The best ingredient to clear coughs

Rattling breathing, a scratching at the back of your throat – what is the first thing you reach for when the niggling signs of a cough materialise? If it’s a mug of hot lemon, ginger, and (most importantly) honey, you’re on the right track. New guidelines recommend honey should be our go-to antidote for a cough. According to health officials, antibiotics rarely improve symptoms and can instead lead to antibiotic resistance. Coughs are usually caused by viruses, which don’t respond to antibiotics, as antibiotics are used to clear up bacterial infections. If left untreated, a cough will usually resolve itself in two to three weeks.

In trials, those with an acute cough (lasting for a matter of days or weeks, not months) who were given honey were found to cough less often and less severely than those left untreated. Mixing one to two teaspoons of honey with hot water and some fresh ginger is a comforting way to relieve cough symptoms while benefitting from honey’s proven soothing qualities – just make sure you don’t give honey to infants under one year, who can be at a rare risk of botulism. Another natural remedy found to be effective is pelargonium, a cough relief derived from geraniums that works best in liquid form. Isn’t it wonderful to have so many many natural and botanical ways to ease us into the colder season? Try our turmeric, lime and honey tea for a healing, antioxidant-rich boost.

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