Coffee and Honey Against Persistent Post-infectious Cough

So you have a cough and you’ve read about conventional solutions for it: the antitussives codeine and dextromethorphan, the anti-histamines, the narcotics and then the bronchodilators. But you’ve been using them, or most of them, practically all your life and they just don’t seem to work. Then you read about prednisone, a very effective treatment for the most persistent post-infectious coughs or coughs that remain after a cold. The body naturally produces prednisone to fight a host of illnesses including arthritis, cancer, HIV, and some allergies, and trauma, as well as the swelling and redness that come from an injury. It is usually prescribed by doctors when they suspect that the body needs to supplement its natural production of this corticosteroid. What doctors prescribe however is manmade. Prednisone, being a steroid, will destroy or weaken the immune system, although because of the drug, you don’t feel the symptoms. Furthermore, it increases your risk for osteoporosis and cancer.

Ok, so now that you are aware of the dangers that come with the steroid prednisone, you search your social media for alternative cures. Then you read about coffee being a natural cure for a persistent post-infectious cough or PPIC, because it does what a steroid can do without the side effects. Various controlled clinical studies compared the effects of coffee with honey, the steroid prednisolone and the non-steroid guaifenesin on 3 control groups. In one clinical test the participants, divided into 3 groups, were evaluated a week before and after treatment of their PPIC, and were instructed to dissolve a certain amount into warm water once every 8 hours, and this is what they came up with: There was a significant and similar decrease in the frequency of the coughing of the honey/coffee jam group and the steroid group but the decrease in cough frequency was significantly higher for the honey/coffee group.

Some people are starting to realize that whenever one goes to a doctor, he most surely is going to be given the same old prescriptions for drugs with side effects. Post Infectious Cough, a cough that lasts for as long as 5 weeks will keep a person up all night making him unable to function normally. He becomes a nuisance on a plane, in a restaurant, and to his family as they all try to cover their noses or hold their breaths, or cover the food that they eat, while you hack away at that itch in your throat.

Why honey? It is an old wives’ remedy before over-the-counter drugs were invented. Honey is a natural demulcent – meaning it effectively coats the irritated mucous membranes. Honey has powerful antibacterial properties and has been known to work well especially with kids. But honey alone may not be powerful enough to stop a cough. Some people have experimented with garlic, mint, and even medical marijuana to control a persistent post-infectious cough. And they found that the power of honey is maximized when one drinks it with coffee.

And why coffee? Experience has taught us that coffee is actually therapeutic. One barrister I know would drink black coffee to prevent the onset of asthma, or when they had no access to an inhaler. It worked for him so there must be something about coffee that makes people run to it for a cure of their cough. The caffeine in coffee, in some strange way – perhaps because of its anti-oxidant properties, helps to dilate the bronchial tubes making it easier for the person to breathe. However, dairy must be avoided as milk worsens a cough.

We have come up with a remedy that mixes honey with coffee and you no longer have to run to the store to buy these two items separately. We used the right combination of honey and coffee to take advantage of the healing properties of the two. Plus our combination does not use dairy and when mixed with hot water, tastes very good and even better than your standard morning cup. And you probably have both at home.


Appendix. Honey and Coffee Recipe Based on Studies Reviewed
500 g honey (about 1 lb)
70 g of instant coffee (about 2.5 oz dry weight or 13 T or 6.5 oz liquid measure)
Mix the honey and coffee and add 1 T of it to 1 cup of warm water and drink it 3 times a day, about every 8 hours.