honey when sick

Honey When Sick Can it Really Help with Cold and Flu Symptoms?


When we’re feeling under the weather, many of us turn to natural remedies in the hopes of finding relief from our symptoms. One popular home remedy that has been passed down through generations is the combination of honey and cinnamon. It is believed that these two ingredients can help alleviate symptoms such as cough and sore throat. However, despite its long history of use, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of this remedy. In this article, we will delve into the science behind the honey and cinnamon cure for the common cold and explore whether it can truly help us feel better when we’re sick.

What is the Honey and Cinnamon Cure?

The honey and cinnamon cure has been used for centuries as a homemade remedy for various ailments, including the common cold, sore throats, allergies, and minor health issues. This remedy has its roots in Traditional Persian Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. The basic recipe is simple: mix 1 part cinnamon with 4 parts honey and take 1 teaspoon three times a day for three to four days.

To make a batch for a full course of treatment, the following measurements can be used:

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey

For larger batches to accommodate multiple people, simply multiply the recipe by the number of individuals. For example, a family of four would use 1 cup of honey and 4 tablespoons of cinnamon. It is important to store the mixture in a closed jar at room temperature.

Possible Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon

The combination of honey and cinnamon is believed to have a wide range of health benefits, including:

  • Acne relief
  • Allergy relief
  • Arthritis relief
  • Improvement of bad breath
  • Alleviation of common cold symptoms
  • Cough relief
  • Assistance in managing diabetes
  • Relief for digestive disorders
  • Protection against heart disease
  • Aid in fighting infections
  • Improvement of skin conditions
  • Soothing of sore throats
  • Assistance in treating urinary tract infections
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Promotion of wound healing

However, it is important to note that there is limited scientific research to support these claims.

Does it Cure the Common Cold?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the honey and cinnamon cure can actually cure the common cold. The common cold is caused by various viruses, and it typically resolves on its own within a week to ten days. While both honey and cinnamon contain antioxidants and other nutrients that may help alleviate cold symptoms, there is no research indicating that they can cure or shorten the duration of a cold.

The Effect of Honey on Cough

Although honey cannot cure a cold, it has been found to provide relief for certain common cold symptoms. Research suggests that honey can help alleviate coughs and soothe sore throats. Several studies have compared the effects of honey to placebos, antihistamines, cough suppressants, and asthma medications on children with coughs.

According to a review of published studies, honey was found to be more effective than antihistamines and no treatment in suppressing a cough. It was equally effective as a cough suppressant and more effective than asthma medication or a placebo in reducing cough duration. In addition, honey has been shown to improve sleep in children with coughs and is often preferred by parents over cough medication.

The Soothing Power of Honey for Sore Throats

Honey has also been found to be effective in soothing sore throats, although the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood. It is known that honey contains compounds with antibacterial properties that may help fight infections and promote healing. One study even found that honey can help relieve strep throat and other bacterial infections.

In another study, patients who received honey after a tonsillectomy experienced less throat pain and required less post-operative pain medication compared to those in the control group. While this study shows promise, it had a small sample size, and more extensive clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Cinnamon and its Potential for Cold Relief

Cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that could potentially help combat the common cold. Laboratory studies have shown that compounds found in cinnamon can act as an expectorant, thinning phlegm and making it easier to cough up. Cinnamon has also been found to open airways, alleviate shortness of breath, reduce fever and chills, and even potentially prevent COVID-19 infections. However, it is important to note that clinical trials are lacking, and there is currently no evidence to prove that cinnamon can prevent or cure any illness.

Use Cinnamon with Caution

While cinnamon is generally considered safe for consumption, it should be used with caution as allergic reactions are possible. Certain types of cinnamon, particularly Cassia cinnamon, may also promote blood thinning, so individuals taking blood thinners or with clotting disorders should exercise caution when using cinnamon. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before taking significant amounts of cinnamon or any other herbal or natural remedy, as even natural substances can have risks and potential side effects.


In conclusion, the combination of honey and cinnamon has long been regarded as a cure for the common cold and various other ailments. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims. While honey has been found to alleviate coughs and soothe sore throats, it cannot cure a cold. Cinnamon, on the other hand, has shown potential in laboratory studies but requires further clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness. That being said, both honey and cinnamon are natural ingredients that are generally safe for consumption. If you’re suffering from a cold, cough, or sore throat, it may be worth trying the honey and cinnamon remedy. Mix 1 tablespoon of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 teaspoon three times a day. Remember to store the mixture in a closed jar at room temperature.

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