Honey generally is referred to as a safe and healthy alternative to sugar or any form of sweetener… as good as that is, you might be surprised to find out that there are loads of benefits and other uses of Honey. Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or other insects (aphid honeydew) through regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation, and store it in wax structures called honeycombs. The variety of honey produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the best-known, due to its worldwide commercial production and human consumption. Honey is collected from wild bee colonies, or from hives of domesticated bees, a practice known as beekeeping.
The truth? Honey is not a health food when it is cooked.
This is why we avoid buying pasteurized honey in the store. Around the world, most traditional medicine practices agree that heated honey has a negative effect on the human body. In the case of ayurveda, it is believed that honey heated over 60 degrees celsius (140 degrees fahrenheit) creates “ama.” Ama is a condition of mucus that is brought on by inflammation and toxicity. Heating honey can also reduce the antioxidant content and increase the glycemic index.
Honey that is local, raw, and collected in the correct season is one of the best as it will enter your bloodstream at a slower pace than processed sugar and keep your insulin levels from spiking. It can support your immune system, help fight illness, soothe a sore throat and several others.
Unusual uses of Honey
Face Care and Treatment
Honey has natural antibacterial properties and contains vitamins and antioxidants that are great for your skin. Plus, honey is easier on skin than soaps. Honey contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that thwart bacteria that can lead to breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties will calm redness and irritation. Loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, and other nutrients that nourish, cleanse, and hydrate skin, and when combined with baking soda it removes dead skin cells, allowing new cells to emerge for a radiant complexion. The enzymes in raw honey clarify skin and keep pores clear and clean.
- Acne Treatment – Apply a dab of raw honey to affected areas, and sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
- To wash your face, just wet your face with warm water. Then put about a teaspoon of raw honey in your hands. Massage the honey into your skin. You can either rinse immediately with warm water or leave on for 5 minutes for deep cleansing.
- Gentle Exfoliator – Mix two tablespoons honey with one tablespoon baking soda. Splash your skin with water, then gently rub the concoction on your face or body in a circular motion. Rinse well.
- Pore Cleanser – Stir one tablespoon raw honey with two tablespoons jojoba oil or coconut oil into a pasta. Apply to clean, dry skin, and massage gently in a circular motion, avoiding your eye area. Rinse with tepid water.
- Moisturising Mask – Spread one teaspoon raw honey on clean, dry skin, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Hair Growth and Health
Raw honey is great for moisturizing your scalp. It also helps prevent dandruff and leaves hair silky smooth. The humectant properties of honey help regulate and retain moisture in hair, plus honey is said to strengthen hair follicles for healthy growth. The enzymes and nutrients in raw honey give dull hair shine without weighing it down. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft to condition and smooth the cuticle and give your strands the luster you crave.
- Shampooing – Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey with 2-3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bottle and shake until the honey dissolves, let it sit for about an hour. Add essential oils like Lavender for scent and other benefits. Then use it like you would regular shampoo. You can also just add a teaspoon of honey to your regular shampoo every once in a while.
- Hair Highlighter – The enzyme glucose oxidase in honey slowly releases hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient known to lighten hair color.
- Hair Conditioner – Mix one tablespoon raw honey with two tablespoons coconut oil. Apply thoroughly to the bottom two-thirds of damp hair, starting at the ends and working up. Let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse well.
Skin Care and Treatment
Honey restores hydration to the deepest layers of sun-exposed skin—and both honey and aloe vera contain powerful anti-inflammatories to calm burned skin and aid recovery. It also contains natural moisturizing properties to your mix and will help you have brighter, healthier skin. Honey’s not just hydrating; its antioxidants can also repair skin and protect it against oxidative and environmental damage. Raw honey is loaded with nutrients and enzymes to nourish and heal skin, and it’s a natural humectant, drawing moisture into the skin. Coconut oil conditions and protects, while the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar softens hard skin and balances pH for healthy growth.
- Sunburnt Skin – Mix one part raw honey with two parts pure aloe vera gel. Apply to sunburned skin.
- My favorite way to use it is in this Brown Sugar & Honey Body Scrub!
- Skin Repair – Mix two heaping tablespoons raw honey with one cup hot water until dissolved. Add to a tub of warm water, and soak.
- Skin Nourishment and Healing – Mix one teaspoon honey with one teaspoon apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon coconut oil. Rub over each cuticle, and let sit five to 10 minutes, then rinse.
Health and Hygiene
Honey gargle is a great way to eliminate bacteria in your mouth that can be a cause for bad breath. It is also an excellent natural cough medicine We know sugar can get rid of hiccups. Honey acts the same way, for a more natural hiccup remedy for the kids. Honey’s antibacterial properties makes it an excellent option to help speed recovery from cuts and burns.
- Bad Breath – Mix one teaspoon of honey with 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup warm water. Use this to gargle in the morning and evening.
- Sore Throat and Cough – a spoonful of raw honey to coat the throat and help relieve a cough or sore throat.
- Hiccups – a small spoonful of raw honey
- Seasonal Allergies – take a few teaspoons of local honey regularly and watch for improvements.
- Cuts & Burns Treatment – apply small portion of raw honey over affected area.
- Lip Balm – spread on lips regularly for a lingering sweetness and smoothness.
Next time you’re browsing the grocery store shelves, look for raw honey, which hasn’t been heat-treated or pasteurized; it contains more active phytonutrient antioxidants and enzymes for enhanced benefits.