by Alice Monroe
There’s plenty to be said in favor of home remedies for certain ailments, and honey is famously consumed as a natural antibiotic in many cases – making it very popular with those who regularly suffer with colds, coughs and flu symptoms. This is why it is so prevalent in store-bought medicines and concoctions – and why it continues to be a regular fixture in health food shops for those who prefer to treat themselves on a more natural basis. The UK appears to be leading the way, according the news this week, in suggesting that honey be directly optioned ahead of any traditional antibiotics – according to reports.
▶ Why You Should Use Honey for Coughs, Not Antibiotics
Public Health England, working together with the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, have advised many doctors and General Practitioners to suggest natural remedies before antibiotics are prescribed outright. This is thought to have been rolled out in line with concerns that antibiotics themselves are offering little in the way of relief – as well as unnecessary side effects – as well as the fact that there is growing concern over the general effectiveness of antibiotics at present. Certain strains and illnesses have been able to evolve against repeated use of the drugs, for example – which has led to additional research into the development of new medicine for future treatments.
For now, however, many UK GPs are being advised to suggest patients take honey and purchase store-bought remedies should they need to fight colds, flu symptoms or persistent coughs. It’s thought that these common ailments only tend to last a few weeks at a time – and, as such, patients are being encouraged to self-medicate wherever possible. “If someone has a runny nose, sore throat and cough, we would expect the cough to settle over two to three weeks and antibiotics are not needed,” advises Dr Tessa Lewis, a GP who is overseeing prescribing guidelines to British doctors. “People can check their symptoms on NHS Choices or NHS Direct Wales or ask their pharmacist for advice.”
The move to self-medicate is nothing new – and in many cases, it is helping to aid the fight against microbial resistance, a very real threat which faces the effectiveness of the medication we rely upon to fight everyday illnesses. While antibiotics are not completely ineffective at present, they are being reserved as much as possible for people at serious risk or for more long-term and even life-threatening conditions. The advice is clear – stock up on honey in case of a future sniffle!