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The Surprising Health Benefits of Honey for Coughs

The Surprising Health Benefits of Honey for Coughs

An old Indian medical method called Ayurveda emphasises the harmony of the mind, body, and spirit for optimum health. Ayurveda is based on the idea that each person is unique and has a distinct body type, or Prakriti  that decides or defines  both, their physical and mental makeup. 

Ayurveda medicine is a holistic strategy that includes dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, and natural therapies to cure and prevent ailments.

From ancient times, honey has been utilized as a natural treatment for a variety of medical ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. Honey is a healing food with a balancing effect on the body and mind, according to Ayurvedic principles. It is thought to possess a number of healing qualities that make it a successful treatment for colds, coughs, and other respiratory issues.

This article’s goal is to examine honey’s unexpected health advantages for treating coughs from an Ayurvedic perspective. We’ll look at the science underlying honey’s ability to treat coughs, its nutritional benefits, and many applications for using honey to treat coughs. 

We will also go through additional Ayurveda cough treatments that work better when paired with honey.

Honey As A Natural Cough Remedy

Honey As A Natural Cough Remedy
Source: Canva

The natural treatment for coughing and other respiratory issues is honey. It possesses a number of medicinal qualities that make it a successful treatment for coughs. Here are several ways that honey might relieve coughs:

1. Anti-inflammatory qualities

Honey has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help lessen lung and throat inflammation, which can lead to coughing. 1

2. Antimicrobial properties

Natural honey has antibacterial qualities that can help fight off diseases that lead to coughing. Also, it can aid in avoiding secondary infections that might develop as a result of a compromised immune system. 2

3. Soothing effect

Honey has a calming effect on the throat and might aid in reducing inflammation, which causes coughing. 3

4. Cough suppression

Honey has been demonstrated to be useful at reducing coughs, particularly in children. Without the negative effects, it can be just as effective as over-the-counter cough medications. 4

Honey vs Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines: A Quick Comparison

Honey vs Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines
Source: Canva

To cure coughs, people frequently utilize over-the-counter cough medications. Unfortunately, they frequently have some effects and are not appropriate for everyone, particularly kids. 

So Here is a quick comparisons between honey and over-the-counter cough medications:

FactorHoneyOver-the-Counter Cough Medicines
Natural cureYes, made of natural ingredients with no additivesNo, often contain artificial additives
Safe for kidsYes, safe for kids over the age of oneNo, not recommended for kids under the age of six
No side effectsYes, no known negative effects reportedMay cause drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach
EffectiveYes, studies show it suppresses coughs effectivelyYes, but with potential side effects

Understand The Science Behind Honey’s Effectiveness

Science Behind Honey's Effectiveness
Source: Canva

Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of honey as a cough suppressant. The following are some scientific justifications for how honey functions:

1. Naturally antibacterial

Honey contains natural antibacterial compounds that can help prevent illnesses that cause coughs. Research shows that honey can inhibit the growth of various bacteria and viruses, including those that cause respiratory infections. 5

2. Antioxidant qualities of honey

The antioxidants present in honey can reduce lung and throat irritation, which can result in coughing. Honey has been found to have potent antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. 6

3. The Viscosity of honey

Honey’s thick, sticky consistency can help coat the throat and alleviate the discomfort that leads to coughing. Studies have demonstrated that honey can form a protective film over the mucous membranes in the throat, reducing irritation and coughing. 7

4. Honey’s cough suppression effect

Honey has been shown to effectively suppress coughs, particularly in children. A systematic review of clinical trials found that honey was more effective than placebo in reducing the frequency and severity of coughing in children. 8

Another study found that honey was as effective as dextromethorphan, a common cough suppressant, in reducing coughing in adults. 7

Ayurvedic Perspective on Its Effectiveness as a Natural Cough Remedy

Natural Cough Remedy
Source: Canva

In accordance with Ayurveda, honey is a nourishing food that harmonizes the body and mind. It possesses a number of medicinal qualities that make it a successful treatment for coughs. 

