Honey and Cinnamon For Cough Relief

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Chances are that you will experience a cough at some time in your life. In recent years, the interest in home remedies and homeopathic medicines has grown. Raw honey is a popular ingredient in many of these folk remedies. Another popular player in the health sector is ground cinnamon. It should come as no surprise that these two often team up-forming a dynamic duo of honey and cinnamon for cough relief.

Is Honey and Cinnamon Good for Coughs?

Bowls of honey and ground cinnamon with honey dipper and cinnamon sticks image.

Many people (and some doctors) recommend consuming a bit of honey when you have a cough. Whether you take a spoonful straight from the jar – or combine it with other liquids, honey soothes your raw throat.

Using honey for cold relief may be a novel idea for your family. But, its use dates back many years. Long before a Walgreens or CVS sat on every street corner, mankind battled illness. 

We have become too accustomed to purchasing health aids in boxes and bottles. Years ago, relief had to be sought from materials that were readily on-hand.

Actually, there are there are so many ways to use honey, you should always keep some on hand. An added bonus, even raw honey is easy to store and doesn’t go bad. It will last for years and years.

Does it Really Work?

Though many people claim that honey relieves coughs – these claims are mostly anecdotal (without scientific research).

If a particular recipe seems to soothe a cold sufferer, people share their findings with family and friends. These recipes and strategies pass down through the generations. 

Why is there a lack of scientific studies on the use of honey and other natural products? Scientific research is funded by large drug companies. They would have no financial benefit from proving the effectiveness of a natural product. 

But in recent years, the Mayo Clinic reports that honey alone offers relief for some cough sufferers. It is not suitable for very young children or people with compromised immune systems – check with your doctor.

Why Use Honey and Cinnamon Together?

Honey contains natural antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that promote good health. It is also anti-inflammatory and the thickness of the liquid feels so good on a raw throat. Naturally, honey is a great addition to any type of tea.

Cinnamon is one of those herbs used for centuries for various health issues in traditional Asian medicine. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal – this means it prohibits the growth of a lot of nasty things.

Mixing honey and cinnamon together creates a good tasting tonic that make easy cough symptoms and help the body recover.

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It is not necessary to add cinnamon or lemon juice but they do have soothing qualities of their own. And, some of us really like the taste.

If you enjoy natural remedies, many of them are easy to make at home. If a cough is bugging you – try my recipe for Homemade Honey Cough Drops.

Children enjoying honey from a pot image.

Honey for Colds in Toddlers

Raw honey is not a dangerous product. But, because it is raw and not heat treated, there is a possibility it could be dangerous to infants or children under 1 year of age.  

Consult with your physician before giving raw honey to kids of any age. This caution also applies to anyone with a compromised immune system.

Tea with honey, lemon and cinnamon in white cup recipe imate.

Honey and Cinnamon Recipes

There are many different ways to get a bit of honey in your system for cough or cold symptom relief. Add in the ingredients that you enjoy. Here are a few to get you started.

Basic Recipe

Common recommendation: Two tablespoons of honey mixed with 1 tsp of cinnamon before bedtime. I have to dissolve this in warm water. During the day, you could repeat this treatment every 2-3 hours.

** Personal note: this much cinnamon is a bit much for me – you may want to experiment with a bit less.

Honey & Lemon Tea

  • 1 cup of very warm water
  • the juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon (ceylon)

Sip this drink before it cools.  This is my go-to treatment for sore throats. If you have one of the mug warmers, it is a great help to keep your honey and cinnamon nice and hot ! As another option, consider this honey, lemon ginger tea that uses infusion.

Cinnamon Hot Toddy Recipe

this is an adult recipe of course

  • ½ cup of hot water
  • 1.5 ounces of brandy
  • the juice of 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Raw honey to sweeten to taste
Honey in a jar, cinnamon sticks and lemon in a cup image.

Sore Throat Buster Recipe

Good for a really sore throat as it has less lemon juice. Sip frequently to ease pain.

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 pinch of ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Another popular herbal remedy involving the use of honey is Fire Cider. You can even make your own homemade fire cider tonic!

**Few people are allergic to honey, lemon, cinnamon etc. but check with your doctor if you are concerned about any of these items. Remember, no raw honey for infants. 

Hmm, my throat does feel a bit scratchy – a cup of hot tea with lemon juice & honey sounds pretty good right now. Lucky me, I have a lot of honey and cinnamon right at my fingertips.

Our best plan of treatment during cold and flu events is to rest, eat properly and try to relieve symptoms. 

Herbal tonics provide an effective natural treatment to at least help you feel some relief as you wait out the cold process.

For adults and kids that are old enough, even the small amount available in homemade honey straws can easy a sore throat. 

Small scale beekeepers are the best source for raw honey. Do you have to buy local honey from your area ? 

What if you do not know any local beekeepers? For cold and cough relief, it does not matter if the honey is produced close to your home. You just need pure honey.

If you are battling allergies, you do want to purchase honey that comes from a region with the same types of plants and trees as yours. For a sore throat, I don’t think the region of origin matters.


Will honey cure a cold?

No, sorry- honey is not a cure for a common cold or flu. But, I understand why you ask. When you feel bad, you want to get better quick!  A complete cure would the best outcome and right now! 

It wont cure you, but using raw honey or a mixture of honey and cinnamon will bring some symptom relief.

Is honey good for you?

Yes, for most people honey provides energy, vitamins, minerals and other healthy benefits.

Which honey is best for colds and cough?

The type of honey used for coughs really doesn’t matter that much. You may choose Wildflower Honey, Clover Honey, Buckwheat Honey, etc. 

In recent years, Manuka honey has gained in popularity. However, that does not mean that regular honey is not good for most purposes.

*** Medical Disclaimer
I am a beekeeper, not a doctor. These are combinations that my customers and friends swear by for relief. Always seek the medical advice of a doctor before using any natural remedy.