Honey for Coughs, Sinusitis & Allergies

Just when you thought it couldn't get any sweeter, this golden gift from the bees may help coughs, sinusitis and allergies. Honey has a long-standing place in traditional medicine for a wide variety of ailments. It displays antioxidant and antibacterial activity, and and contains a host of vitamins and minerals.

Though its effects on health still require more research, preliminary studies suggest remedies with honey may be useful for the following conditions:

Sinus Issues

In a test-tube study published in 2009, researchers found that honey can kill three types of drug-resistant bacteria known to cause sinusitis. In fact, study results showed that honey knocked out the bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicicillin-resistant and -susceptible Staphylococcus aureus) more effectively than commonly used antibiotic drugs.

While these study results indicate that honey remedies may be of some use to people with sinusitis, it's important to seek medical attention in treatment of sinusitis in order to reduce risk of serious complications (such as meningitis and vision problems).


When it comes to easing the cough and sleep problems associated with childhood upper respiratory tract infection, honey may be preferable to standard cough suppressants. That's the main finding of a 2007 study, in which 105 children with upper respiratory tract infections were given a single dose of honey, dextromethorphan, or no treatment a half-hour before bedtime. When comparing the effects of honey and dextromethorphan, researchers found no significant differences.

In a report published in 2010, however, researchers concluded that there is "insufficient evidence to advise for or against the use of honey for acute cough in children."


Some honey proponents claim that regular consumption of locally harvested honey can help protect against allergies (such as hay fever).

To test this theory, researchers in a 2002 study assigned 36 people with rhinoconjunctivitis (allergy-induced runny nose and itchy, watery eyes) to eat a tablespoon of locally collected honey, nationally collected honey, or honey-flavored corn syrup each day. Study results showed that neither group of honey-consuming study members experienced significantly greater improvement in their symptoms (compared with the placebo group).

Honey is a popular allergy remedy amongst the Live Superfoods staff. One employee takes both honey and apple cider vinegar to help alleviate seasonal allergies, and it works wonders for her.

Using Honey Remedies

Unless you have an allergy, honey is generally considered safe. It's important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using honey for any health purpose, make sure to consult your physician first.


altmedicine.about.com "3 Home Remedies Using Honey"

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