Honey and Cinnamon For Coughs

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The age-old combination of honey and cinnamon for cough relief has gained prominence in recent years. While anecdotal evidence has long claimed a benefit, science has slowly started to catch up. Here, I share with you how to use this dynamic duo for your family.

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

You may not know all of the thousands of ways to use honey. But, you should always keep some on hand – you will be amazed at the various ways it can make your life better.

Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon

Both of these raw substances bring some impressive qualities to the table. When combined together, we would expect them to work even better.


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. Likewise, honey added to hot tea is incredibly soothing.

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.

An added bonus, even raw honey is easy to store and doesn’t go bad. It will last for years and years.


Cinnamon is an herb 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.

Why Use Honey and Cinnamon Together?

Though many people claim that honey relieves coughs – these claims are mostly lacking in 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 numerous scientific studies on the use of honey and cinnamon for colds and coughs? One reason is – scientific research is funded by large drug companies. They would have no financial benefit from proving the effectiveness of a natural product. 

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New Research

But in recent years, the Mayo Clinic reports that honey alone offers relief for some cough sufferers.

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

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.

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 and ingredients.

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Honey and Cinnamon Recipes

There are many different ways to get a bit of honey and cinnamon 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 and ginger tea using the infusion method.

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.

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. There are many different recipes for making it. Make your own honey homemade fire cider tonic!

Not a Cure

Unfortunately, honey and cinnamon is not a cure for any germ – and it is not for everyone. A very few people are allergic to honey or even cinnamon.

Individuals considered strict vegans avoid honey. And remember, no raw honey for infants – consult your physician.

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

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

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


Will honey cure a cold?

No, sorry- honey is not a cure for a common cold or flu. But, using 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. In recent years, Manuka honey has gained in popularity. However, that does not mean that regular honey is not good for most purposes.

Final Thoughts

Small scale beekeepers sell honey from their own hives and are the best source for raw honey. For cold and cough relief, it does not matter if the honey is produced close to your home. You just need pure honey. Consider giving this natural remedy a try the next time you need some natural relief. It may help you deal with the symptoms until you feel better.

*** 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.