Thankfully, honey is not only healthy for your body, but tastes great. Throughout history, honey has been used alone or combined with other liquids for many reasons.
Though ancient healers may not have known why honey worked, it didn’t prevent them from making the most of this abundant resource.
Researchers have uncovered how honey kills bacteria. Bees make a protein called defensin-1 which is part of the bees’ immune system and is added to the honey they make.
This protein is the primary component that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria when using honey for healing and can even help to reverse bacterial resistance.
The natural, unrefined sugars in honey provide an energy boost for your body without stressing your pancreas and liver.
The antibacterial effects of honey work wonders for sore throats and stomachaches caused by gastritis or ulcers.
The Best Types of Honey for Healing
When buying honey, whether for food or medicinal purposes, it is important to make sure it is raw and organic.
Raw means it has not been subjected to pasteurization (heating and cooling which reduces the natural healing enzymes in honey). Organic ensures the bees were not treated with antibiotics or fed refined sugars.
Only in its pure state does honey have all of the healing properties nature provided and intended.
Another point to remember: darker varieties of honey possess more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than lighter varieties so choose a honey with a darker color if possible, such as Buckwheat honey and Active Manuka honey (from New Zealand).
In fact, the antioxidant content of Buckwheat honey packs 20 times the antioxidant power of sage honey.
Buckwheat honey also contains as much Vitamin C power and ascorbic acid-related antioxidant content as tomatoes.
Easy Every Day Ways to Use Honey for Healing
Here are some ideas on how you can introduce honey into your daily diet, both as a preventative, a supplemental source for antioxidants, and as healing cure.
Honey offers a delicious alternative to table sugar but should be consumed in moderation.
• Fatigue: Do you occasionally lack energy or feel as if you could use a nap?
For many of us, the afternoons can be the worst time of day, when your ‘pep’ begins to lag. Try mixing a beverage such as herbal tea with two teaspoons of honey. The honey will energize your body and help you focus on the rest of your day. Without artificial additives, you’ll get the boost you need without ‘crashing’ later.
• Sore Throat or Cough: The antibacterial and emollient compounds of honey offer not only healing but soothing to irritating coughs and ragged sore throats. When you feel the first symptoms of a sore throat coming on, pour yourself a teaspoon of honey.
Take it directly from the spoon and allow it to slowly slide down your throat. Avoid eating or drinking anything for half an hour afterward.
• Anxiety, Nervous Tension, or Insomnia: If you suffer from any of these ailments, you know how frustrating they can be. Try taking two teaspoons of honey in the evening before going to bed to soothe your body…your mind will follow.
• Stomachaches, Gastritis, or Ulcers: The antibacterial properties of honey relieve the symptoms associated with these illnesses naturally and without harmful side effects. Take two teaspoons of honey in the morning on an empty stomach.
• Arthritis: The pain-relieving properties of honey include polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and help reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. If your arthritis is advanced, try adding honey to your daily regimen for additional relief.
• Pain Relief: Whether it’s a headache, backache, or other general ache in your body honey will help by reducing free radicals. Mix two teaspoons of honey in hot water with a dash of cinnamon…both healing and delectable .
• Wounds, Cuts, or Skin Ulcers: Modern medicine is only now rediscovering how well honey works on open wounds.
The antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties of honey kill the bacteria on your skin, prevent new microbial growth, reduce swelling and pain, clean necrotic tissue, and stimulate healing.
Honey is hygroscopic – it absorbs moisture from air. On open wounds, this is extremely helpful. The skin remains moist, which reduces scarring, while the healing agents in honey go to work.
How to Apply Honey to a Wound:
- Wash the wound in sterile water or saline.
- Apply the honey to a gauze pad (not the wound itself) and place directly on top of the wound. The more fluid oozing from the wound, the more honey you need to dress the wound.
- Cover the honeyed pad with a larger waterproof adhesive bandage. Protect this area from contact with water.
- Check the wound every 4 hours and change the dressing daily, up to three times a day, in the initial wound healing process.
- As the wound heals you should need less frequent changes, down to twice a day, to once every other day as the wound healing is completed.
• Bacterial Skin Infections: Honey can help where conventional treatments fail and is used to treat diabetic wounds and skin infections.
Several clinical trials have shown honey to be triumphant against even antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, such as staphylococcus aureas. Leg ulcers and pressure sores also respond well.
• Cancer: When preventing or fighting cancer, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of honey have proven it a strong ally. Externally, honey has been used to treat open wounds caused by cancer breaking through the skin as well as when applied to wounds and ulcers resulting from radiation therapy. Internally, the vitamins and minerals are beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
There are so many benefits to taking it internally; it would be easier to list what it would not help.