Honey as Good as Cough Syrup

HoneyAll Honey is not the same

Much of Honey sold at supermarkets may contain additives and is pasteurized, clarified and filtered. This may negate some of the beneficial properties. Your best choice for healthy, high-quality honey is to look for 100% pure, RAW honey. This honey has not been heated or processed, so it still contains all of its beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Honey is more than Yummy — it’s healthy. Wellness on Wheels provides nutritional counseling to help guide you on the healthiest diet.

Soothes a Cough

With all the concerns surrounding over-the-counter cough and cold medications for kids (the FDA has issued a public health advisory because they may not be effective, and they can cause side effects), here’s some welcome news. A small amount of honey works just as well.

A Penn State College of Medicine Study involved over 100 children with coughs between the ages of 2 and 18. Before bed, they were given honey-flavored cough syrup or nothing at all. Parents of children who received the honey rated their children’s sleep and symptoms as better, and noted improvement in their own sleep as well.

Researchers noted that the type of honey may be important. The children in the study were given dark-colored buckwheat honey, and it’s known that darker honeys have more antioxidants than lighter honeys.

Note: Pediatricians do not recommend giving honey to children under 1 year of age because of the risk of botulism.

Helps Heal Wounds

Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, and all of these properties make it ideal for healing wounds. It also dries out wounds effectively because of its low water content while its high sugar content keeps microorganisms from growing. Honey also contains an enzyme that produces the disinfectant hydrogen peroxide when it touches a damp surface like a wound. It has been used to treat burns, ulcers and other wounds for centuries.

A 2003 study in European Journal of Medical Research found that infected wounds after caesarean sections healed 85% of the time with honey, and only 50% of the time with conventional treatments.

In 2013 the U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved dressings made of Manuka honey (which has a unique antimicrobial ingredient) for wound and burn treatment, making it the first honey-based medical product in the country.

Increases Your Antioxidants

Your body needs antioxidants to protect your cells from damaging free radicals. Consuming buckwheat honey daily has been found to raise your blood levels of beneficial antioxidants.

May Lower Your Cholesterol

In a study of eight healthy people who were given solutions of sugar, artificial honey or natural honey, the natural honey was beneficial. Whereas the sugar and artificial honey either caused negative reactions or very small beneficial ones, the natural honey reduced:

  • Total cholesterol by 7%
  • Triglycerides by 2%
  • C-reactive protein by 7%
  • Homocysteine (a risk factor for heart disease, #1 cause of death in U.S.) by 6%
  • Blood sugar by 6%
  • It also increased good HDL cholesterol by 2%.

In the wake of news about the dangers of children’s cough syrups, a study unveiled some surprising news about honey.

As published in Wellness on Wheels Newsletter — January, 2016