Heal  Yourself at Home
Sweeteners Raw honey / Coffee for Post-infective Persistent Cough (PPC) (e.g. after cold or flu)

Raw Honey:

Persistent Postinfective Cough (PPC) Coffee/HoneyTreatment

Honey/Coffee Remedy for Persistent Post-Infective Cough (PPC)

Treatment beats conventional medicine

Who hasn't had one of those irritating, sleep-depriving, hang-around coughs following an upper respiratory infection or cold?   Maybe you resort to steroids, antihistamines, bronchodilators, codeine, antitussives/expectorants (eg. Dextromethorphan) or other drugs with all their unwanted side-effects - but the cough still won't go away!

A surprisingly successful treatment For Persistent post-infective Cough (PPC) - from your own kitchen!

An article published in the Primary Care Respiratory Journal, detailed an Iranian double-blind, randomized, controlled study conducted 2008 -2011 comparing the effectiveness of 3 treatments for reducing severity of persistent coughs that followed upper respiratory infections. The study found that a coffee/honey combination could be more effective at treating PPCs than a commonly-prescribed systemic steroid or expectorant. (Raessi et al, 2013)

97 patients with PPC lasting more than 3 weeks were randomized into three groups.    Individuals with other causes of chronic cough or systemic disease, smokers, and individuals who had abnormal routine lab tests were excluded. Mean age of participants was 40, and mean duration of illness was 2.9 months.

Patients received the following doses 3 times / day:

Honey/Coffee Group.   Received paste of 20.8 grams of natural honey and 2.9 grams of Nestle™ instant coffee

Steroid Group.   Received 13.3 mg of prednisolone

Expectorant Group (control group).   Received guaifenesin, an expectorant

All products were prepared and packaged by pharmacists to have similar appearance, flavor, and packaging.

Each participant was instructed to dissolve their substance in warm water and drink it every eight hours for a period of one week, and then to measure the frequency of their cough before, during, and one week after treatment. (Raeessi, 2013)

Mean Cough Frequency
  Expectorant Group Steroid (Prednisolone) Group Honey/Coffee Group
  Degree 0 (Low) to 3 (High)
Before treatment 2.8 3.0 2.9
After 1 week of treatment 2.7 2.4 0.2

Another study by the same authors compared the effect of both honey and coffee individually to honey and coffee combined in 84 subjects with persistent cough. The combination of coffee and honey was significantly superior at reducing persistent cough than either ingredient alone. (Raeessi, 2011)

Mean Cough Frequency
  Coffee Group Honey Group Coffee + Honey Group
  Degree 0 (Low) to 3 (High)
Pre-treatment 3.0 3.0 3.0
Post-treatment 1.8 1.4 0.4

At home honey / coffee treatment dosages

Take 1 tablespoon of RAW honey (21 g) mixed with 1 rounded teaspoon (2.5 g) of granulated instant coffee, in ~8oz warm (not hot) water, 3 times a day (about every 8 hours), for at least 1 week.

To make this concoction in a way that protects honey's health beneficial properties:  In a glass/cup, first put in coffee,  honey and cold water to ~2/3 full. Next add boiling water to total 8oz (1 cup). This produces a drink that doesn't expose the honey to too much heat, but is warm enough to dissolve the honey and coffee by mixing with a spoon. 

Why do honey and coffee calm a cough?


Various properties of raw honey may be responsible for its medicinal effects:

• Acidity

• Osmolarity

• Hydrogen peroxide production

• Reduces prostaglandin synthesis in the area of application

• Increases nitric oxide levels

• Antioxidant effect.


Arabinogalactan-protein extract from instant coffee has an antitussive effect (Nosalova, 2011)

Unknown if coffee efficacy relies on caffeination.   Caffeine may act as a bronchodilator, but the above studies involved very small amounts of caffeine - probably not enough to cause bronchodilation. (Yurach, 2011)


Nosalova G, Prisenznakova L, Paulovicova E, et al. Antitussive and immunomodulating activities of instant coffee arabinogalactan-protein (2011) Int J Biol Macromol.49(4):493-497.

Raeessi MA, Aslani J, Gharaie H, Karimi Zarchi AA, Raeessi N, Assari S. Honey with Coffee: a new finding in the treatment of Persistent Postinfectious Cough (2011)Iran J Otorhinolaryngol.23(2):1-8.

Raeessi MA, Aslani J, Raeessi N, Gharaie H, Karimi Zarchi AA, Raeessi F (2013) Honey plus coffee versus systemic steroid in the treatment of persistent post-infectious cough: a randomised controlled trial.Prim Care Respir J. 22(3):325-330. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2013.00072. PubMed   pdf

Yurach MT, Davis BE, Cockcroft DW. The effect of caffeinated coffee on airway response to methacholine and exhaled nitric oxide (2011) Respir Med.105(11):1606-1610.

DISCLAIMER: The content on this website is intended for informational, and educational purposes only and not as a substitute for the medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of a licensed health professional. The author of this website is a researcher, not a health professional, and shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive or other damages arising from any use of the content of this website. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported by their manufacturers or distributors.

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