‘Nature is the best medicine’ – honey possibly ‘more effective’ than antibiotics

New findings suggest that honey may be “more effective and less harmless” than antibiotics for improving symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI).

According to research published in the British Medical Journal – aligning with what grannies have been saying for many years – a spoonful of honey may, indeed, help a cough.

What was well-known before this report is that honey has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, along with having anti-oxidants.

The new research in the report ‘Effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis’ suggests that “honey is more effective than usual care alternatives for improving URTI symptoms, particularly cough frequency and cough severity”.

According to the research, URTIs are “the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription” but the majority of URTIs are viral, so antibiotic prescription is “both ineffective and inappropriate”.

The research recommends that clinicians prescribe honey for URTIs as an alternative to antibiotics, as it is “cheap, easy to access and has limited harms”.

The research claims:

“There are currently very few effective options that clinicians can prescribe for URTIs.

Antibiotic overuse is a key driver of antimicrobial resistance. Furthermore, drug resistant infections are associated with worse patient outcomes than antibiotic susceptible infections, underlining the impact of antimicrobial resistance on individual patients.

“Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance,” the report concludes.

Farmers feel public debate ‘turning against them’

Meanwhile, in other academic research, a new report suggests that Irish farmers feel like public debate is “turning against them” in relation to the environment and animal welfare.

Also Read: ‘Volatile milk prices’ leaving dairy farmers ‘little choice but to expand’

This is one of the preliminary findings of the ‘Cows eat grass, don’t they?’ research initiative, led by Dr. Orla Shortall, a social researcher at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland.

The study found that this creates stress for farmers and a feeling of a “lack of control over the public narrative about the work they do”.