Honey is a viscous gold-colored liquid that is made by bees from flower nectar. Raw honey comes directly from a hive and has not been processed in any way. Raw honey is a cholesterol-free, nutritious food and natural sweetener, but it also has many healing properties and medicinal uses.
Energy and Wellness
Raw honey contains carbohydrates and can be taken to enhance energy and increase endurance. Honey helps in the management of body weight. As honey has fewer calories than sugar, replacing sugar with honey will lower your calorie intake. Honey is also beneficial to those involved in exercise programs or athletics. When mixed with lemon, honey helps to convert stored fat into energy. Honey can also help restore sore muscles. A daily dosage will also help in managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Four tbsp. of honey a day can be taken to increase and maintain the amount of antioxidants in your blood. Antioxidants help in the prevention of heart and other diseases.
Topical Uses and Skin Care
Honey and honey-based salves are effective in treating eczema, canker sores, sore gums and ulcers. They also aid in healing cuts or burns. Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used to treat acne. It is also used as a general antiseptic to help cure and prevent infection. There are many skin care formulas that use raw honey and other simple ingredients that can be made at home. A mixture of honey and milk, for example, can be applied as a skin softener. Honey blended with oatmeal and rose water can be used as a facial mask. Honey with water and lemon can be applied to the hair to increase its luster and help maintain a healthy scalp.
Allergies and Respiratory Relief
Eating raw honey helps to fight allergies. Honey contains pollen and other allergens, and by ingesting honey the body is able to build immunity. It is best to eat honey that is produced locally because it will contain the allergens that are particular to your area. Taking a nightly dose of buckwheat honey can also diminish symptoms of upper respiratory infections, such as nighttime coughing. This is especially helpful in soothing children who are stricken with the common cold.
Stomach and Digestive Health
Honey is easy to digest because the sugars in honey are easily converted into glucose. The enzymes in honey help the body to digest raw sugar and starch. Because of the thickness and coating ability of honey, it can also be used as a laxative. Honey combined with apple cider vinegar is used to treat stomachaches and constipation. Honey with cinnamon is also used for stomachaches, and to treat bladder infections. Additionally, eating honey can inhibit the growth of the kind of bacteria that causes gastric ulcers. Pregnant women can take honey to relieve morning sickness.
Easy Ways To Eat Honey
There are many ways that raw honey can be incorporated into your daily diet. For breakfast or a snack, pour a small amount of honey on fruit or granola. Cinnamon can also be added. A spoonful of honey can be stirred into a serving of yogurt. Combine honey with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard to make a honey mustard salad dressing. A classic peanut butter sandwich can be enjoyed with honey and bananas. Try blending together honey, fruit or fruit juice, water and ice to make a refreshing smoothie.
Honey contains botulinum endospores, which are toxic to babies. Honey should not be given to children less than a year old. Do not heat honey to high temperatures, as that will destroy many of its beneficial properties.