Looking for a natural alternative to common over-the-counter medications? The cure may be closer than you think. Learn more about natural remedies using honey!
Honey, that wonderfully sticky elixir, could be the key to righting what ails you. Before you go rushing to the kitchen though, keep in mind that most supermarket honey is processed and devoid of any nutritional or medicinal value. Local, raw, unprocessed honey is the golden ticket.
Is Honey Good for You?
At 64 calories per tablespoon, it isn’t exactly low-cal. But the benefits far outweigh the high sugar content. Packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, honey’s nutritional values vary based on the nectar source. Generally, the darker the honey, the greater the antioxidant punch. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties make it a must-have natural remedy for any household.
Honey Natural Remedies
Quell the Cough
A spoonful of honey to ease nighttime cough proved more effective than dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and diphenhydraminein (an antihistamine) in a study involving 139 children. It coats the throat and soothes irritated nerve endings.
Sports dieticians have advised their athletes to incorporate honey into a pre-workout snack for a great carb load. Dissolve one to two tablespoons in water or add it to nut butter.
Get Some Zzzz
A spoonful of honey before bed could have you counting sheep sooner than later. Honey causes a rise in insulin which triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood and happiness. Serotonin is converted to melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep.
Shake the Flakes
Scalp got you scratching? Lather up with a bit of honey. Participants in a 2001 study published by the European Journal of Medical Research applied a solution of honey and warm water to flaky or itchy areas of the scalp then left it for three hours before rinsing. After just one week of every-other-day applications, dandruff sufferers reported a reduction in itching and scaling. Within a few weeks of the regimen, skin lesions had completely healed and hair loss was significantly reduced.
Apply a coating of the sweet stuff to wounds and burns, then bandage. Change the dressing daily until the wound has closed. “Honey dressings” for burns, scrapes and surgical wounds have proven effective in speeding up the healing process. The antibacterial properties of honey, coupled with naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, offer up an effective healing cocktail. Studies on Manuka honey found that it treated over 250 clinical strains of bacteria, but any raw unprocessed honey will help.
A spoonful of honey taken after one-to-many drinks may be just what your liver needs. Sugars in honey help to speed up alcohol oxidation, ridding toxins from your body faster. Drinking lots of water, in addition to the honey, helps too.
Soothe A Breakout
Raw, unprocessed honey applied as a mask to acne prone areas and allowed to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing may help reduce inflammation and redness. While unproven to kill P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne, honey’s antibacterial properties can improve the skin’s appearance.
Insect Bite Relief
Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties may help with itch relief. Try a drop on an irritating bite.
Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents of children under the age of 12 months. Their underdeveloped immune systems leave them vulnerable to botulism, a serious form of food poisoning. Dirt and dust containing botulism bacteria spores can creep into honey and wreak havoc on little tummies. Best to steer clear until their first birthday.