The honey+ ancient seed combo that may speed COVID-19 recovery

My family and I were hit with what I still call “the COVID” early on in the pandemic. A lot has changed since then — for the better — but the potential for infection from SARS-CoV-2 or one of its variants is still a real possibility.

Fortunately, the majority of cases are mild — as was the case with my family. But it seemed to take forever for some of us to get over the initial infection and symptoms. I got over mine much quicker than my husband and daughters, and now I think I know why…

Ground-breaking research has found there may be a way to dramatically speed recovery time in moderate to severe cases of the illness. This is great news considering that the virus is expected to stick around, at the least, seasonally, in some form or another. And in addition to vaccination, this couldn’t hurt.

What am I talking about? A simple combination of two natural ingredients (one I take regularly) that can almost cut recovery time in half!

A little bee power plus an ancient remedy

So, what was the combo the scientists found to be so incredibly effective?

Honey, plus black cumin seed (also known as Nigella sativa).

Why these two ingredients?

The researchers combed through the scientific literature for a “miracle drug” that could be considered safe, globally accessible, proven effective against viruses and also possessing anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating and anti-coagulant properties.

While no published clinical trials identified a drug that fit the profile, both honey and Nigella sativa showed similar pharmacological profiles.

The research team began their work during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, from May to July 2020, and followed 313 patients diagnosed with the virus.

210 of them were classified as having a moderate case, which included coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath and congestion. The other 103 cases were considered severe, with fever, cough, pneumonia and even respiratory distress.

To test the power of honey plus black cumin, participants were divided up into two groups. The first group received only a placebo. But the second group was given the honey and black cumin combo for up to 13 days.

Additionally, everyone in the study received standard care as directed by their physicians, including antipyretic drugs, antibiotics, supplement oxygen and mechanical ventilation if needed.

The results were quite impressive…

The patients that took the honey/black cumin combo not only got over their symptoms quicker, but they also tested negative for the illness faster too.

In fact, taking honey plus black cumin was shown to alleviate COVID-19 symptoms in just four and six days in the moderate and severe groups, versus seven for those taking the placebo.

And both the moderate and severe cases showed viral clearance a full four days earlier after taking the natural combo compared to the placebo.

Yet it gets even better…

Mortality was reduced in the honey and black cumin group

The study showed that while the placebo group experienced a 30-day mortality rate of 18.87 percent, those taking honey plus Nigella sativa had only a four percent mortality risk.

When asked about the results and the potential of the natural combination in a post-COVID world, Dr. Sohaib Ashraf, research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and principal investigator of the study, said in an interview with NutraIngredients-Asia, “We have seen patients getting miraculously better with this treatment regimen even outside the trial.”

He suggested the combination could be used as an inexpensive nutraceutical treatment, either alone or in combination with other drugs for additive effects, capable of significantly reducing the burden on health care systems.

But, while the study has shown that honey and black cumin together could have the power to help speed recovery from the virus, the combination should not be considered a cure for COVID-19.

For my money though, after going through it myself (and not knowing how long immunity might last), I’ll never be without the two in my home again.

A natural winning combo

First, I’ll make a suggested usage only if you happen to get sick…

Now honey can be found anywhere — but I recommend raw Manuka honey from New Zealand with the highest MGO you can afford.  MGO stands for methylglyoxal which is the main biologically active antibacterial element in manuka honeys, responsible for their excellent health benefits.

Study participants were given 1 gram of honey per kilogram of body weight per day dissolved in warm water. That would be 4.5 tablespoons of honey per day for a person weighing approximately 150lbs.

Now that is a lot of honey so I would suggest you break it up by taking a tablespoon by mouth (if you like the taste of honey) or adding to tea, coffee, oatmeal or smoothies (or whatever else you might like to sweeten) over the course of a day until you reach the daily amount. 

Black cumin or Nigella sativa can be found in supplements or just like olive oil, in bottles.

I would recommend taking black cumin with a meal to alleviate any potential gastrointestinal upset you might experience.

I do need to stress again… honey and Nigella sativa will not keep you from getting Covid-19. But, based on plenty of research since the onset of the pandemic we now know people suffering disease rooted in inflammation represent the highest risk factor.

So, anything you can do to help manage inflammation through healthy diet and lifestyle choice is recommended.

For this, I would recommend one tablespoon of manuka honey (based on the specifications above) and 2000mg of pure Nigella sativa a day.


Covid-19 RCT: Honey and black cumin seed help speed up recovery in Covid-19 patients —

Honey and Nigella sativa against COVID-19 in Pakistan (HNS-COVID-PK): A multi-center placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial — medRxiv


Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is the founder and Chief Research officer for Peak Pure & Natural.