If you are looking for a sweet treat that is better for you than processed sugars, look no further than raw honey. While honey in any form can be beneficial for things like sore throats and weight loss, studies have shown that raw honey has an extra punch of health and beauty benefits. Below are ten awesome reasons to start adding raw honey to your diet.
1. Wound Care
When honey is introduced to your skin, it creates hydrogen peroxide. This prevents bacteria from thriving in the area, and prevents infection. Honey also has a soothing factor that helps with the pain associated with minor cuts and burns. Some hospitals in Europe even use a variety of honey called Manuka Honey to treat wounds and burns. What makes Manuka Honey special is that it comes from bees harvesting pollen from the Manuka bush, which is a medicinal plant. It has been shown to kill 250 strains of bacteria, including the resistant MRSA strain. Please note, that the honey the hospitals are using is medical grade and therefore sterile; if you have a serious injury or burn, please seek help from a medical professional.
This is a topic I can speak on from personal experience. Ingesting locally harvested raw honey can help alleviate and prevent allergy symptoms. When honey is labeled as “Raw”, it means that it hasn’t been heated. This leaves behind pollen, which is then ingested by the end user. What this does is allows you to introduce small amounts of the pollen into your body, triggering the production of antihistamines. Over time, your body is able to product enough antihistamines naturally, meaning less allergy symptoms and less need for allergy medications.
3. Cough and Cold Relief
Honey has long been known to relieve sore throats; just mix it into your hot tea, with a squeeze of lemon and sip slowly as the soreness starts to ease. You can also just take 1-2 teaspoons of it by itself. One of the reasons for the relief is because honey is a demulcent, which means it coats your throat with a protective film. That also means that it is a great cough suppressant. In fact, studies have shown that honey is just as effective as dextromethorphan, the main ingredient in Delsym. The Organic Consumers website even has this great recipe for homemade cough syrup.
Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.
- Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
- Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
- Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
- Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
- Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
- Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon doses.
The sweet tasty nector is also known to promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. This helps your body break down food into the vitamins and nourishment that you need. Studies have also shown that eating 1-2 teaspoons of undiluted honey can help soothe and heal ulcers.
5. Beauty Benefits
Diluting honey with hot water can prevent dandruff and other scalp issues. Researchers found that after one week, the itch and scales on study participants’ scalps had subsided. After two weeks, their lesions had healed and there was a reduction in hair loss.
Honey also has the ability to help the hair and skin attract and retain moisture, making it a great ingredient in natural shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Try mixing 2 parts honey with 1 part olive oil and using it as a hair conditioner, it will leave your hair shiny and soft.
Phenolic compounds, the antioxidants found in honey, can help protect you from the cell damage done by free radicals. Those free radicals can be attributed not only to aging, but also to possibly developing serious health problems like heart disease and cancer.
7. Weight Loss
Studies have shown that replacing refined sugars with honey can help prevent weight gain. The substitution can also help lead to lower blood sugar.
8. Quality Sleep
Adding a tablespoon of raw honey to warm milk can increase your body’s production of melatonin, a chemical that helps the body accomplish deep sleep. Having quality sleep is beneficial to overall health and well being.
9. Immune System
The production of melatonin has also been shown to boost the immune system. Honey also has all those antibacterial and antifungal properties mentioned earlier, making it a wonderful boost for your immune system.