HONEY is better for coughs and colds than over-the-counter drugs, a study says.
The natural remedy was also found to be more effective than antibiotics for boosting recovery from chest infections.
Experts urged GPs to prescribe honey over normal medications. It also has no side-effects and, at as little as £1.30 a jar, is cheaper than many drugs.
Oxford University’s Hibatullah Abuelgasim said: “When clinicians prescribe for upper respiratory tract infections, we would recommend honey as an alternative to antibiotics. It is more effective and less harmful than usual care drugs.”
Some 14 trials involving over 1,760 people with sore throats, coughs and blocked noses were analysed.
Two studies showed symptoms lasted up to two days less among those treated with honey, which also cut frequency and severity of coughing. The Oxford experts matched honey against ingredients in common cold medications. It also did better in trials against paracetamol.
The Proprietary Association of Great Britain, the trade body for over-the-counter medicines, said: “Self care and over-the-counter remedies are often the best way to manage symptoms.”
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