The benefits of some things such as black seed, cinnamon, turmeric, etc., can never be over emphasized. Honey has always been among that list. Dating back thousands of years ago, honey has been used in many natural remedies for health and beauty and for medicinal purposes. It has been used as a preventive measure as well as for treatments for many basic illness and diseases including a few complex ones.
A simple tea spoon of honey can do a lot for your health. Honey can be used in so many ways for so many different purposes. It can be consumed when needed, as needed, for many treatments. However, it is advised to consume a tablespoon of honey daily so that it may serve as a preventive measure for some illnesses and ailments, and improve the general health condition of the body. Here are some of the benefits of honey:
- Clearer skin: honey is a great anti-oxidant and is included in some detox recipes. It rids your body of oxidants and free radicals. These things cause acne and other skin conditions and ridding the body of them prevents these skin conditions from surfacing. It also has anti-bacterial properties that will improve the condition of your skin. consuming a spoonful of honey daily would therefore improve your skin over time, giving you a clearer, healthier looking skin.
- Moisturizer: honey contains humectants and is a great moisturizer and should be included in your DIY skin care products. It retains moisture and keeps the skin supple and fresh. You could add a little to your moisturizing creams to help them work better. You could also use it in home made skin exfoliating scrubs to help moisturize the skin while sloughing off dead ones.
- Acne: no one likes acne but unfortunately, many of us are forced to deal with it. Honey contains humectants that help moisturize your skin and also helps to kill the bacteria that causes acne. Some breakouts are caused by dry skin, making the body produce excess oil to make up for the lost moisture, and this oil could clog up pores and lead to breakouts. Consuming honey and applying it topically to acne prone areas of the body goes a long way to help prevent and treat acne. Apply it on the area and leave it for about ten minutes to twenty minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Eczema: many people with over dry skin understand how difficult and really annoying eczema can be. even some of us that don’t have dry skin can testify to this. Eczema is mostly caused by dry flaky skin. We are likely to itch the skin, it becomes raw from scratching and a bacterial infection may develop. Some people get eczema as a result of overactive immune system and it could be mild, moderate or severe. Honey is a good skin moisturizer and may remedy dry skin, preventing eczema in the process. You could apply honey to the spot a few times a day to relieve itching and also reduce the eczema. A home remedy drink made of honey, cinnamon and lemon juice has also proved helpful. Simply pour hot water in a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, add your lemon juice and honey, stir and drink. Do this for some days. Always remember, patience is key.
- Disinfection for scrapes and burns: honey is a natural anti biotic and helps soothe burns and injuries when applied topically. It also disinfects the wound from serious bacteria. During ancient times, before the finding of penicillin, honey was used as a disinfectant. Honey also heals and fades scars fast.
- Boosts the immune system: your immune system plays a very important role in your well being as it prevents diseases and illness. The stronger your immune system, the healthier you are. Our immune system is weakened by so many factors such as stress, weather, fear and worry, location, what we eat, among others. The anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties of honey help to boost the immune system. It detoxifies your body and cleanses important organs such as the liver, kidney, digestive system, etc., making them function better. You could make it a habit of taking a teaspoon of honey daily, or take it with lemon water for an even better result. Simply add lemon juice to a cup of warm water, add your honey, and stir. Do this every morning before breakfast and perhaps at night too for faster effects. After a few weeks, you feel yourself stronger and generally more relaxed.
- Increases sex drive: honey is a natural aphrodisiac and helps to remedy low libido problems. It increases the level of testosterone, the sex hormone, in men as well as estrogen levels in women. It was used in many ancient cultures and was often presented as a gift to newlyweds. The famous scholar, Hippocrates recommended it to increase sex drive. The Vikings even believed it to boost fertility. So before opting different medications that may present themselves with side effects, why not try something as organic and healthy as honey and you may find you thanking yourself for it.
- Treats yeast infection: yeast infection is a great disturbance and bother to women that have it and is actually quite common. It may be as a result of menstruation, sensitivity to soap, reactions to underwear, bad hygiene, etc. symptoms generally include itchy vagina, white coloured discharge and vaginal odor. The vagina is normally acidic and when its natural pH is disturbed and unbalanced, Candida albicans will grow and thrive in such environment. Honey contains flavonoids that help keep this organism away. Simply apply a little amount of honey topically in the area around your vagina and a little bit inside using your fingers, once of twice a day. Leave for about 20 minutes and wash off with clean water. You could also mix the honey with plain yoghurt at a ratio of 2:1.
- Battles high cholesterol levels: cholesterol is good for the body and helps to digest fat. However, having a higher than normal cholesterol level in the body does more ham than good. It could cause a variety of health problems. Normally, our body produces cholesterol at a healthy quantity. It is therefore important to watch how much more cholesterol we add to the body from the food we eat. Scientists recommend a daily intake of not more than 1,000mg of cholesterol. By eating more fruit, vegetable and whole grain, your cholesterol level should be at an OK level. However, if you battle with high cholesterol levels, I have some good news for you! Honey contains anti-oxidants, which helps remove free radicals from the body by binding to it and excreting them out. It in the process, reduces cholesterol levels in the body. Honey has zero cholesterol and contains nutrients such as calcium, potassium, etc. these constituent components and vitamins contribute to decreasing cholesterol levels in the body.
