Honey & Lemon: More than sore throat tonic

Honey & lemon tea has traditionally been considered an excellent sore throat tonic but why does it work and what other benefits might this natural remedy have?


Honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which can help the body heal. It has a 20-30% mineral and water content, with the remaining composition consisting of fructose and glucose. Honey may assist with conditions such as:

  • Acid reflux as honey is more viscous than water at body temperature.
  • Cold relief. A study suggests that honey can reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep for people with chest infections; even more-so than the cough medicine dextromethorphan. Honey has also been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a natural cough remedy.
  • Infections. Honey, especially Manuka honey, contains bacterial fighting proteins. It may even be more effective than some antibiotics where bacteria have formed a resistance. Natural honey is three times more effective at killing bacteria than artificial honey (so carefully choose which honey you buy. Store-bought honey often contains additives).
  • Seasonal allergies. Some research suggests honey is more effective than cough medicine at relieving and reducing coughing associated with seasonal allergies.
  • Wounds and burns when applied topically. However, more studies need to be done to confirm this hypothesis.

While medical grade honey is used in modern medicine, further scientific studies are needed to confirm many of honey’s health claims.


Here are just some of the issues that lemons may assist with:

  • Anxiety and depression. Lemons contain potassium which, in low levels, is linked to anxiety and depression.
  • Asthma due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Bad breath, toothache and gingivitis, again owing to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • Bad skin and wrinkles. Vitamin C antioxidants are important in the production of collagen, which can reduce skin blemishes and even wrinkles.
  • Heart health, brain & nerve function. Lemon contains potassium which supports these areas.
  • Heartburn, bloating and burping. Lemon cleanses toxins from the digestive tract which can help with healthy digestion. The fiber in lemons also assists with digestion.
  • Unbalanced Ph levels. Although lemons are acidic, within the body they are one of the best foods for creating an alkaline environment. One major benefit of an alkaline system is that cancer cells struggle to survive in this environment.
  • Inflammation caused by uric acid, which lemon helps remove; increasing health in the joints.
  • Infections and poor immune system. The vitamin C in lemons boosts immune system function.
  • Malnutrition. Lemons contain a range of things (granted, some of which are in small amounts) our bodies need, including B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, phosphorus and potassium.
  • Obesity. Pectin fiber in lemons fights hunger cravings and vitamin B-6 assists metabolism – both of which support weight loss.
  • Toxins. Lemon stimulates the liver through enhanced enzyme function, which helps the body remove toxins.


Tea has properties which may help with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lower cholesterol and weight loss. Tea also supports mental alertness.

How to Drink:

This recipe will kick start your digestive system and energise you, so drink 15-30 minutes before breakfast.

Make a small pot of tea using black or preferably green tea. Dilute or allow to cool so the tea is warm before adding lemon (as hot water may kill off the lemon’s beneficial properties). Add juice from 1 lemon and a tablespoon of honey (preferably Manuka or natural honey without additives). Add a little lemon and honey at a time to taste, as otherwise it may be too sweet/sour for your liking.

Try swapping out your morning tea/coffee for lemon and honey tea for a week and see what changes you notice.

Tip: Lemon juice, especially undiluted, can erode tooth enamel so it’s best to avoid brushing your teeth directly after drinking. A straw will reduce contact with your teeth. If you have to brush soon after drinking, rinse your mouth with plain water first and use a soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

One thought on “Honey & Lemon: More than sore throat tonic

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