Good Food Good Health – Honey

Did you know lurking at the back of your kitchen cupboard you probably have a jar of honey that good old grandma gave you and has never seen the light of day.

Well if you have children and they have coughs, colds or sore throats, honey is great for helping to alleviate the problem.

As we always say you are what you eat and that ‘good food good health’ is the basis for a healthy life and healthy outlook on life. By adding honey to your diet is definitely a step in the right direction.

For centuries the healing power of honey has been legendary, and new research finds that it truly is a ‘miracle of nature’.

This golden sticky liquid made from nectar by bees is full of antioxidants that are great for us, and also antimicrobial agents that help to fight infection.

So now you can see why it is time to add this golden nectar to your regular shopping list, as its uses are endless and is the healthiest way to sweeten your diet, being completely natural and not refined or processed like other sweeteners.

Honey was used abundantly in ancient times, especially being spread on wounds to stop infection, prevent gangrene and improve recovery, and therefore was an important item on the battlefield – a fore runner to antiseptic cream today.

My grandparents swore by a mixture of honey, a dash of vinegar or lemon and a little boiling water mixed together as a remedy for coughs and colds. I remember taking this many times, and especially just before bed it really did help. It was great for sore throats too.

Recent research carried out has shown that it easily outperforms a pharmaceutical cough suppressant that is widely used in many of the popular children’s medicines on sale today.

The key active ingredient in many over the counter cough mixtures is Dextromethorphan or (DM), and is even used in flavoured syrups as well, but was found not to work as well as a spoonful of ordinary buckwheat honey given before bedtime.

They found honey did a better job of reducing and soothing the frequency, severity and bothersome nature of coughs and colds, thus giving a positive effect on the child and parent by enabling a better quality of sleep.

During the tests DM made no appreciable difference to symptoms compared when offering no treatment at all, unlike honey.

Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania said ‘Our study adds to the growing literature questioning the use of DM in children, but it also offers a legitimate and safe alternative for physicians and parents’.

Recently in the United States there have been deaths in young children linked to over the counter cough and cold remedies, and it was disclosed that they have been found to cause serious side effects in children under the age of two.

Some of the same ingredients used in the American remedies are also included in some British brands as well – including some of the most popular, but if taken at the correct amount and intervals have been deemed safe.

Therefore if we can use honey, with it being completely natural must be a plus and with its great flavour should be easier to administer to our little ones.

The researchers also suggested that parents that regularly bought expensive cough medicines might be wasting their money.

As always, medical assistance should be sought with persistent coughs and colds whether in children or adults and if honey is great for children then it is also excellent for adults as well.

Being able to use natural substance and knowing there are no additives is a great bonus, when you look at the length of the list of ingredients on some cough remedies it is amazing, especially today when we are trying to be more aware of what we put into our bodies.

So perhaps we should keep honey in the bathroom cabinet as well as the kitchen.

Yet again you can see that we are what we eat, so just remember good food is good health.

Sandra & Ted

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