Got a cough? Try Manuka honey

Got a cough? Try Manuka honey

Most likely you have heard from your mum that honey can help relieve cough. While honey has been a home remedy for thousands of years, modern research is showing that honey may just have the magic ingredient needed to deal with pathogens and soothe that pesky cough.

Research shows that honey can effectively relieve cough symptoms and can even help children, giving them relief from nighttime coughing and improving their sleep.

In fact, the World Health Organisation recommends honey as a natural cough remedy.

Treating coughs

Coughs can be irritating, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. You often lose sleep at night, prompting you to reach for cough medications and lozenges to find some relief.

However, recent research shows that taking over-the-counter cough medicines may cause unwanted side-effects, including chest pain, nausea, and headaches, besides worsening your cough. In fact, a review of studies found no conclusive proof that pharmacy cough medicines are effective.

Fortunately, there is honey for cough relief. But what makes Manuka honey unique?

Why Manuka honey for coughs?

What makes Manuka honey special is its potent antibacterial and healing properties.

Most honeys have hydrogen peroxide that contributes to its antibacterial activity. But there is another special compound known as MGO or methylglyoxal, which is a lot higher in Manuka honey than in other honey.

Compared to the hydrogen peroxide in other honey, MGO in Manuka is stable and does not break down with light and temperature, making Manuka a powerful antibacterial and giving it its unique healing properties, such as its effectiveness against bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which is associated with allergies that can cause coughs.

Cough can also be a symptom of viral pharyngitis, commonly known as sore throat, caused by a group of bacteria called Streptococcus spp. Manuka has been shown to disrupt the formation of biofilm of such pathogens for which MGO appears to be mainly responsible.

However, most coughs are caused by a respiratory tract infection like a cold or a flu, which is the result of a virus like influenza. These viral infections are not treatable by antibiotics and the best course of action is to let it run its course. But Manuka honey can come to your rescue and help you along the way. There is some research that suggests Manuka honey has antiviral effects, and it has shown to be effective against the influenza virus.

Another healing property of Manuka is that it is a strong anti-inflammatory agent that reduces swelling in the air passageway, making it easier for you to breathe, which helps ease coughing spasms. This is particularly helpful for people with asthma who experience chest tightness and coughing, especially at night.

There is also evidence that Manuka honey has a superior healing effect compared to other treatments. People experiencing upper respiratory infections have less severe cough and Manuka seems to reduce the frequency of coughing too. It is also a desirable alternative to antibiotics, as it may slow down the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

How to use Manuka honey for coughs

Having some Manuka honey with warm tea or lemon water is quite a common way to treat a sore throat and cough. But Manuka can also be taken by itself and can be quite effective as a cough suppressant.

When taken orally, it coats the mouth and throat, acting as a lubricant which soothes pain and inflammation and reduces the tickling sensation associated with a cough.

We advise you to take Manuka on an empty stomach. Let a spoonful of honey dissolve slowly into your mouth for as long as possible before swallowing. It’s best not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after taking it.

Make sure you use higher strengths of Manuka honey to get the real benefits. Try MGO 263 and above.

A word of caution though, honey should never be given to children under the age of one because of the risk of botulism. Also, it is advisable to check with your doctor about a persistent or worsening cough, and before consuming any honey.

To treat your cough, find a range of our best high-quality high-strength Manuka honey in our online shop.

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