Did you know that the earliest historic mention of honey dates back to 2100 B.C? It was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings as well as the sacred writings of India and Egypt. Its name comes from the English “hunig”, and it was the first and most widespread sweetener used by man.
Often referred to as liquid gold, several studies have demonstrated that honey possesses major health benefits. Honey has been used as a home remedy for thousands of years. Even today, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of honey’s healing power, from soothing a cough to embracing it’s antioxidant properties.
There are many varieties of honey. The color, taste, smell, and even texture will vary greatly between varieties. The distinguishing factor is the type of flower that the bee pollinates.
Here are some health benefits raw honey has to offer:
1. Antibacterial properties
Research has shown that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and even fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Research has shown that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic.
However, another kind of honey, called non-peroxide honey (Manuka honey), displays significant antibacterial effects even when the hydrogen peroxide activity is blocked. Manuka honey has been reported to exhibit antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) making this honey a promising functional food for the treatment of wounds or stomach ulcers.
2. A perfect source of antioxidants
Next to antibacterial activity, honey exhibits strong antioxidant activity. For this property following components are responsible: Polyphenol compounds (phenolic acids and flavonoids), vitamin C, vitamin E, enzymes and other elements. Researchers say honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Polyphenols are also found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and olive oil.
3. Honey may help to soothe a sore throat
Try mixing two tablespoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea, and drink as needed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends using honey if your sore throat is accompanied by a cough. Honey coats your throat and soothes it by reducing irritation.
4. May help support a healthy gut
A recent review of honey’s use in complimentary medicine, published in the journal Integrative Medicine Insights, states that honey possesses prebiotic properties. It nourishes the good bacteria that live in the intestines, which are crucial not only for digestion but overall health.
It’s proven to be effective as a treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a common cause of stomach ulcers.
Talk to your doctor before trying to add any sort of prebiotic to your diet, as changes in your intestinal bacteria can cause significant gas, bloating and other problems.
Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it.
This is because it contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to lower blood pressure. Studies in both rats and humans have shown modest reductions in blood pressure from consuming honey.
6. Skin and hair benefits
The healing components of honey are also used in many skincare and hair products. Honey is a popular ingredient in cosmetics not only for its antiseptic and antioxidant potential but for its softening, soothing, and conditioning effects. Honey soothes your skin and holds onto moisture, making it an ideal ingredient in the production of beauty products ranging from lip balms and lotions to shampoos and facial scrubs.
Honey is the subject of ongoing research as a potential ingredient in supplements and medications that could be used to treat a wide range of health issues, including asthma, gum disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, diarrhea, fungal infections, inflammation, internal and external ulcerations, viruses, and even certain types of cancer.
If you are trying to lose weight, have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or diabetes, or are watching your carb intake for any reason, take your honey in small doses. In fact, if you have any blood sugar issues, speak with your doctor or dietitian about incorporating honey into your diet.
A portion of every purchase at Bee Kind Shop is donated to Pollinator Partnership and other non-profit organizations that help save bee colonies around the globe.