Potential Healing Benefits of Honey
- To lessen the ill effects of radiation therapy in patients with cancer of the head and neck.
- To improve oral health.
- To preserve food.
- To boost antioxidants.
- To enhance athletic performance.
Honey: Beyond Sweetening
Today, the general public is showing more of an interest in honey, both in the kitchen and outside of the kitchen.
Honey: A Folk Remedy
This includes the use of honey as a folk remedy for ailments such as cuts and scraps. This is due in part to the current trend with natural remedies and foods and a throwback to ancient times when honey was used as a wonder healer, laxative, cough and sore-throat balm and a salve for sore eyes, among other things.
At the University of Illinois, honey has been the focus of several studies. One study showed that honey, when mixed with ground turkey, slows the oxidation process that gives it that leftover taste after a few days. They also found that honey has the same level of antioxidants as some fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants are thought to thwart the process by which fats in food react with oxygen and cause the development of free radicals that damage the body. The body fights this oxidation process up to a certain point, but if it gets out of control, it can eventually lead to things such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and aging. The way to protect against that is to use an antioxidant. Research has shown that darker honeys are typically better, but that does not mean lighter honeys are not protective.
Another study is looking at how honey consumption might benefit athletes. For carbohydrate consumption, honey gel packs are just as good as PowerGel as a low to moderate source of carbohydrates. Another interesting find for athletes: Honey was just as good as a gel form of dextrose called glucose at improving endurance cycling performance.
Additional research showed that ingesting powdered honey with a protein supplement after intense weight lifting promotes an anabolic or muscle-building response equivalent to taking a protein supplement.
Boost your workout. Some people enjoy drinking a shot of honey prior to working out. The natural sugar gives them fast and healthy energy and can even help you find mental clarity.
Honey was also found to be beneficial in maintaining blood-sugar levels.
In honey, there is little water available to promote the growth of bacteria and yeast. Also, honey's natural acidity inhibits some pathogens, and it has tiny amounts of hydrogen peroxide as well as other substances that seem to contribute to its antibacterial effect, according to the National Honey Board.
Manuka honey in New Zealand has been used to destroy bacteria found in stomach ulcers as well as tough strains of bacteria that infect wounds and burns, according to the honey board.
As a sweetener, honey has some advantages over sugar, but while not highly nutritious, it is going to provide a small amount of more nutrients, along with its amazing healing powers.
Honey for Skin & Hair Care
- Make a homemade face mask. Mix 1-teaspoon of honey with your favorite moisturizer and water and apply it to your skin in a gentle massaging motion. Rinse and pat dry.
- Treats cuts. Honey is a natural antiseptic, so feel free to dab it on cuts or scraps.
- Soften dry skin. Apply natural honey to dry heels and elbows and massage gently. Rinse and repeat if necessary for smoother, glowing skin.
- Enjoy a luxurious bath. Add a few teaspoons of honey to warm bath water. It will make your skin glow and leave the water smelling sweet.
- Banish acne. Apply a small dab of honey to a cotton swab and place it on facial acne. Let it set for a few minutes and then rinse. Inflammation and redness will be gone.
- Treat sunburn. Apply honey diluted with water to sunburned areas. It acts as a natural antiseptic and will soothe and treat the damaged area.
- Protect your hair. Rub a teaspoon of honey into your hair and rinse well with cool water. It will help protect your hair, soften rough ends, and moisturize.
Honey for the Tummy
Calm a nervous stomach. Soothe your tummy by mixing warm water, honey, and ginger if you have some and sipping slowly. This is an ancient remedy that many people still use to this day and swear by!
Honey to Kill Parasites?
Campers will often sip water that has been boiled with honey to kill any internal parasites they may have as a result of drinking contaminated water or food.
Help Prevent Disease with Honey
Honey can help protect you against diseases such as cancers, arthritis, and more. Enjoy a teaspoon on toast for good measure each day and see what a difference it can make to your health.
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