Oxford Researchers Identified Most Effective 'Medicine' for Colds and Coughs

According to new research, antibiotics aren't that useful for minor coughs and colds.
Fabienne Lang

"The nectar of the Gods", AKA honey, has been known to provide relief for people suffering from coughs and colds. But now, the fact has been proven through a new study led by three scientists at the University of Oxford. 

Not only is honey deemed a good relief provider, but it is also even recommended above antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), as the study suggests, antibiotics aren't useful for minor coughs and colds. 

The study was published in BMJ Journals.

Relief and anti-microbial effects

You've now been given another reason to love the sweet and tasty syrup that is honey: it will help relieve symptoms and recovery from a minor cough or cold. Moreover, it's best to be prescribed honey before antibiotics or other treatments, such as cough medicine and over-the-counter options.

This new study is the first of its kind to offer a wide-ranging review of 14 different clinical trials, with a focus on how honey can potentially be better than other treatments in treating URTIs. 

"Honey is a frequently used lay remedy that is well known to patients," explained the authors in the new meta-analysis. "It is also cheap, easy to access, and has limited harms. When clinicians wish to prescribe for URTI, we would recommend honey as an alternative to antibiotics. Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance."


The study did also point out that not all kinds of honey are the same and will have different anti-microbial effects, and that some kinds of honey may be better suited at treating and relieving cough and cold symptoms. However, as the clinical trials used and reviewed a variety of honey, the general consensus was that most types of honey do assist somehow.

Some kinds of honey may be more effective than others, but generally they all help.

Time to stock up before the cold and cough season begins in the Northern Hemisphere! 

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