We know that honey has plenty of uses in beauty recipes to keep our skin nourished and glowing, but did you know the health benefits of honey turn it into a powerful, liquid gold healer? Honey is loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and was even known as a great healing ingredient to ancient Egyptians. From easing allergies to treating wounds, honey has been an ingredient in healing recipes for thousands of years.
10 Healing Uses for Honey
It’s important to know that honey should never be given to infants under 12 months. Honey does contain a bacteria that can cause breathing problems and muscle weakness, and infants do not have the mature digestive system that kids and adults do to handle it. When used properly, however, it’s a great ingredient to not only keep in your kitchen cupboard, but also in your medicine cabinet.
Many researchers believe that honey is extremely underestimated and underutilized, but the only way to know if they will work, is to try!
1. Soothe your cough
One of the most known uses for honey is to treat a persistent cough due to allergies or a cold. According to a 2012 study in Pediatrics, a couple teaspoons of honey can alleviate a cough as it coats the throat and protects nerve endings that control coughing. Save your money on cough syrup and try out some natural honey next time you suffer from a minor cough.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
Like pure sugar, honey produces serotonin and a rise in insulin. Rene Ficek, registered dietitian and lead dietitian nutritionist at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in Chicago, says, “The body converts serotonin into melatonin, a chemical compound that regulates the length and the quality of sleep.” Next time you have a hard time getting to bed, try adding a little honey to a calming tea, or take it straight up.
3. Treat wounds and burns
A 2005 study published in the British Journal of Surgery found all but one of patients who suffered from wounds and leg ulcers showed improvement after a direct application of honey to the injury. This comes from the antibiotic properties in honey, which can be a natural healer and combat many major bacteria strains.
4. Boost your immunity
The antibacterial and antiviral properties in honey are thought to fight off colds and keep you healthy. And, when you feel a cold coming on, try Dr. Oz’s “Hot Ozzy” by combining 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a 1/2 cup of hot water.
5. Strengthen brain power
Memory fading? Or just never had a good one? Honey has been thought to potentially help improve your memory. Although not scientifically proven, many people still believe honey can significantly affect the brain’s memory.
6. Energize your body
Need a boost of energy? According to the National Honey Board, honey is rich in carbohydrates, which gives you the fuel you need to get through the day. Carbohydrates maintain muscle gyclogen, which is the most important part of keeping an athlete’s energy high.
7. End dandruff once and for all
Diluted honey (honey with 10 percent water) has been shown to reduce itching and dandruff caused by an excess production of sebum on the scalp. After a three-hour application each day, many people will see and feel the healing effects of honey. And, after weekly applications of honey, those with dandruff are likely to not relapse.
8. Aid digestion
There’s another way to heal your gut. Natural News suggests mixing equal parts honey and apple cider vinegar and dilute with water to promote healthy digestion. And, when you are better able to digest your meals, you can be on a better road to weight loss as well.
9. Calm a bug bite
With spring around the corner, so are the bugs. Luckily, honey can even be used to calm an itchy, red mosquito bite due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Further, it may even prevent infection from an irritated bite, since honey also acts as a natural antibiotic.
10. Fight Allergies
Take a teaspoonful of raw, locally produced honey to combat seasonal allergies, hay fever or colds. It’s important to find local honey, as it is supposed to help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment around you—almost like an allergy shot. Bee pollen has also been shown to help with allergies; Mind Body Green has a great how-to on introducing it to your daily routine leading up to allergy season.