- Good for hangovers: hangovers are the absolute worst. You can hardly get out of bed and would kill anything that makes the slightest sound. We pretty much swear to not drink that much, ever again. Its sometimes so bad, you would have to call in sick for work. Well consuming honey is one of the easiest way to cure a hangover. The headache is caused by the inability of the liver to oxidize all the toxins you consumed. Honey assists and speeds up the rate of liver oxidation, therefore getting rid of the toxins faster. Drinking lots of water is another way to get rid of the toxins faster.
- Treats insomnia: difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep is a very serious issue. Having sufficient amount of sleep is important for our general health. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, crankiness, and illness, among other things. These things could result in not carrying out our daily tasks well and being prone to making mistakes or accidents. If you are suffering from insomnia, before rushing to those sleep aids, why don’t you try an organic, harmless product – honey. Consuming honey raises the insulin level in our body. The release of insulin causes the release of serotonin, a neuro transmitter. This is then converted to melatonin, the sleep hormone. So go ahead and take that spoon of honey. You could also try this Ayurveda recipe called the golden milk. Simply add turmeric, honey, almond milk, and pepper.
- Prevents and treats allergies: those allergic to pollen are advised to take honey everyday about 2 months before the allergy season. Honey contains a little amount of pollen and would therefore act as a vaccine. When you ingest it, the pollen gets in your body and your body builds up anti-bodies against it, hence forming a defense against the allergen overtime. Its best to consume local honey because they will contain pollen from plants around you that you are more likely to be exposed to. Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve allergy symptoms, in case you do get the allergy.
- Energy booster: ever wake up in the morning after a long rest and still feel tired? Your body is probably depleted of the necessary nutrients needed to boost your strength. Honey contains high amount of carbohydrate and is a readily available source of energy. It contains glucose and fructose that are digested quickly and converted to energy units for your utilization. So, you can take honey when you wake to give you a healthy energy boost, before a long exercise session, or even during the day to ward off fatigue. Remember to not take too much that may cause you to feel sleepy. You could also make ice tea and add a bit of honey.
- Cough reliever: World Health Organization recognizes honey as a demulcent (irritation or inflammation reliever). Honey coats the throat, serving as a protective film barrier, and soothes the nerve endings that protect the throat, keeping it calm and alleviating cough. Sure, cough syrup is good enough, but why risk ingesting something that may be harmful to you in even the smallest way. Honey alleviates cough and is packed with so many nutrients that are good for your body. Here is how to make A simple honey and lemon DIY cough syrup:
– Put your honey in a pan and subject it to low heat. Be careful not to overheat as it may reduce its nutritional value.
– Boil the lemon in another pan for a few minutes to kill any bacteria that may be on it, soften the lemon and make it easier to extract the juice.
– When the lemon cools, slice I open and extract the juice into the pan with the honey and simmer for about an hour. Let it cool, and put in the refrigerator.
- Healthier stomach: honey is a strong antiseptic and ingesting it every day will kill germs in your digestive tract, preventing diseases that they may cause. Because the digestive tract is healthy, it will function properly and ensure a difficulty-free digestion. It also helps heal small wounds as it passes through the tract.
- Prevents heart diseases: the anti-oxidants present in honey can prevent the arteries from narrowing. Narrowing of the arteries can cause cardiac failure, memory deterioration and headaches. Consuming a spoonful of honey daily can therefore prevent these from occurring
- Cancer prevention: honey has anti-cancer properties that fight carcinogens and can prevent and fight the growth of tumors. Although cancer feeds on sugars, honey is not composed the same way sugar is. It has anti-metastatic properties as it contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds that fight tumors. These phenolic compounds also contribute to the healing of cells in the body. Although this point is not 100% accurate as more research is yet to be done on it, earlier findings prove promising.
- Memory boost: as mentioned earlier, honey contains lots of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are famous for clearing the body of toxins and keeping the brain sharp. Honey also contains calcium, which is easily absorbed by the brain and helps with its functioning. Honey has been found to help post menopausal women to keep their memories sharp. Consuming honey daily as you age can help prevent dementia that is associated with old age in the long run.
- Treats dandruff: honey has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacteria properties that can help treat dandruff. Dilute honey with water and massage into the scalp, leave on for about 20 minutes and rinse off. Asides from treating dandruff, leaving honey in as a conditioner will keep your hair moisturized and give it a good conditioning, with or without dandruff.
- Prevents gum disease: honey has antimicrobial properties that helps prevent the growth of plaque and fights gum diseases. Despite its sugar content, it contains an enzyme that creates hydrogen peroxide that prevents the growth of plaque and limits the amount of acid that could attack your teeth. Simply dilute honey with water and use as a mouthwash. You could also use it to make a diy toothpaste. Its also rumored to whiten the teeth.
Now, although honey has many health benefits, be careful to not consume too much as it contains fructose. A teaspoon of honey contains about 4 grams of fructose, which when taken in large quantities, can be harmful for diabetic people or people with pre-existing insulin resistant conditions. The maximum amount of fructose you should consume daily should be 25 grams and should not exceed that.
Personally, I once battled with acne on my face. I started applying honey on my face before bathing and within a week I noticed an improvement. It has since then been included in my home-made soap recipe and I also use it with a bit of sugar and turmeric as a facial scrub. Find what works best for you and give it a try and your skin will thank you for it. Good luck!