When we get hit with a bad cold, most of us head to the Doctor’s with the hopes of a quick fix prescription.
However, according to physicians at Oxford University’s Medical School, we might have better luck just hitting the pantry.
In a new study, they found that “Honey is more effective than usual care alternatives for improving Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs) symptoms. Particularly cough frequency and cough severity.”
This study was motivated by concerns that the over-prescription of antibiotics is leading to antimicrobial resistance.
The World Health Organization says that antimicrobial resistance could threaten the prevention and treatment of a whole range of future infections.
“Upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription. Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate,” wrote the authors.
“Antibiotic over prescription for URTIs exacerbates antimicrobial resistance. There is a need for effective alternatives to antibiotic prescribing.”
They added: “Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance.”
A lot of times studies like this are simply hard to believe. We are conditioned to equate pharmaceuticals with successful treatment.
However, Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It is considered one of the finest institutions in the world.
The fact that this study comes from Oxford’s medical school carries great weight.
We do want to take a moment to stress that if you are very sick you should always go and see your doctor.
Also, all honey is not created equal. Highly processed honey that is available in most supermarkets has zero of these healing benefits.
If you can, buy from a local beekeeper or farm, or head to a specialized natural foods store to stock up on the real stuff.
Human consumption of honey dates back over 8,000 years. Natural healers, nutritionists, and grandmothers have been toting its effectiveness for decades.
And in the age of science, honey has been proven to inhibit over 60 species of bacteria, some species of fungi, and several viruses.
Perhaps in the future, more folks will turn to Honey when they have a cold and leave the antibiotics on the shelves.