The Best Benefits of Honey You Need to Know About
When you think about honey, most people think of the bottle on their shelf that is mainly used as a sweetener. Bees are the hard workers that make this possible, going to several types of different flowers to make their honey by gathering nectar or honeydew. To some people, this is considered a natural resource and has been used for years for food, medicine and most recently skin care. There is a multitude of different nutrients and properties in honey that make it beneficial for everyone to use in one way or the other, and the shelf life of honey is incredibly long. In this blog, we are going to discuss honey and some of its many benefits other than cooking that you may not know about to use in your daily life.
There are different types of honey classifications, based on floral source or even the processing of the honey. Bees produce the honey and depending on what flower they go to or even the honeydew will determine the type of honey that you get.
Floral Source: Blended, Polyfloral, Monofloral and Honeydew
Processing: Crystallized, Pasteurized, Raw, Strained, Filtered, Ultrasonicated, Creamed, Dried, Comb, Chunk, Honey Decoctions, and Baker’s Honey
While the type of classification is not widely something that people depend on when purchasing honey, it would be something that professionals look into when using for cooking or even putting in their products.
Lower Cholesterol: Honey can regulate cholesterol levels due to the richness of magnesium that it contains. This can aid in the prevention of cardiac disease by promoting healthy circulation of blood in the body. Deposits of cholesterol in the blood vessels can build up, stop, or slow that circulation, so regular consumption of honey will help lower those cholesterol levels.
Digestive System: More recent studies of honey in the system has determined that honey can help with digestive problems. This can include but is not limited to; diarrhea, flatulence, reflux, and heartburn. These are the more popular ones that most people think of, and in these cases, the honey will line the esophagus and take care of acidic gastric juices in your body. This will deflect the more common problems in your system and calm those down.
Coughs and Colds: This is by far the most popular use of honey by most people. The first thing your grandparents or parents told you to do was get a teaspoon of honey to control that cough of yours, or put in a warm glass of water with some drops of lemon juice. By drinking the honey in the warm water at least two or three times a day, this can help relieve your symptoms sooner. This would include the dry cough and runny nose. There is a natural substance in honey that also acts as an expectorant so that the nasty phlegm and congestion will go away.
Burns and Wounds: How many of us have grabbed a hot pot or pan off the stove to quickly without proper hand coverage? Some of us have even sat in the sun too long without realizing it, and burn your nose or shoulders so bad that we don’t notice till the next day. Applying small amounts of honey to the affected area directly can help this in the healing process. Of course, before using it, check with your doctor first, this is because depending on the size or degree of the burn, it could delay the healing process. However, in most cases that are not too severe, honey will help. As stated above ingestion of honey can help internally for any wounds or ulcers. When applying directly to the burn or wound, it acts as a coagulant to keep the blood loss from getting worse. It also helps promote the healing process quicker, while still reducing the pain, odor and wound size.
Diabetes: When people tell you they have diabetes, this is one of the more common illnesses that people have over the years. Increasing the levels of insulin secretion within the body to lower excessive blood glucose levels is an important task in which the body needs help with at times. Honey can be used as an answer to this problem. It has properties in it to do just that, lower those levels in the body. Using honey instead of sugar is also another answer to this, besides it tastes sweeter and you won’t use as much on foods in the long run versus sugar.
Cancer: Now we all hope one day there will be a cure-all for cancer, in the meantime, studies have been done with specific types of cancer with honey. Kidney cancer is one of those studies, and it was found that the antioxidant properties of honey were effective in stopping the cancer cells from multiplying. Honey is also listed as a natural cure for skin cancer by smearing the affected spot with a teaspoon of natural honey to heal.
Hemorrhoids: If you have ever had hemorrhoids, you know what pain is as well as the constant itching that you have. Sitting, walking, or even laying down is painful and uncomfortable. A study was done using honey, olive oil and beeswax mixed together to make a topical cream, showed that it can reduce the pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids. Obviously, check with your doctor first, but most creams don’t stop both the pain and itching so this could be a great alternative and probably cheaper than those creams.
Insomnia: Let’s face it, everyone has suffered from insomnia at some point in their life. This in turns causes you to have a horrible next day, and sometimes can make you cranky and unbearable to be around people. The deep sleep that we all look for can get disrupted when a chemical called glycogen stored in the liver breaks down into fats and proteins. This then energizes our body and prevents us from feeling sleepy or drowsy. A tablespoon of honey before bed will keep the liver filled with that glycogen so that when the body does break it down, it will be replenished and not cause the body to become energized.
