Honey is an excellent sugar substitute, but it is so much more! Honey heals the body inside and out. Doctors have been using honey for centuries, but with the introduction of antibiotics, its usage has declined.
Honey is a natural antiseptic and promotes healing of minor cuts, scrapes and skin wounds. Its natural sugar (fructose) absorbs the moisture in the wound and draws out the pus, making it hard for bacteria to grow. As it dries it forms a natural bandage. Propolis found in some honeys also kills bacteria. I applied it to my kids’ scrapes and cuts and it not only healed the wounds, but seemed to eliminate scarring as well.
Honey’s antimicrobial benefits are effective for treating sore throats, colds and laryngitis. Mix it with hot lemon juice and water to coat your throat and larynx. Its antibacterial properties can help improve digestion, and its high content of natural fructose can relieve constipation and diarrhea. Just don’t consume too much!
Studies have shown that manuka honey, a medical grade honey with the most active ingredients, kills the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and is effective in treating acid reflux and heartburn. Manuka honey comes from a flowering shrub in New Zealand and can be purchased online at http://www.manukahoneyusa.com.
Honey is also high in antioxidants, particularly dark honey from buckwheat, promoting anti-carcinogenic properties. Due to its natural source of carbohydrates, honey is an energy boost and helps combat muscle fatigue when exercising.
If you have allergies, try eating local honey. Bees gather the pollen from local plants and the honey produced can help prevent seasonal allergies.
Since honey is gentle on the stomach, some people use it to help cure a hangover. The fructose speeds up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver.
Honey has the ability to attract water and is good for your skin, even sensitive skin. You can use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin and hair! And don’t forget the age-old remedy of warm milk and honey before bed for relaxation.
This is a good time of year to buy local honey at Farmer’s Markets. Shop for raw honey since high heat destroys some of the protective compounds. The next time you need to treat a wound or a cold, use the honey in your kitchen. A couple of teaspoons a day of this wonder food will help you maintain optimum good health and fight disease.
Note: Honey should not be consumed by children under two years of age.
Information compiled from The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies, The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D. http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/health-benefits-of-honey.html, http://www.bees-online.com/HealthBenefitsOfHoney.htm