AUG 22, 2020 3:34 PM PDT

Honey More Effective than Medication to Treat Cough

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Upper respiratory tract infections are the most common reason for doctors to prescribe antibiotics. However, as most of these infections come from viruses, antibiotics are both ineffective and inappropriate. Now, in a meta-analysis, researchers from Oxford University have found that honey works better to relieve symptoms than just about any other treatment. 

Honey has been known for its antibacterial properties for millennia- and was even popular among the Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Greeks for medicinal use. While it has been recommended for acute coughs in children aged five and over and adults by various health bodies in the UK, until now, there has been little evidence on how it works in other populations and for other upper respiratory tract infections and symptoms. 

To change this, researchers from Oxford conducted a meta-analysis of 14 studies to compare the effects of taking honey, antibiotics, over-the-counter cough syrups, medications, and placebos to treat symptoms from upper respiratory tract infections. All of the studies included were randomized controlled trials. 

In the end, they found that honey is linked to a significantly larger reduction in symptoms than other methods of symptom relief. This rang true for cough severity and frequency in particular. 

“Doctors often prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections, even when they could be fairly certain they might offer no clinical benefit, often due to a lack of alternative treatments and an earnest desire to help patients feel better,” says Dr. Charlotte Albury, one of the study’s authors. 

Dr. Joseph Lee, another of the study’s authors, added, “Honey is cheap and widely available, many people will probably have some sitting in the cupboard anyway, so it’s worth giving it a try before visiting your GP.”

However, Lee also said that if symptoms are getting worse or you feel very unwell, it is still recommended to see a doctor. 

 

Sources: Sci NewsBMJ

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cat Parasite Gives Clues on New Drug Targets for Schizophrenia
NOV 20, 2020
Cat Parasite Gives Clues on New Drug Targets for Schizophrenia
Researchers from the UK and France have discussed a mechanism of action behind the infamous Toxoplasma gondii  ...
NOV 26, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Sestrin Increases the Lifespan of Fruit Flies
NOV 26, 2020
Sestrin Increases the Lifespan of Fruit Flies
Reduced food intake, known as dietary restriction, leads to a longer lifespan in many animals and can improve health in ...
DEC 10, 2020
Immunology
Drug Turns Back the Clock in Aged Brains
DEC 10, 2020
Drug Turns Back the Clock in Aged Brains
When faced with stressful stimuli — anything from oxygen or nutrient deprivation to viral infections — cells ...
DEC 17, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Using Tomatoes to Produce a Parkinson's Drug
DEC 17, 2020
Using Tomatoes to Produce a Parkinson's Drug
More and more people are being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease as the world's population ages. Scientists have now en ...
DEC 04, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
OTC Drug Found Safe for Multiple Myeloma
DEC 04, 2020
OTC Drug Found Safe for Multiple Myeloma
Injecting the immune-boosting drug ‘teclistamab’ was found to be safe and effective in patients with relapse ...
JAN 19, 2021
Immunology
Food Allergies Be Gone: Nanoparticles Call for an Immune Ceasefire
JAN 19, 2021
Food Allergies Be Gone: Nanoparticles Call for an Immune Ceasefire
Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish—these foods are among the most unwanted list for t ...
Loading Comments...