Moisturizer or Lip Balm: How many of you have that nasty dark, dry skin patches on your elbows? Even around your ankles, or just some dry skin areas that bother you on a daily basis, especially with warm weather and wanting to wear those shorts and tanks? If you apply honey to those patchy areas of dry skin and let it sit for about 30 minutes before washing it off, this will help put the moisture back into those areas. Dry lips are common for some, especially during a cold when your mouth breathing because your nose is plugged. Applying honey to your lips at night before bed will nourish and naturally hydrate your lips.
Damaged Hair: Dry, damaged, or frizzy hair is no fun to try to style or brush thru. Costly chemicals or products at the store can help these problems, however, you can probably damage your hair more by using the wrong product. If you add a teaspoon of honey to your regular shampoo each day, you can help smooth out your hair to make it more manageable. If you want deep conditioning for your hair, you can mix that teaspoon of honey with some olive oil, and let it soak in your hair for about 20 minutes in a towel prior to shampooing.
Dandruff: Many of us are afraid to wear black shirts or sweatshirts especially if you have that nasty flaking that gets on everything. You buy the shampoo specially designed to help with dandruff and sometimes still don’t see results. Take two tablespoons of honey with some granulated sugar to form an exfoliating rub for your head. Apply it to your scalp to help get rid of those flakes, and then take another mixture of two tablespoons of honey with water, and then apply this mixture to your head. If you would like a permanent cure to your dandruff, alternate the two mixtures every other day.
Acne: Pimples are not something that you just get in puberty, it is something that can show up at any time. The cost of acne medicine is unreal for some, and so, therefore, they don’t do anything, and unfortunately live their life being called names or afraid to have pictures taken. Even the cost of over the counter remedies can be expensive. By applying honey on the pimple with a band-aid over it for about 30 minutes, you can reduce the size of your pimple. Continue until it is gone.
Facials: Many women have been crazed with buying the latest masks, to make their skin smoother and clean up the pores. Make a honey mask at home without buying an expensive one at the store. Take two teaspoons of milk with two tablespoons of honey and apply to your face for about 10 minutes. This is a great facial that is cheap. If you don’t want to use milk, you can switch that out with some coconut oil, however, you will only use one tablespoon of the oil and one tablespoon of the honey. This would be left on for 20 minutes instead of the 10 minutes. Make sure that you are rubbing both of these gently on your skin though because honey can become crystallized and be too rough for your skin. Make sure to rinse both off with lukewarm water.
Make-up Remover: If you wear a lot of make-up or have it applied to you in a professional sense, there is a great solution to removing it besides those wipes. Mix some baking soda with honey to a consistency of a paste, then add a few drops of tea tree oil, and this will make a great remover. Apply it to your face with a washcloth, and then rinse with warm water.
Nail Strength: A lot of women have weak or brittle nails, and so, therefore, they break really easy. The constant coloring or your nails and using remover, or even those that get acrylic nails, will have damage done to your normal nails. Mixing one tablespoon of honey with a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a dish will give you a mixture that you can soak your nails in for 10 minutes before rinsing. Doing this weekly will strengthen your nails and help give you healthier cuticles.
Eye Circles: Like insomnia listed above that we all encounter, dark circles under the eyes are a result of that. Some of us naturally have those dark circles, and it can make you look like you haven’t slept in weeks. No one likes going into work the next day with those dark circles and get questioned as to what you were doing all night to have those circles. Try mixing a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of sweet almond oil and spread it under the eyes. Leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this a few times a week to help those circles go away.
Scars: How many of us have scars from when we were kids or even something more recent that has happened? During those warm months when you have most of your skin showing based on the clothing you are wearing, the last thing you want is a bunch of scars making your legs or arms look bad. If you would like to reduce the appearance of those scars over time, mix a tablespoon of honey and baking soda together and apply to the area for 30 minutes. Use cool water this time to rinse off and then pat dry. Repeating this daily, you will start to see that the scar is starting to fade over time.
Remember, honey is considered a natural resource, and while people do use it for cooking or as a sweetener replacement, the above uses have their benefits. So the next time you take a swat at a bee because it is buzzing around your flowers in your yard, or irritating you, just remember that if it is a honey bee, you may want to think twice. These insects provide a resource to us that is natural and used in many different ways.
- Healthline: 9 Unexpected Uses for Honey
- Care 2: 13 Surprising Uses for Honey
- How to Cure: Honey Benefits
- New Life Ticket: 10 Health Benefits of Honey
- The Alternative Daily: Honey Benefits