Since Ancient times, Honey, aka, Liquid Gold has done more than just sweeten our palates. It is considered the oldest food found on the planet and has a reputation for natural healing that has stood the test of time. I will outline some of the health benefits and ways you can use it more often.
Honey is no ordinary sweetener. It contains additional minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sulphur and iron as well as several B-vitamins. While I don’t encourage the intake of excess sugar in any form, I feel that honey could readily serve as healthy alternative to all other types of sugar and artificial sweeteners, as long as these sweets are consumed in small, infrequent amounts.
How Honey Helps
Unprocessed honey will contain traces of the regional pollen. This gives it a unique profile, both in flavor as well as in it’s active properties. It has been shown in a study that those who ate local honey suffered 60% reduction in their usual allergy symptoms. The best strategy is to find honey that is local to your area (within 20 miles) and start to consume 1-2 teaspoons per day as the spring season starts to bloom.
One of the most interesting characteristics of honey is that it’s anti-microbial. It has been used as an effective and affordable way to treat wounds in areas of the world without access to medicine or money to buy antibiotics. Manuka honey is one type in particular known for being very potent. This study is showing great promise for Manuka honey to be effective against the antibiotic resistant bacteria known as MRSA. For your next skinned knee- speed healing naturally by adding honey instead of antibiotic ointments before you put on the band-aid.
Honey is humectant, meaning it attracts and holds water. This is what you need if you are plagued with dry skin and why you see it as an added ingredient in many skin care products. The good news is that you can save money by just adding the straight stuff into your regimen:
- Add 1 cup of honey to your bath for instantly soft and silk skin
- Combine 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for facial moisturizer
- After a long day in the sun, mix together equal parts of honey and aloe vera gel
- Make a body scrub with equal parts olive oil, honey and coarse salt- scent with you choice of essential oils for a spa-like experience
Colds with Sore Throat & Cough
Because honey has natural antibiotic properties, it’s suited well for treating symptoms of cold and flu. Many mothers throughout the ages have used a teaspoon of honey in warm liquid to help soothe a sore throat of an ill child. In addition to providing relief from throat irritation, a recent study has shown that honey can be just as effective as over-the-counter medicines for suppressing coughs in children. Honey can be taken straight off the spoon, as needed or mixed in a hot tea or milk before bed.
Sports Energy Gel
Consuming readily available carbohydrates during exercise can help boost performance by delaying muscle fatigue. One easy way to achieve this is to add a couple of tablespoons of honey to your water bottle. Another popular way athletes get their fast carbs is by using specially designed sports gels. When you compare the nutrition facts for a brand name sports gel, the nutritional profile is so similar to honey, that it makes sense to save a few dollars (and reap the other health benefits) with a reusable container by making your own blend.
- 7 tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder (or use cinnamon if you’re not a chocolate lover)
- 1 pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients together and store in a airtight container.
Honey Energy Bars
Make your own energy bars that require no baking!
- 1 cup of whole almonds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons dried coconut
- 6 pitted dates
Combine all together in a high powered blender or food processor. Spread and pack well into an 8×8 baking dish and cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Slice into squares after bars are firm.
Eat Honey and Change the World
In order to eat honey we are dependent on the small honey bee to collect nectar and pollen and work their magic to make this medicinal food. But honey making is not the only job of the bees. About one third of the human diet is dependent on pollination and honey bees are responsible for 80% of this work. In recent years, honey bees have been dying off mysteriously, threatening the future of our food. But recent research has been suggesting that it may be the widespread use of pesticides that are causing this die off. You can actually become involved in the success of bee survival by supporting local beekeepers, permitting urban beekeeping and demanding natural raw honey for your health.
Have you been using honey as a natural remedy in your home? Please take a moment to leave a comment and share your favorite remedy below.