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And the article says - "Honey is cheap and widely available".

Meaning go to Walmart and buy some cheap crap off the shelf they sell as "honey" (probably a fake from China too).
This is, essentially, flavored sugar water, after all the heating and filtering.
How is it going to help?

It also says - "However, researchers said it is difficult to know the degree to which honey improved the symptoms because it is a complex and heterogeneous substance."

Overall, of course I agree, if it is my own honey.
Has to be the real deal.
:)
 

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I often read the mantra that antibiotics are worthless against a viral infection. As a flat statement it's true, but we often use them in our elderly patients and those with various lung/heart ailments (COPD, CHF, brochitis) because antibiotics prevent worse things from taking over (bacterial pneumonia). I wouldn't give antibiotics to a healthy 20-year-old for a cold, but I might to a frail 80-year-old or a smoker of 60.

Last year a patient I took care of, and elderly lady who had been a big commercial beekeeper, used honey in her wounds to prevent infection. I encouraged her. Lots of well-researched benefits to honey in wound care.
 

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Effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract
Background
Antibiotic over prescription for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in primary care exacerbates antimicrobial resistance. There is a need for effective alternatives to antibiotic prescribing. Honey is a lay remedy for URTIs, and has an emerging evidence base for its use. Honey has antimicrobial properties, and guidelines recommended honey for acute cough in children.

Objectives
To evaluate the effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in URTIs.

Methods
A systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, AMED, Cab abstracts, Cochrane Library, LILACS, and CINAHL with a combination of keywords and MeSH terms.

Results
We identified 1345 unique records, and 14 studies were included. Overall risk of bias was moderate. Compared with usual care, honey improved combined symptom score (three studies, mean difference −3.96, 95% CI −5.42 to −2.51, I2=0%), cough frequency (eight studies, standardised mean difference (SMD) −0.36, 95% CI −0.50 to −0.21, I2=0%) and cough severity (five studies, SMD −0.44, 95% CI −0.64 to −0.25, I2=20%). We combined two studies comparing honey with placebo for relieving combined symptoms (SMD −0.63, 95% CI −1.44 to 0.18, I2=91%).

Conclusions
Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo controlled trials are needed.

Abuelgasim H, Albury C, Lee J, Effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Published Online First: 18 August 2020. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2020-111336
https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2020/07/28/bmjebm-2020-111336.full
 
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