Humans have been collecting honey for 8,000 years, and as a drug, it has a history of 4,000 years. In the Middle Ages, honey was used to heal, cure ulcers, disinfect, gargle, etc. In recent times, it has been used in the treatment of influenza, cataract, glaucoma and cough, all of which are similar to traditional medicine.
In recent years, many tests have been carried out on the medicinal efficacy of honey. In the laboratory, honey has an antibacterial effect and can inhibit Escherichia coli, Salmonella and some resistant bacteria, but it has not been confirmed in clinical trials. From the variety of honey, it seems that the dark color of honey has a good antibacterial effect.
Medihoney, made from New Zealand’s Manuka honey, was approved by the FDA for wound and ulcer treatment in 2007, but it cannot be used for burns because it causes wound pain.
In the laboratory, honey has a certain therapeutic effect on allergies. In the United States, some people rely on their own bee collecting honey to solve serious allergies, but there is no evidence of clinical trials.
For diabetics, honey is natural, but not as good as white sugar or brown sugar, and even contains more carbohydrates and calories.
In 2007, researchers at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of the antitussive effect of honey. Prior to this, they found that there was no statistical difference between the commonly used cough medicine dextromethorphan and no treatment, and there were side effects. This test used honey-flavored cough suppressant dextromethorphan as a control, plus a group of untreated controls. 105 children aged 2 to 18 years (mean age 5.22 years) were randomly divided into the above three groups. After 24 hours, the frequency and severity of cough were reduced, and sleep was improved. It was found that honey had the best effect, especially in reducing cough frequency and improvement. Children and parents sleep.
For the effect of honey, the researchers explained that the antioxidant effect in honey, and the effect is not honey, but the natural sugar can cause saliva secretion, respiratory mucus secretion and throat analgesic effect, thereby alleviating cough, especially Reduce dry cough.
The results of this test have caused a lot of repercussions. Most of the responses are supportive, but there are also objections, because from a statistical point of view, the differences in the trial are not very significant, especially when comparing honey and dextromethorphan. There was no statistical difference, and the trial took the funds of the National Honey Board.
In 2010, Iranian researchers confirmed the antitussive effect of honey. The researchers randomly divided 139 children aged 2 to 5 years into 4 groups, 3 of which were given honey, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, and the other group was not treated. It was found that honey reduced cough frequency and improved cough after 24 hours. The degree and improvement of children and parents sleep significantly better than the other groups.
This trial is a randomized trial, not a double-blind approach, so the conclusion is not very convincing.
In 2012, Israeli researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind trial in which 270 children aged 1 to 5 years were randomized into 4 groups of 3 different honeys and controls for liquids that were similar in color and taste to honey. It was found that after 3 hours of honey, the honey was significantly better than the control group in reducing the frequency of cough, improving the severity of cough and improving the sleep of the child and the parents.
The above tests are the most complete in design and statistics, and the results are more convincing.
So far, the results of several existing clinical trials have supported the antitussive effect of honey, and there are no negative results, so most authorities have recognized the antitussive effect of honey.
The reason why infants under one year of age cannot eat honey is because there may be spores of botulinum in honey. The baby’s digestive system under 1 year old is not well developed and can cause death. This situation is very rare, but because the consequences are more serious, it is necessary to prevent the baby under 1 year old from eating honey and not eating any food containing honey.
The antitussive effect of honey is definitely better than not taking medicine. Compared with cough medicine, honey seems to work better. Because the side effects of cough medicines are quite severe, children under the age of 12 often report deaths due to taking cough medicines. Therefore, honey can not be used for children under one year old, and is a very safe cough medicine for children of other ages.
All of the above studies have found that the symptoms of coughing in the non-medication group will also improve, indicating that common diseases such as cough caused by a cold is a self-healing symptom, which is the body’s self-healing mechanism, if it does not affect sleep or is not very uncomfortable. To the extent, there is no need to take medicine.
From the possible mechanism, it seems that the natural sugar is more effective. Because many cough medicines have natural sugar, they can also stop coughing, or their cough-relieving effect is mainly due to their sweet ingredients.
However, most of the honey sold on the market is not honey in the true sense, or fakes and adulteration made from saccharin, or honey produced by feeding bees with white sugar. There is no detectable pollen. 76% of honey sold in the United States does not detect pollen. In addition, honey from producing areas such as China and India also contains antibiotics and heavy metals. Having said that, if you can’t guarantee the quality of the honey you bought, wait until you can’t sleep.