The six surprising health benefits of honey

Throughout history, people have used honey as both a food and a medicine.

The healing power of honey

Throughout history, people have used honey as both a food and a medicine.

Studies have found that honey may help reduce risk factors for heart disease like blood pressure and cholesterol, improve wound healing and even treat coughs.

While some benefits ­– like taking honey with drinks when you are suffering from cold and flu symptoms ­– are well known, there are some lesser known health benefits. Here are six of the best.

1. Helps healing burns and wounds
Applying honey to the skin has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt, and is still being used today. Researchers believe that its healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as its ability to nourish the surrounding tissue. It can also help treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis, haemorrhoids and herpes lesions.

2. Lowers blood pressure
The antioxidant properties in raw honey have been linked to lowering blood pressure. Honey has a calming effect on the blood vessels, which will reduce blood pressure levels. Simply eat two teaspoons of raw, organic honey on an empty stomach every morning. You can also mix lemon juice and honey together for a double dose of blood vessel relaxation.

3. Improve cholesterol
Honey is emerging as a healthy, non-drug option to help reduce cholesterol numbers. Not only is honey free of cholesterol, it has been reported that adding small amounts of it in the daily diet could even help keep cholesterol levels in check. High in minerals such as potassium, calcium, sodium and B complex vitamins, honey is known to lower cholesterol in our blood.

4. Cough suppressant
Drinking tea or warm lemon water mixed with honey is a common way to soothe a sore throat. But honey alone may be an effective cough suppressant, too. No-one is really sure exactly why it works, but study after study has found that it is an effective treatment for suppressing persistent coughs. One theory is that the honey's antioxidants might bring about some relief. Another theory is that the thickness and sweetness of the honey works to soothe soreness. Yet another theory states that relief occurs as a result of the anti-microbial properties of the honey.

5. Relief from allergies
Honey cures hay fever through a process called desensitisation. The process works by taking two teaspoons of honey every day in the three months leading up to hay fever season. The honey contains traces of the heavy-grained type of pollen that doesn’t trigger allergies in the human body. This desensitises the body to local pollen, so that the pollen does not trigger allergic reactions during hay fever season. Many believe eating honey made locally works best when trying to prepare yourself for the upcoming allergy season.

6. Healthier heart
Elevated blood triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease. Triglyceride levels tend to increase on a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbs. Multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar. The antioxidants in honey have also been linked to beneficial effects on heart health, including increased blood flow to the heart and a reduced risk of blood clot formation.

Do you use honey as a remedy for any ailments? What other ingredients have surprising health benefits?

For further reading, visit healthline.com

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    COMMENTS

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    6th Mar 2018
    10:51am
    Big minue = increase in risk of Diabetes mellitus. (The Latin word "mellitus" means "from honey".)
    Sen.Cit.90
    6th Mar 2018
    11:50am
    Hi Knows-a-lot, Tell me more or where can I find references? I am already a type 2 diabetic should I avoid honey?
    Regards,
    PennWeaver
    6th Mar 2018
    11:45am
    i would much prefer to take a few spoonfuls of honey and benefit from all the health bonuses than be on medication which can cause diabetes. Go honey for the home run :)
    Ted Wards
    6th Mar 2018
    2:54pm
    Not all honey is equal and many have far superior attributes for example melaluka honey has more of those properties than say a commercial off the shelf one which has been heat treated or has fillers and additives. Some of the more popular brands on our shelves are not made from better honey sources and have been mixed with inferior types of honey. If you are going to buy honey you are better off looking for local producers who produce the pure product to ensure you are not compromising your health. As with all things moderation is the key but if you are unsure about the effects on your blood sugars try it and see what it does or consult your doctor.
    KB
    6th Mar 2018
    3:29pm
    Natural honeys are better for your health.
    BtL
    6th Mar 2018
    5:55pm
    I understand that much of the health benefits disappear from honey if it is pasteurised and that sellers do it because it makes the product longer-lasting as a liquid (even though its main value then is as a sweetener). While I can't vouch for the reliability of the web site, see for example https://permaculturenews.org/2014/02/08/shocking-differences-raw-honey-processed-golden-honey-found-grocery-retailers/
    Beeman
    6th Mar 2018
    6:26pm
    Honeys are graded according to colour and flavour. Some of the downgraded ones might be good as medicine but have a strong natural flavour. We bought some in Acapulco because we wanted the container but we couldn't eat the honey and gave it to the hotel maid who thought it was great. Some samples of WA's jarrah honey have given higher antimicrobial readings than does manuka.
    Beeman
    6th Mar 2018
    6:26pm
    Honeys are graded according to colour and flavour. Some of the downgraded ones might be good as medicine but have a strong natural flavour. We bought some in Acapulco because we wanted the container but we couldn't eat the honey and gave it to the hotel maid who thought it was great. Some samples of WA's jarrah honey have given higher antimicrobial readings than does manuka.
    zeus
    6th Mar 2018
    7:18pm
    Honey is also an excellent compound for propagating cuttings. Just dip your cutting in some honey and presto! Perfect rooting ingredient. It is also the only food that never, ever spoils. They have discovered traces of honey in jars buried in some tombs in Egypt, dating thousands of years. It will sometimes crystallise, but it will easily return to its original form when heated or microwaved. Truly natures perfect food.
    Rosret
    7th Mar 2018
    8:05am
    I'll try that - thanks.
    Nan Norma
    6th Mar 2018
    9:24pm
    I recently watched a documentary on ABC about honey. Seems so much of it has been substituted with syrup.
    Rosret
    7th Mar 2018
    8:08am
    Great - and no fruit in jam. Then they tell us we are all unhealthy and over weight. Groan.
    zeus
    6th Mar 2018
    9:54pm
    Nan Norma, yes, that's unfortunately correct. In a perfect world honey is honey! Only difference would be the flavour and aroma, depending on what flowers the bees were collecting nectar from. However, a) this is not a perfect world and b) there has been a shortage of honey worldwide. So one has to be very selective. Personally I wouldn't trust any imported honey. Most local commercial brands are usually thinned out and even have sugar/syrup added. Best deal is, if possible buy directly from the bee keeper, usually in outer suburbs or countryside. They would be quite happy to let you taste it before buying. Nothing beats organic honey which should be quite thick not runny and full of aroma. Enjoy!
    Rosret
    7th Mar 2018
    8:05am
    Not just any honey - Manuka Honey. It has amazing healing properties. 1 teaspoon a day only when needed or from the chemist as a wound gel.
    margie
    14th Mar 2018
    12:02pm
    Most of the honey in supermarkets have been adulterated with glycerine, get yours from a local bee keeper or try raw honey from health shops, organic is also great.Once you've tasted the difference, you will never go back to the supermarket. Also I've been told to not put honey in the microwave as it kills the goodness and never put it in boiling water for the same reason, I have a lemon juice and honey in warm water every day and I no longer get hayfever which has plagued me for 40 years.


    Tags: health, remedies, food,

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