How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold

Stuffy nose, sneezing and scratchy feeling in the throat—the symptoms of cold can definitely make you feel ill and uncomfortable.

Common cold is more common than you think.

Each year, there are more than 1 billion cases of common cold, and that’s in the United States alone [1].

Most colds go away on their own without treatment.

However, since it can cause absence from work or school, it would be a good idea to control the infection right away.

Using honey and cinnamon for cold and related symptoms is an effective natural solution .

But first, let’s get to know more about this prevalent viral infection.

In this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • What is a common cold?
  • What are the symptoms and causes of a common cold?
  • What the risk factors of catching common cold?
  • Why use honey and cinnamon for treating cold at home?
  • How to use cinnamon and honey for common cold and prevent from catching it again.

RELATED: 12 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Common Cold That’ll Work

Getting to Know More About Common Cold

A cold refers to a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract, particularly the nose and throat [2].

It starts when the virus attaches itself inside the nose or throat, and the immune system tries to fight it off by inflaming the throat and producing mucus [3].

So much energy is spent controlling the viral infection that you end up feeling exhausted and sick [3].

Signs and symptoms of cold appear within three days of exposure to the virus, and these include:

It’s important to see a doctor if any of the following symptoms arise:

So what’s causing this distressing illness?

About 200 viral strains can lead to common cold but the most usual culprit is rhinovirus [3].

Up to 40 percent of cold cases are caused by rhinovirus while 20 percent are triggered by coronavirus [3].

Other viruses that can bring on this infection are respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus, which account for 10 percent of cold cases [3].

What are the Risk Factors?

Here are the factors that make people more susceptible to catching this infection:

  1. Age – Children below six years old are at higher risk of getting infected with cold.
  2. Weak immune system – A poor immune resistance leaves the body quite defenseless against such illness.
  3. Weather – More cases of colds occur during autumn and winter.
  4. Smoking – Smokers are more likely to catch a cold than non-smokers.
  5. Environment – If you work or stay in a place where people have cold, you’re also likely to be exposed to the virus, and get the infection.

Properties of Honey and Cinnamon

Honey is a natural product derived from bees [4].

It is made when bees collect nectar from flowers and plants, and store it in honeycombs [4].

It is a complex combination of natural sugars, proteins, organic acids, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants [4].

The predominant sugars present in honey are fructose and glucose [4].

These two are said to be mostly responsible for many of honey’s pharmacological effects [4].

Honey has been confirmed in scientific research to have strong antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [4].

For many years, it has been used as a complementary medicine for a wide range of health issues including ulcers, burns, wounds, and respiratory tract infections [4].

Cinnamon, meanwhile, comes from tree that grows in the Middle East and South Asia.

The bark of the tree is made into powder or sticks, and these are commonly used in culinary and traditional medicine.

Considered a powerful spice not only for its pungent aroma, cinnamon is also replete with health-beneficial compounds such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate and cinnamic acid [5].

As it is also rich in phenolic compounds, flavonoids and other antioxidants, cinnamon has been highly revered for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immunity-boosting capabilities [6].

Experts say that this spice has the ability to lower risk of cancer, and protect against heart disease [7].

Related: Honey for Sore Throat: Good or Bad?

How Honey and Cinnamon Fight Off Colds?

When it comes to common cold, honey and cinnamon work hand in hand in fighting of the viral infection causing this disease.

Here are the various ways this combination works:

1. As an Antimicrobial

Honey’s natural acidity makes it difficult for disease-causing microbes to survive, as most pathogens require a pH level of 4 to 4.5 to form and replicate [4].

Plus, honey produces hydrogen peroxide, which is known to produce reactive substances that kill microbes such as viruses and bacteria [4].

Cinnamon, meanwhile, contains cinnamaldehyde, a compound that has been established to have a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity [8].

According to a study conducted by Chinese researchers, this compound can successfully inhibit the growth and spread of many strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses [8].

