My mother and grandmother used to whip up a honey, lemon, and whiskey concoction that they reached for when they (or other adults in the family) had a cough and/or cold.

For the longest time, I thought it was just a sneaky way of imbibing in an quasi-alcoholic cocktail while claiming it was "good for what ails you." I also resented the fact that as a kid, I wasn't allowed anywhere near the stuff. I found out later in adulthood that their "cold remedy" packed a pretty good wallop.

This morning, I'm seeing stories pop up all over the place telling me that those two women in my life were definitely on to something.

No less an authority than Oxford University's medical school has just released a study that they say suggests honey might provide an alternative when doctors want to prescribe something to safely treat upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms.

The researchers say that doctors can recommend honey as a suitable alternative to antibiotics, which are often prescribed for such infections, even though the antibiotics are not effective, according to their research.

Here's what they said, writing in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine:

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. Honey is a frequently used lay remedy that is well known to patients. It is also cheap, easy to access, and has limited harms. When clinicians wish to prescribe for URTI, we would recommend honey as an alternative to antibiotics. Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance.

I've combed through this entire piece of scholarly research, but I can't seem to find anything giving a thumbs-up to my mom and grandma adding liberal amounts of whiskey.

What I did find, after doing some looking, are some places all within 50 miles of Rockford that produce local, high-quality honey.


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