Honey as a Natural Remedy for Sore Throat and Cough


Many people turn to natural remedies for relief when wanting to soothe a sore throat and alleviate a persistent cough. One such remedy that has gained popularity is honey. Because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey has been used for centuries as a home remedy for various ailments.

Discover the effectiveness of honey for treating sore throats and coughs and its safety considerations in this article.

Sore Throats and Coughs

Sore throats can be caused by various factors, including bacterial or viral infections, allergies, tonsillitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritants like smoking or spicy foods. Along with other symptoms such as nasal congestion, fatigue, and fever, a sore throat often leads to a bothersome cough. Honey, with its long history of medicinal use, has been found to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential remedy for soothing throat irritation and reducing coughing.

How Honey can Help

Experts explain that honey can effectively decrease inflammation and irritation in the throat, offering relief for sore throat symptoms. Research also suggests that honey may also help reduce mucus secretion, making it beneficial for both wet and dry coughs.

However, honey should not be given to children under the age of one due to the risk of infant botulism, a serious illness caused by Clostridium botulinum spores that can be present in honey.

For adults and children older than one, honey can be used as a natural remedy for sore throat and cough. You can take a spoonful (about 1 teaspoon) of honey directly or dilute it in warm water or tea. Herbal teas or warm water with lemon juice also give soothing effects.

Generally, it is recommended to use honey no more than four or five times a day. If you are concerned about your sugar intake, it is advisable to use honey more sparingly and preferably before bedtime to provide an overnight relief.

In some cases, using honey in conjunction with traditional cold medications can be beneficial. If honey alone does not seem to reduce the symptoms, combining it with medication can provide added relief. But if you have a pre-existing health condition or are self-conscious about your sugar intake, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication or remedies.

A Safe and Effective Alternative

Honey can be a safe and effective alternative for those who cannot take traditional cold medications due to age restrictions or certain health conditions such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Unlike over-the-counter medications, honey does not cause drowsiness or other side effects.

When Choosing Honey

It is recommended to choose varieties that have been pasteurised when selecting your honey. Pasteurisation removes crystallisation and unwanted yeast, improves the texture and colour of honey, and extends its shelf life. However, some people prefer to use raw or unpasteurised local honey, believing that it may give additional benefits. Local honey is thought to expose to natural allergens in the area, which can help alleviate allergies.


Honey is a natural and effective remedy for sore throats and coughs. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a valuable option for those seeking relief without the side effects commonly associated with over-the-counter medications.

Even if honey is generally safe for individuals older than one year, caution should be exercised in infants due to the risk of infant botulism. Consider choosing pasteurised varieties or local honey for potential added benefits when choosing honey in Singapore. It is a versatile and accessible home remedy worth trying if you want to relieve throat symptoms.