The antiviral properties of both honey and cinnamon make it a suitable remedy for viral infections affecting the respiratory tract like the common cold.

2. As an Anti-inflammatory

While inflammation helps the body recover from infection or injury, it can cause great discomfort and even further damage to the system when prolonged or chronic [4].

Free radical damage is “the most serious consequence of excessive inflammation” [4].

It’s a good thing inflammation can be suppressed by a natural anti-inflammatory such as honey and cinnamon, whose efficacies have been established in clinical trials [4, 9, 10].

By toning down inflammation, honey and cinnamon can provide relief from unpleasant symptoms caused by cold such as sore throat.

3. As an Immunity-booster

Apart from directly killing infection-causing microbes, honey can also help treat cold infection by strengthening the body’s immune response [4].

With a stronger immunity, the body is more capable of fighting off infections [4].

According to research, honey does this by stimulating white blood cells and activating neutrophils [4].

Cinnamon does the same thing in powering up the immune defense with its overload of nutrients and antioxidants.

Related:  Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs That You Should Know About

How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold?

The following natural remedies will be useful in stopping common cold infection.

#1. Honey and Cinnamon Cold Buster

Chinese folk healers have long used this combination of honey and cinnamon in treating common cold.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add honey and cinnamon powder.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Let it steep for 15 minutes before drinking the concoction.
  6. Do this daily until infection clears.

#2. Honey, Cinnamon and Lemon Juice for Cold Relief

Vitamin C in lemon juice can help combat viruses that cause common cold.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add lemon juice, cinnamon powder and honey to water.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Drink the mixture in the morning before eating your breakfast.
  4. Repeat remedy everyday for one to two weeks to cure cold.

RELATED: Lemon Juice for Acne : 8 Simple Home Remedies

#3. Honey, Cinnamon and Fresh Fruits to Soothe Common Cold

Another great source of vitamin is fresh fruits like strawberries, apples, and so on.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bowl of fruit slices (strawberries, apples, pineapples)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Recommended Directions:

  1. Drizzle honey and pour cinnamon powder into a bowl of fresh fruits.
  2. Snack on this during the day.
  3. Follow this technique once or twice a day for one week.

#4. Honey, Cinnamon and Chamomile Tea to Relieve Nasal Congestion

Chamomile tea can help loosen up the mucus that cause nasal congestion.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of chamomile leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Add chamomile leaves.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the stove.
  5. Strain the mixture.
  6. Add honey and cinnamon powder.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Drink the tea once a day for one to two weeks.

RELATED: 14 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea (Backed by Science)

#5. Honey, Cinnamon and Ginger Tea for Cold Treatment

Ginger is a powerful antiviral that can neutralize the viruses causing respiratory infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Steep ginger in warm water for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix in honey and cinnamon powder.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Strain the mixture.
  5. Drink this concoction once or twice a day for one to two weeks, or until you feel better.

RELATED: 20 Great Ways Of Using Ginger To Fight Your Acne

#6. Honey and Cinnamon for Sore Throat & Cold

One of the painful symptoms is common cold is sore throat. Hone and cinnamon are great combo when it comes to relieve sore throat. The duo can fight off the bacterial infections and inhibit the irritations and discomfort of the throat, coughs, phlegm, etc.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ a tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix honey and cinnamon powder to form a paste.
  2. Slather the medicinal paste on your pancakes, Greek yogurt, or bread.
  3. Repeat the treatment for a few days to get rid of cold and sore throat fast.
  4. Don’t treat children below 1 year of age with honey.

RELATED: 10 Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Sore Throat


Colds can make you miss school or work.

This is why, it’s imperative to control this infection as soon as possible.

These remedies, which make use of two highly potent ingredients honey and cinnamon, are not only safe and effective but also very easy to put together.

These remedies are even more potent when used in combination with other natural ingredients like ginger, chamomile, and lemon juice.

READ MORE: The Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon for Weight Loss