The very first time I realized honey was more than a sweetener was when I was a teenager. I woke up with a sore throat and my grandma gave me a spoon of honey and told me to eat it slowly. She said the honey would coat my throat and would make my sore throat more bearable.
It was worth a shot and so I ate the honey and to my surprise, my grandma was right. My throat didn’t feel as scratchy and it ended up healing faster than usual.
As I got older I started looking more into honey and found some pretty incredible things about it!
Check out my TV segment on Good Morning Washington all about honey:
Benefits of honey
Honey has lots of benefits but here are some of the most important ones:
It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory:
It’s antibacterial properties makes honey great to help fight acne and keep your skin clear. Honey also has the power to kill bacteria and fungus because it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. This is why you can put honey on a wound and it helps the wound heal faster.
Manuka honey is one of the most popular types of honey used for treating wounds and the one that has been studied the most in a medical setting.
Filled with antioxidants:
The antioxidants in honey help your cells defends themselves from potentially harmful free radicals on skin and in your body. They also help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease.
It’s a Natural Humectant:
This is the one of the reasons you will find so many skin care products with honey. It is great at drawing moisture into your skin.
Boosts your immune system:
What else is honey good for?
- Promotes burn and wound healing: all you have to do is clean your wound and place a thin layer of honey directly on it.
- It’s great for a sore throat and for coughing: take one teaspoon first thing in the morning and then throughout the day when your throat is feeling dry and itchy.
- Great for hair, especially if you have dandruff, itching or dry hair: You can put honey directly on your hair or diluted 1:1 ratio with olive or avocado oil. Leave it on your hair 15-30 mins and rinse off.
- Reduces seasonal allergies: If you have seasonal allergies, taking a teaspoon of honey daily is going to help minimize them. You need to get raw local honey if you’re using it for this purpose.
- Can be used on your face and skin as a moisturizer: Rub a thin layer of honey on your skin and wash it off after 10 minutes.
- Use it replace sugar: If you’re watching your sugar intake and are trying to avoid sugar alternatives, then honey is a great option. Replace sugar for a little bit of honey in your desserts and dishes. It’s great to drizzle on desserts and even on salads.
- Great pre-workout booster: When you eat honey before your workout, it will provide for a steady release of glucose into the blood, which prevents the body from using stored muscle glycogen as fuel. Honey also has been shown to improve muscle performance during exercise. All that is recommended to boost your workouts is 1 tablespoon of honey before you begin your exercise routine. (Source)
- Aids in digestion: Honey contains friendly bacteria and enzymes that help your body during the digestion process. If you’re feeling a little off or are having intestinal issues, take some warm tea with one teaspoon of honey.
Types of Honey
There are many types of honey depending on the flower/region they came from but what’s most important is to buy raw honey. You should avoid processed/pasteurized honey since it lot of the beneficial components in honey get removed while it’s being processed. Plus some processed honey might have additives.
When buying honey always read the ingredient list and make sure the only ingredient listed is (raw) honey.
If you are buying Manuka honey for it’s antibacterial properties or to use medicinally, then you need to make sure you’re buying the real deal. Check the label and make sure the honey is coming from New Zealand and has the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) stated on the label. It will say: UMF 15+, UMF 20+, etc. It will also have a UMF License Number.
Keep in mind that Manuka honey UMF 20+ and higher is in limited supply and therefore very expensive – you will see it mostly used in hospitals. If you see a very affordable Manuka honey with this number or higher, read the label carefully as it might not be the real deal.
Add more honey into your life:
If you’ve never done much with honey, I have a few recipes to get you started with!
DIY Honey Facial Mask:
This mask is great for any skin type, including sensitive skin, and is safe enough to use daily.
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to face for 15 minutes, and then wash off.
DIY Honey Body Scrub:
- 1/4 cup of raw honey
- 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil or grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup of sugar (can add more sugar if it’s too runny for you)
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
- 10 drops of skin loving essential oil like Lavender, Frankincense, Tea Tree (optional)
In a small glass blow, mix all the ingredients. Apply all over body when taking a shower, massage it gently for a couple of minutes and rinse off.
You can store it in an air tight glass container for up to 3 months.
Coconut Oil and Honey Chocolates Recipe
- 2/3 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup of raw honey
- pinch of salt
- optional but gives it great taste: nuts and/or unsweetened shredded coconut
- silicone molds
Mix the coconut oil and honey in a pan on low heat for 2 minutes.
Once the ingredients are melted and combined, add the cacao powder and pinch of salt.
Add the nuts or shredded coconut to your silicone mold, if you’re using any.
Pour chocolate mixture in silicone molds. Put it in freezer for 15-30 minutes or in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once it hardens, dish it out and serve.
Store it in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
So, now that you know how wonderful honey is, make sure you always keep some at home!