Use honey first for a cough, new guidelines say.
The papers, TV and radio have been full of stories about how honey should be the first point of call if you have a cough.

This is because new guidelines have just been issued by Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

They’re worried about the amount of antibiotics people take and the burden on  doctors' surgeries, when a ‘home cure’ could resolve the issue.

And honey is a key recommendation

This is hardly news to Raw Honey Shop customers and millions of people around the world.

But it is great that the value of honey is being recognised at the highest level for the relief it can provide.

When your mucous membranes are inflamed and irritated a throat reflex, in response to the irritation, makes you cough.

So how can honey help?

Honey is a demulcent, that is a substance that can form a thick sticky film over the inflamed mucous membranes - hopefully setting you on the road to recovery.

The thicker and stickier the better. (This is important, some honeys are better than others for coughs.)

This protective film helps to reduce the irritation and calm the cough. 

Pre-emptive use of honey in the early stages of a cough can help to relieve the inflammation meaning a child (or adult) stands a better chance of recovering quickly.

But which honey is best?

You need a thick honey, with the added benefit of antibacterial properties.

Raw artisan honeys, straight from the beekeeper are often thicker and more viscous than commercial honeys that you buy in the supermarket.

We've got three recommendations for you.

(Please note that honey should not be given to children under the age of one. Occasionally honey contains spores of botulism, which can affect children under the age of one.)

 1. Raw Manuka honey 20+ - the thing with Manuka is that it isn't affected by heat when you put it in a hot drink of say Lemon. Whilst other honeys often have similar levels of antibacterial activity the heat affects the potency. This doesn't happen with Manuka, although it is very expensive so should be used sparingly. However, there is currently a 40% discount on our 250g of Manuka, which makes it a little more affordable. You can find the Manuka here.

2. Raw Oak honey. Oak honey is dark and thick - perfect for coating your throat. This thickness makes it really good for coating the throat, which helps to ease coughs and sore throats. Oak honey is also very antibacterial so will help kill any bugs that are lurking in your throat. When your immune system is weakened by a virus we are susceptible to bugs which can make the illness carry on for longer. You can find the Oak here.

3. Heather honey is another good honey for sore throats and coughs - also helping to coat the throat. It has also featured in various scientific studies and been shown to have quite a strong antibacterial effect -which could discourage secondary bacterial infections in a weakened throat area. You can find the Heather here

(The antibacterial properties in honey partly come from a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide, which is naturally found in honey, especially dark honeys like Oak and Heather.)