Honey has long been used as a home remedy to treat coughs and colds, and in 2020 scientists discovered that it is more effective at treating upper respiratory tract infections than the usual care — antihistamines, expectorants, cough suppressants, and painkillers.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 14 clinical trials involving 1,761 participants of varying ages, they found that honey was the most effective at improving symptoms, especially the frequency and severity of coughing. Two of the studies showed that symptoms lasted one to two days less among those treated with honey.

Writing in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, the authors stated: “Upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription. Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate.” The researchers suggested honey might therefore provide an alternative when doctors want to prescribe something to safely treat upper respiratory tract symptoms.

Lemon, Thyme & Honey Throat Tea

Keyword: 15 Minutes Max., Drinks
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 67kcal
A soothing hot drink to send that cough packing
Print Recipe


  • 1 quart-sized Mason jar


  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme more sprigs if they're stringy and have few leaves
  • 1 quart just-boiled water
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp honey


  • Place the thyme in a clean 1-quart Mason jar.
  • Pour the boiling water over the thyme. Let infuse for at least 10 mnutes.
  • Stir the fresh lemon juice into the thyme water. Place a lid on the jar and seal it tightly.
  • When you're ready to drink a cup of tea, pour 8 fl oz into a cup, heat it in the microwave (1-1½ minutes on HIGH), and stir in a tablespoon of honey. Sip slowly.
  • The thyme-lemon-water mixture keeps in the fridge for a week.


Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 48IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.3mg