The following are some Ayurveda viewpoints on using honey to treat coughs:

1. Warm nature of honey

Honey is said to have a warming impact on the body, which can aid in promoting digestion and metabolism. Boosting the immune system and removing toxins from the body can help stop coughing.

2. The sweet flavor of honey

Honey is thought to have a sweet flavor that can help balance the doshas and calm the mind. While stress and anxiety weaken the immune system and increase the susceptibility of the body to coughs, they can be reduced with the use of this.

3. Honey’s healing properties

The therapeutic benefits of honey include its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and cough-suppressing activities. Honey is thought to provide a number of therapeutic benefits that can help alleviate coughs.

Ayurvedic Recipes of Honey for Cough Remedies

Recipes of Honey for Cough Remedies
Source: Canva

Cough is a common ailment that can be caused by various factors such as allergies, infections, or irritants. While there are several over-the-counter remedies available to alleviate cough symptoms, some people prefer natural remedies such as:

1. Ginger and Honey Tea Recipe

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce inflammation in the throat, while honey can soothe and coat the throat, providing relief from cough. To make ginger and honey tea, you will need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Instructions:

  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  • Add grated ginger and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Strain the ginger tea into a cup.
  • Add a teaspoon of raw honey and stir well.
  • Drink this tea twice a day for relief from cough symptoms.

2. Turmeric and Honey Paste Recipe

Turmeric is a natural antibacterial that can help soothe an irritated throat, while honey can provide a soothing effect. To make turmeric and honey paste, you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey

Instructions:

In a small bowl, mix turmeric powder and raw honey until it forms a smooth paste.

Consume a teaspoon of the turmeric and honey paste 2-3 times a day for relief from cough symptoms.

Note: Turmeric can stain clothing, so use caution when handling the paste.

3. Lemon, Honey, and Warm Water Recipe

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which can boost the immune system, while honey can provide a soothing effect. To make lemon, honey, and warm water recipe, you will need:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey

Instructions:

  • In a cup, mix warm water, lemon juice, and raw honey.
  • Stir well until the honey dissolves.
  • Drink this mixture twice a day for relief from cough symptoms.

Different ways to consume honey for cough relief

ways to consume honey for cough relief
Source: Canva

From ancient times, honey has been utilized as a natural cough suppressant in a variety of methods. Here are some diverse honey uses for treating coughs, safety measures to take while using honey for coughs, and Ayurvedic recommendations for utilizing honey as a natural cough cure.

1. Plain honey

Consuming honey in its plain form is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to use it as a cough remedy. Simply take a teaspoon of honey and slowly inhale it to soothe your throat. Honey has a soothing effect on the throat and can provide relief from coughing.

2. Honey tea

Honey tea is another effective way to use honey as a cough remedy. Simply add a teaspoon of honey to your tea and enjoy a delicious and soothing drink. The warmth of the tea combined with the sweetness of the honey can help to soothe your throat and alleviate coughing.

3. Honey and lemon

Honey and lemon is a well-known remedy for coughing. Simply mix a tablespoon of honey with lemon juice and drink it. The lemon provides extra vitamin C, which can help to clear mucus in the throat. The combination of honey and lemon creates a delicious and effective cough remedy.

4. Honey with ginger

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe sore throats and lungs. Combining honey with ginger can create a powerful cough-relieving drink. You can mix honey and ginger juice or add a teaspoon of honey to ginger tea for a delicious and effective cough remedy.

5. Cinnamon with honey

Cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties that can help to fight illness. Combining honey with cinnamon can create a powerful cough remedy. Simply mix a teaspoon of honey with cinnamon and enjoy a delicious and effective cough remedy.

Important Precautions to Keep in Mind

While most people find honey to be generally safe, there are several safety measures you should follow while using it to treat coughs.

  • Do not give honey to infants: Infants should not be given honey because it may contain botulism spores, which can be harmful to young children under the age of one.
  • Check for allergies: Before using honey as a cough cure, it is vital to check for allergies because some people may be sensitive to it.
  • Do not over-consume: Consume honey in moderation as it contains a lot of sugar and should not be consumed in excess to protect your health.

