Common colds and coughs have become a major concern in the current world. People easily catch a cold and cough but there may be a very easy and economical way to get rid of this irritating condition. A new study has found that honey may be a much better treatment for coughs and colds than over-the-counter medications.
Researchers from the Oxford University's Medical School and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences mentioned that honey was more efficient in relieving the symptoms of colds and flu-like illness than the usual commercial remedies. It can provide a safer and more readily available alternative to antibiotics. The researchers encouraged the doctors to consider giving their patients honey in place of antibiotics, which might cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance when overused.
Honey Effective in Treating Cold and Coughs
Honey has been a home remedy for coughs but the effectiveness was not that much researched. The researchers analyzed the existing evidence for determining how the symptoms of the upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) respond to it. The URTIs are common cold-like diseases that affect the nose, sinuses, pharynx, or larynx.
"Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections," the researchers wrote in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. "It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo-controlled trials are needed."
The scientists compiled the results of 14 studies, nine out of which only involved children. Most compared honey with more conventional treatments like over-the-counter medicines. As they looked at the studies comparing honey with a placebo, the researchers did not reach the same conclusion as thy did while looking at other comparative studies. They mentioned that more research are required for that comparison.
Overuse of Antibiotics Is Dangerous
The public health body of UK warned of the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics, In 2018, they mentioned that millions of surgical procedures can become life-threatening if the effect of the antibiotics is diminished through over-prescription.
"Since the majority of URTIs are viral, the antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate," the study's authors wrote. "However, a lack of effective alternatives, as well as a desire to preserve the patient-doctor relationship, both contribute to antibiotic over-prescription."
Many researchers previously have proved that honey has the power of killing bacteria. It also worked better in case of easing nighttime coughs and improving sleep than both dextromethorphan and the antihistamine diphenhydramine.