Most Grandmothers could tell you that a bit of honey is good for a cough, but finding science to back that up has been difficult; until now. In a bold new study published in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford scientists found that honey is an effective alternative to prescriptions including antibiotics, as well as over-the-counter treatments when it comes to mild respiratory afflictions.
In a review and analysis of 14 studies including the experiences of 1,761 participants, researchers found that honey was consistently more successful and quicker at improving symptoms including cough frequency and severity than other treatments. “Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections,” the study authors concluded.
One of the important elements of the study is the use of honey as a replacement for antibiotics for certain ailments. The overuse of any kind of antibiotic can lead to antibiotics not aiding the body when necessary.
They did note that while honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, further high quality, placebo controlled trials are needed.
Still, its promising to see that honey could provide a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics.