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Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner - The milk and honey cure for children



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner

December 1st 1923

Gentlemen! Mr. Muller gave me another issue of the Swiss Apiculture Newspaper, in which there is an article about the experience people have had with honey cures: "Our continuing experiences with honey cures at the Frauenfelder Home for Children in Amden," by Dr. Paula Emrich, Weesen, no. 3,

March 1923.

Several passages are read aloud.

It will be of interest to you to have me add a few comments to this article today. What happened here is that an attempt was made, at this home for children, to treat with honey those children who were found to be undernourished.

According to the article, the children received honey dissolved in moderately warm milk, milk that had not been overheated or brought to a boil but had remained below the boiling point.

Dr. Emrich has recorded excellent results to prove her success, namely, that the number of red blood cells in these children increased in a very extraordinary way. She had, for example, two children who were siblings. The younger child, upon entering the home, had only 53 percent red corpuscles.

Upon this child's release, after the honey cure had been completed, the red corpuscle count had risen to 82 percent. The older child had a count of 70 percent to begin with and 78 percent when this child was picked up by the parents. The latter child had experienced less of an increase, but at least there was an increase. This child had been given only the milk cure, but the red blood cells had nevertheless risen from 70 to 78 percent; this child had not been so weak to start with, but also did not grow in strength as much as the first child did.

She also lists quite a number of very interesting experiments, and I ask you kindly, when I mention these experiments, to pay attention to the ages of these children. If you want to research the effect that any particular substance might have on human beings, it does no good simply to do these experiments in a laboratory but rather it is necessary to determine, first of all and immediately, the age of each sick individual before you conduct any experiments with nutrition or make any attempts to effect a cure.

We have here the case of an eleven-year-old boy; he underwent a honey cure of eight weeks and, as a result, achieved a very significant improvement in the condition of his glands.

His bronchitis diminished, and the red corpuscles, the important constituents of blood, rose in number from 73 to 75 per-cent. A second example is another eleven-year-old boy who experienced an increase from 55 to 74 percent.

Then there is a fourteen-year-old girl whose count improved from 70 to 88 percent. I won't read to you all the rest of the numbers, but they are in every instance significant. Dr. Emrich also lists the gains in body weight; they, too, give evidence that the children have become stronger. She also lists three girls, one aged 7 and two aged 10, and six boys aged 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13, respectively. These experiments demonstrate that children in this range of ages, specifically of school age, seem to derive the best benefit from this honey cure.



Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2015 Sep-Oct;43(5):449-55. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Effect of multiple honey doses on non-specific acute cough in children. An open randomised study and literature review.

Miceli Sopo S1, Greco M2, Monaco S2, Varrasi G3, Di Lorenzo G4, Simeone G5; Milk Honey Study (M&HS) Group.

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacre Hearth, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: smicelisopo@rm.unicatt.it.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacre Hearth, Rome, Italy.
  • 3Pediatria On Line, The Italian Pediatrics in Internet, Brescia, Italy.
  • 4Dipartimento BioMedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
  • 5Family Pediatrician, Carovigno, Brindisi, Italy.



Honey is recommended for non-specific acute paediatric cough by the Australian guidelines. Current available randomised clinical trials evaluated the effects of a single evening dose of honey, but multiple doses outcomes have never been studied.


To evaluate the effects of wildflower honey, given for three subsequent evenings, on non-specific acute paediatric cough, compared to dextromethorphan (DM) and levodropropizine (LDP), which are the most prescribed over-the-counter (OTC) antitussives in Italy.


134 children suffering from non-specific acute cough were randomised to receive for three subsequent evenings a mixture of milk (90ml) and wildflower honey (10ml) or a dose of DM or LDP adjusted for the specific age. The effectiveness was evaluated by a cough questionnaire answered by parents. Primary end-point efficacy was therapeutic success. The latter was defined as a decrease in cough questionnaire score greater than 50% after treatment compared with baseline values.


Three children were excluded from the study, as their parents did not complete the questionnaire. Therapeutic success was achieved by 80% in the honey and milk group and 87% in OTC medication group (p=0.25).


Milk and honey mixture seems to be at least as effective as DM or LDP in non-specific acute cough in children. These results are in line with previous studies, which reported the health effects of honey on paediatric cough, even if placebo effect cannot be totally excluded.

Copyright © 2014 SEICAP. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.


Acute cough; Children; Dextromethorphane; Honey; Levodropropizine



The source of the experience

Steiner, Rudolf

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