Honey is a unique sweetener. It contains sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. To produce a pound of honey requires around 60,000 bees traveling up to 55,000 miles, and gathering nectar from more than two million flowers.
Health experts say research proves switching from simple refined sugar to pure raw honey offers enormous health benefits. Here are nine life-enhancing uses of honey:
1. Honey can effectively treat wounds.
Applied topically, raw honey can accelerate healing for minor burns, wounds, rashes and abrasions.
2. Honey can treat ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent studies show treatment with honey can help heal ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. Take a tablespoon or two for indigestion. Honey does not ferment in the stomach.
3. Honey is a good cough medicine.
Honey, especially buckwheat honey, helps lessen coughs. In one study of 110 children, one does of buckwheat honey was as effective as a single dose of the cough medicine dextromethorphan in relieving nighttime coughing and facilitating proper sleep.
4. Honey treats allergies.
To reduce the symptoms of allergies, take a teaspoonful a day of locally produced honey. Begin this regimen a few months prior to the pollen season, in order to build up immunity.
5. Honey improves diabetes.
Eating raw honey can lower your risk of developing diabetes and assists the medication used in treating diabetes. Raw honey also increases insulin and decreases hyperglycemia. Add a small amount at a time, and see how your blood sugar responds.
6. Honey treats urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Because of its antibacterial properties, honey can help improve urinary tract infections.
7. Honey provides prebiotic support.
Raw honey is rich in natural prebiotics. These facilitate the growth of good bacterial in the intestine.
8. Honey helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
The flavonoids and antioxidants in honey are effective in removing free radicals from the body. This improves your body’s immunity against many health conditions, even serious ones such as cancer and heart disease.
9. Honey and milk are a boon to skin care.
In many places in the world, honey and milk are consumed together, because they are believed to help create smooth, beautiful skin.
Warnings about Honey
1. Honey is all natural and harmless for adults. However, pediatricians say you should never give honey to infants under a year old, because there is a risk of botulism. Jatinder Bhatia, M.D, a Georgia neonatologist, heads the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition. Dr. Bhatia explains:
The spores of the botulism bacteria are found in dust and soil that may make their way into honey. Infants do not have a developed immune system to defend against infection.
2. Honey is a sugar, and it is high in calories. Eat it in small amounts to protect your health, avoid sugar highs and lows, and prevent weight gain.