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

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

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].

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.

People have been using honey and cinnamon for cold and related symptoms is an effective natural solution for long time.

Many medical research in the recent times have studied the therapeutic effects of honey and cinnamon in relieving cold and its symptoms. 

In this article, you’ll learn the efficacy and uses of honey and cinnamon for cold, plus the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of common cold.

Therapeutic Properties of Honey and Cinnamon

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

Honey 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].

The usage of honey as a complementary medicine dates back to hundreds of years.

It treats a wide range of health issues including ulcers, burns, wounds, and respiratory tract infections [4].

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

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

Considered a powerful spice not only for its pungent aroma but 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 can lower the risk of cancer and protect against heart disease [7].

honey and cinnamon for cold

Related: Honey for Sore Throat: Good or Bad?

Cinnamon and Honey for Cold: How They Work?

When it comes to common cold, honey and cinnamon work hand in hand in the fighting off 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 of 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 a 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. Cold Relieving Tea Cinnamon and Honey

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

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • One tablespoon of honey
  • One 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 the infection clears.

2. Honey, Cinnamon and Lemon Juice for Cold Relief

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

Due to the antioxidants present in lemon, it also enhances the immune system.

Lemon juice is also known to have both antiviral and antibacterial properties that specifically is proven to be highly beneficial for the cold.

What You’ll Need:

  • Three tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • One 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 every day for one to two weeks to cure a cold.

RELATED: Lemon Juice for Acne: 8 Simple Home Remedies

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

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

Fruits like strawberries and apples are not only delicious, but they also aid in warding off the common cold as they cool and moisten the lungs, providing relief from the symptoms of a common cold such as a dry cough.

What You’ll Need:

  • One bowl of fruit slices (strawberries, apples, pineapples
  • One tablespoon of raw honey
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Recommended Directions:

  1. Drizzle honey and pour the 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. Raw Honey, Cinnamon and Chamomile Tea to Relieve Nasal Congestion

Drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis significantly increases the level of hippurate, which has antibacterial activity.

Due to the presence of hippurate, a breakdown compound of tea flavonoids, chamomile gets its infection-fighting ability.

So combining chamomile leaves, honey, and cinnamon powder altogether helps to loosen up the mucus that causes nasal congestion.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • One tablespoon of chamomile leaves
  • One tablespoon of honey
  • One 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. Raw Honey, Cinnamon and Ginger Tea for Cold Treatment

The active sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and phenolic compounds like gingerol and shogaol, found in ginger make ginger a powerful antiviral that can neutralize the viruses causing respiratory infection.

Having ginger tea will also help people from ‘loss of appetite’ feeling to go away, which many people face when they’re suffering from cold or fever.

What You’ll Need:

  • One teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • One 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 a sore throat. Honey and cinnamon are a great combo when it comes to relieving a sore throat. The duo can fight off the bacterial infections and inhibit the irritations and discomfort of the throat, coughs, phlegm, and so forth.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ a tablespoon of honey
  • One 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 one year of age with honey.

RELATED: 10 Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Symptoms and Causes of Common Cold

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

So what causes a common cold?

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

Rhinovirus causes up to 40 percent of cold cases while 20 percent are triggered by coronavirus [3].

Other viruses that can bring on this infection are a 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 a 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 a cold, you’re also likely to be exposed to the virus, and get the infection.

When to See a Doctor

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

Some Q&A

How often should you take cinnamon and honey for colds?

Since both honey and cinnamon are natural ingredients, you can take both and cinnamon as many times as you like. Normally, this mixture is taken once in the morning and once before going to bed at night. Having it once in the morning will prevent a cough all day, whereas having it at night will help you to have an undisturbed sleep.

What is the recommended method of using honey and cinnamon for colds?

People suffering from severe colds should take one to two tablespoons of honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder twice a day for three to four days. You can even have it with ginger tea. Having it daily will help cure most of the severe cold, chronic cough, and even helps to clear sinuses.


A common cold 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



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