Ayurvedic Honey Remedy: Guidelines for Treating Coughs Naturally

Ayurvedic Honey Remedy
Source: Canva

Coughing is a common symptom that can be caused by a variety of factors such as allergies, infections, or irritants. While there are several over-the-counter remedies for coughs, some people prefer natural remedies like honey.

 Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are the ayurvedic guidelines for using honey as a natural cough remedy.

1. Selecting the Right Honey

When it comes to selecting honey as a cough remedy, it is important to choose raw honey that is unprocessed and unfiltered. Raw honey is the purest form of honey and contains natural enzymes, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients that can help alleviate cough symptoms.

2. Dosage

According to Ayurveda, the recommended dosage of honey for a cough is 1-2 teaspoons, taken 2-3 times a day. It is essential to take honey in moderation as excess consumption may lead to adverse effects like an upset stomach, diarrhea, or nausea.

3. Combining Honey with Other Ingredients

Honey can be combined with other natural ingredients to enhance its healing properties. Some of the common ingredients used with honey include:

(i) Ginger

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the throat. Combine a teaspoon of grated ginger with a teaspoon of honey and consume it twice a day for relief from cough.

(ii) Turmeric

Turmeric has natural antibacterial properties and can help soothe an irritated throat. Combine a teaspoon of turmeric with a teaspoon of honey and consume it twice a day.

(iii) Lemon

Lemon is rich in vitamin C and can help boost the immune system. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm water and add a teaspoon of honey. Consume this mixture twice a day for relief from cough.

Precautions

  • Do not give honey to children below the age of one as it may contain harmful bacteria that can cause infant botulism.
  • Diabetic patients should consume honey in moderation as it is high in natural sugars.

Bottom Line

Health Benefits of Honey for Coughs
Source: Canva

Honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for coughs. Ayurveda recognises honey’s powerful healing properties and often incorporates it into treatments.

Honey can soothe the throat and reduce inflammation, making it a helpful aid in cough relief. It also acts as a natural antibiotic, helping to fight off infections that may be causing the cough. Unlike over-the-counter cough medicines, honey has no harmful side effects and is safe for most people.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does honey help with coughs?

Honey has natural antibacterial properties and a soothing effect that can help ease cough symptoms and reduce inflammation.

Can honey be used as a substitute for cough medicine?

While honey can help soothe cough symptoms, it is not a substitute for prescribed medication. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan.

Are there any risks associated with consuming honey?

Honey should not be given to infants under 1 year old as it can cause botulism. People with allergies to honey or bee products should also avoid consuming it.

References

  1. Lee, J. S., & Kim, Y. S. (2019). Effects of Honey on Inflammatory Mediators and Cytokines in Chronic Rhinosinusitis. Journal of medicinal food, 22(11), 1171-1178. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2019.0087[]
  2. Mulu, W., Abera, B., & Bacterial profile, A. (2014). Antibacterial effects of honey on Aerobic Gram-Positive cocci. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 7(6), 479-485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2014.02.005[]
  3. Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin, C. M. (2007). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 161(12), 1140-1146. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.161.12.1140[]
  4. Oduwole, O., Udoh, E. E., Oyo-Ita, A., Meremikwu, M. M., & Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group. (2012). Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3).[]
  5. Al-Waili, N. S. (2011). Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: Comparison with dextrose and sucrose. Journal of Medicinal Food, 14(10), 1,074–1,081.[]
  6. Samarghandian, S., Farkhondeh, T., & Samini, F. (2017). Honey and health: A review of recent clinical research. Pharmacognosy Research, 9(2), 121–127.[]
  7. Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin Jr., C. M. (2007). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 161(12), 1,145–1,150.[][]
  8. Oduwole, O., Udoh, E. E., Oyo-Ita, A., Meremikwu, M. M., & Okolo, A. A. (2018). Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4, CD007094.[]