prolongs the shelf-life of honey. It also depletes enzymes and robs honey of its nutritional value. Do not buy pasteurized honey for home remedies. Read the label closely.
Raw Honey vs. Pasteurized Honey
Warning: Raw Honey and Infants
Raw honey is not dangerous. However, since it is not heat-treated, children 12 months and younger should never consume it. Their digestive systems cannot handle the spores in honey that can cause botulism. Consult a doctor before giving raw honey to kids of any age or anyone with a low immune system.
Where to Buy Raw Honey
Local beekeepers are the best source of raw honey, but you do not have to use local honey to soothe a common cold. Just make sure you use raw honey. You can get raw honey online, in grocery stores, at the farmer's market, and from local beekeepers.
If you are battling allergies instead of a cold or flu, local raw honey is best. Local is best because when bees forage, they gather pollen grains nearby. The raw honey will contain the local pollen the honeybees gathered. You are exposed to low amounts of pollen when you eat honey. This exposure reduces your reaction to that particular pollen.
Honey Recipes for Cold Relief
There are numerous ways to use honey for cough or cold relief. The simplest way is to grab a tablespoon and get some from the jar about 3 times a day. Early in the morning and at bedtime are very effective.
We can spice things up a bit, though. To get you started, try my top 5 recipes to help soothe a cold. I am certain you will like one if not all of them.
A recent study revealed the honey coffee helps fight a persistent cough better than an oral steroid medication. Plus, it is delicious!
- 8 oz. hot water
- 2 tbsp. of instant coffee
- 1/2 cup of raw honey
- Combine everything except for the honey.
- Heat to very warm, not hot. You do not want the milk to curdle.
- Add the honey and stir well and serve.
You can also add milk or creamer to your honey coffee if needed.
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Warm Honey and Cinnamon Drink
Honey and cinnamon both have medicinal properties. Combining the two helps soothe uncomfortable throats and nasty coughs quickly. The therapeutic components of cinnamon also improve energy.
- 2 tbsp. of honey
- 1/5 tsp. of cinnamon
- 8 oz. of warm water
- In a small cup, mix honey and cinnamon until well blended.
- Add warm water, mix well until dissolved, and serve.
You can use warm tap water or heat the water in the microwave or a small saucepan until you have the desired temperature. Heat only the water. Do not heat the honey and cinnamon.
Honey Herbal Tea
One health benefit of herbal tea is that certain teas can combat a cold, soothe sore throats, and relieve coughs. Consider using one of the following teas: ginger tea, chamomile tea, black tea, peppermint tea, licorice root tea, or clove tea with your honey herbal tea recipe. They each are known to have healing properties and are sure to make you feel better soon.
- 1 cup of herbal tea
- 1 tbsp. of honey
- Fix herbal tea according to the package directions.
- Cool so that it is warm, and add 1 tbsp. of honey.
You can drink this up to 2 times a day.
Lemon and Honey Tea
Lemon has anti-bacterial properties. With honey, it is a mean cold-fighting machine.
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. of raw honey
- Warm the water in a cup to your preference.
- Add 2 tbsp. of honey and 2 tbsp. lemon juice.
- Mix well and drink.
Hot Toddy With Honey
This hot toddy recipe with raw honey will help break up congestion, soothe your throat, and give you a warm feeling. Even though it contains just a splash of alcohol, it could make you a little drowsy.
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. whiskey
- 8 oz. hot water
- Add honey and lemon juice to a mug and mix in the whisky.
- Heat water in the microwave until it is hot but not boiling.
- Add the hot water to the honey mixture. Mix until dissolved and then serve.
Avoid alcohol if you are taking medicines of any type. Also, be careful to not accidentally drink too many of these.
Get Well Soon!
Honey is a popular ingredient for home remedies, and with good reason. It is not a cure but will bring you relief. Creating natural remedies is easy, and with these tasty recipes, you will be well on your way to feeling better soon.
If you have diabetes, be sure to use honey in moderation. If your diabetes is not well managed, you might want to avoid honey altogether or limit it.
Remember to never give raw honey to babies and those with low immune systems. Nor mix alcohol and medications. Get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and eat properly. See a doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Advice From Granny
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Amanda Payne