Honey is a food and medicine which is well-known for its antioxidant, antibacterial and soothing effects. People have used raw honey in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. This sweet, natural substance contains elements that processed honey does not have. Raw honey, which comes straight from the beehive, contains healthy bee pollen, bee propolis, and plenty of antioxidants. Due to processing and pasteurization, there is a loss of many beneficial elements. So, it is important to always choose raw honey instead of regular one for good health. Choosing raw or pure honey over refined sugar is a much healthier option for a diabetic person because it is a natural sweetener which is made with fructose and minerals.
Did You Know?
1 tablespoon (21g) of raw honey contains 64 calories and 16g of sugar with so many vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin etc. Diabetic patients can also take it, but in lesser amounts and with a strict check on the blood sugar levels at all times.
Health Benefits of Honey
- Rich in Antioxidants: It contains compounds like phytochemicals, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid which make it antioxidant-rich and reduces oxidative stress in the body and replenish the health of cells. By including it in the diet, we can reduce the risk of chronic disease like cancer.
- Wound Healing: It works well in wound healing because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has an acidic nature which promotes wound healing if applied on minor cuts and burns. Always go for raw honey for the application over the wounds for faster healing.
- Antibacterial Properties: It is an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent which kills harmful pathogens and bacteria which cause food poisoning, gastric infection and stomach ulcers.
- Digestive Disorders: It contains several enzymes which help in improving digestion and treating digestive disorders like gastritis and GERD. As we know it is an anti-inflammatory agent and prebiotic which is very effective in reducing diarrhoea, abdominal pain, burning in the lining of the stomach and promotes gut health.
- Anti-inflammatory: Due to the anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces inflammation including swelling and lowers irritation on the lining of the stomach and intestines. Honey is effective against IBS in the same way that it is against gastritis by triggering the immune cells into action to fight the infection.
- Boosts Immunity: It contains special protein like Apisai which helps in boosting immunity and it also stimulates the immune system to provide a stronger and faster response to the diseases and infections.
- Reduce Allergy Symptom: It contains pollen spores which are picked up by the bees from local plants. If these pollen spores introduce a small amount of allergen into our system. This helps to activate the immune system and over time, we can build up natural immunity against it.
- Cough and Cold Medicine: Cough and cold are very common among children, especially with change in season. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties that help in treating viral and bacterial infections and give relief from cold and cough, sore throat, runny nose and even mild fever. Using a combination of honey with cinnamon or honey with ginger is a well-known home remedy for hundreds of years.
- Energy and Memory Booster: It is an instant energy booster. If you need a quick energy boost before or after a workout, it will surely help you but make sure you have a healthy diet and get proper sleep. Regular consumption of honey helps in preventing cellular damage and loss within the brain as per Ayurveda.
Amazing Uses of Honey
- Treating Cough: Mix 1 tsp of honey and 2 tsp of lemon juice. Swallow the mixture at once. You can have it 2-3 times in a day to alleviate coughing. Alternatively, you can also take 1 cup milk, ½ turmeric, ¼ tsp cinnamon, a pinch of black pepper and 2 tsp of Honey. Heat the milk and add turmeric and whisk it well. Then add honey and other ingredients and strain it. Have it twice daily till you get relief from cough.
- Wound and Burn Treatment: Apply it directly to wound or to the dressing, cover with a bandage and change the dressing every 12 to 48 hrs ( Note: the darker the color, the stronger its antibacterial and antioxidant power but serious burns should be seen by a medical expert immediately).
- Acid Reflux and Indigestion: Mix 2 tsp of honey and yogurt (small bowl) and have it with your meals. It helps in reducing acid reflux and indigestion.
- Sunburn Remedy: Take 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp olive oil, ¼ lemon juice. Combine all ingredients and apply on sunburn skin, leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
- Glowing Skin: 1tsp honey, 1 tsp aloe vera gel. Mix both and gently rub on the face for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water.
- Perfect Hair Conditioner: Take ½ cup of honey, ¼ cup of olive oil and slightly warm it. Apply on your hair and allow to soak in by wrapping the hair with a towel, then wash your hair with cool water.
- Face Mask for Acne: Take 2 tsp of fresh milk, 2 tsp of honey, fresh juice of one lemon, one tsp of yoghurt and lukewarm water. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and apply on face, wait for a few minutes, so that it can get dry. After 10 minutes rinse off your face with lukewarm water. Use this mask 2-3 times in a week and need to prepare fresh every time.
- Strengthen Weak Nails: Mix one tablespoon honey with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in some shallow dish. Soak your nails for 10 minutes once in a week to make your nails strong.
Precautions: Always take it in cold or lukewarm water, not with hot water, as the temperature degrades some of the beneficial properties. Children below 12 months should not be made to consume honey due to the fear of botulism poisoning. People suffering from pollen or bee allergy should not consume it.
We hope this article helps you use honey to its optimum purpose! Is there a special way you use honey? Let us know in the comments below. To know more about other foods and nutrition, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to expert nutritionists on GOQii Play.
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