As we talked about in a previous blog, bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics is a thorny issue facing the medical community. Putting aside why antibiotics can be both mis-prescribed and over-prescribed, the scientific interest in honey as a natural alternative for treating ailments doesn’t seem to be slowing down. This time, the ability of honey to help relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (think nasty coughs) has come under the spotlight.
Researchers from the University of Oxford recently did a systematic review and meta-analysis that evaluated how effective honey is at relieving the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). The researchers used a special criteria to pick 14 high-quality studies out of the thousands in this area. Each of the studies were randomised controlled trials, which is a good thing because RCTs, as they are called, tend to be a very reliable scientific method.
The researchers outlined that it is already the case that honey is a well known therapy for symptoms of URTIs, that using antibiotics for URTIs is a problem, and that a previous study found honey can improve cough in children. As a result of the study, the researchers concluded that honey “is more effective than usual care alternatives for improving URTI symptoms, particularly cough frequency and cough severity” but that more placebo controlled trials are needed. This means looking at whether people with bad coughs, for example, are better off taking nothing at all to help them when compared with taking honey.
This is exciting because there are actually three things going on here:
- Mānuka honey looks like a great sidekick to combat those nasty coughs,
- Using Mānuka honey instead of antibiotics for treating coughs could help reduce bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and
- There are no chemicals, artificial ingredients or additives whatsoever. Just pure, delicious Mānuka honey!
Every time we learn more about what our amazing bees are doing for us, the more motivated we are to help nurture the natural environment we share with them. Let’s do our part for the bees who do so much for us!