The benefits of honey: What the recent evidence suggests

honeybees

(© Krzysztof – stock.adobe.com)

Honey is gaining popularity in modern medicine, with increasing research supporting its useful properties.

Honey, an age-old medicinal ingredient, has been used for millenniums for various purposes. From being used to cure indigestion (1) and imbalances in the body in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treating wounds by Ancient Egyptians (2), honey has been in medicinal use for at least 5000 years.

In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in scientific research on the effectiveness of honey as medicine link to waxingkara.com/the-amazing-power-of-honey-as-medicine/. Universities, medical clinics, and research centers throughout the world are studying the benefits of honey and finding new evidence to support its medicinal power.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Honey? 

  • Raw honey has many benefits that can be enjoyed by everybody. They include:
  • It acts as an antibacterial agent (3).
  • It is proven to be active immunotherapy against allergies.
  • It heals burns, wounds, and eye infections.
  • Honey strengthens the immune system and protects the human body against diseases. (4)
  • It can be beneficial for coughs and colds, especially in children between the ages of one and five.
  • It is useful for delaying the effects of aging and also thwarts degenerative diseases due to the presence of bioavailable antioxidants.
  • Honey can enhance calcium absorption because of the vitamin D and sugars that it naturally contains.
  • Honey contains an abundant quantity of minerals, vitamins, and plant-derived phytochemicals, which makes it an excellent food complement.
  • It is excellent as a natural energy source and does not cause sugar spikes that are caused by processed sugars.
  • Honey has a long shelf life, which means that you will never have to worry about it going bad.
  • It is known to soothe the itch and burn that comes with poison ivy.
  • Honey is an age-old healer that assists in curing chronic wounds that are stubborn and resist healing.

What Makes Honey So Useful? 

Honey features a vibrant mix of nature’s best nutrients, which is why it has extraordinary benefits. Let’s examine some of these critical nutrients.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Honey contains elements of hydrogen peroxide, a substance that works as a bacterial disinfectant of burns and wounds, making it useful as an antibiotic both internally and externally.

Bacteria require moist, warm environments to thrive. They cannot survive in honey for two reasons. Firstly, honey’s water content is lower than 18% and unsuitable for bacteria. Secondly, honey also contains glucose oxidase that breaks down glucose sugars during the curing process when honey is applied externally. Bacteria dies as the wound dries. Honey is also effective against bacterial species that are methicillin-resistant, for example, Staphylococcus aureus.

Vitamins and Nutrients

Researchers have found that honey contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals that promote several critical functions in the human body. They include:

·         Niacin

·         Riboflavin

·         Pantothenic acid

·         Vitamin C

·         Pyridoxine

·         Copper

·         Calcium

·         Thiamin

·         Iron

·         Manganese

·         Magnesium

·         Phosphorus

·         Chromium

·         Potassium

·         Zinc

·         Selenium

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Honey also contains prebiotics and probiotics that make it a precious medicinal and nutritional resource. There is plenty of evidence that supports honey improves gut microbial balance and respiratory conditions like coughing.

Antioxidants and Phytochemicals

Honey has a range of phenolic acids and flavonoids that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecular compounds that scavenge and eliminate free radicals, thereby limiting oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that may produce free radicals that cause chain reactions, which may damage the cells of your body. In other words, antioxidants protect your body from potentially harmful molecules.

Natural Sugars

Honey is an excellent source of natural sugars and is best for athletes or others who are looking for natural and unadulterated food sources. If you get pure honey from beekeepers, you can get as much as 82.4 % carbohydrate. Every 100 grams contains 38.5 grams of fructose, 31 grams of glucose, 7.2 grams of maltose, and just over 1 gram of sucrose.

Medicinal Applications of Honey

Honey works great as a food source, for medicinal purposes and many other uses. There are several creative ways to use honey to maximize its benefits for your health. Here are some ways that you may use honey:

Healing Wounds

Honey acts as an antiseptic and can be used in support of chronic wounds, including Pressure wounds, Burns, Post-surgical wounds and those caused by Meningococcal septicemia, Herpes, Staph, and MRSA.

Fighting Infections

Certain varieties of honey can stimulate the production of white blood cells called monocytes that fight infection in your body. There is also evidence that suggests that honey can be used as an antibacterial agent on patients whose immune systems are compromised.

Fighting Infections

Certain varieties of honey can stimulate the production of white blood cells called monocytes that fight infection in your body. There is also evidence that suggests that honey is an antibacterial agent on patients whose immune systems are compromised.

Skincare

Honey may not just be useful for treating wounds but also for several skincare problems. You can use it as a beauty tool by applying it to the skin because it fights off free radicals on your skin. It can be useful for natural skin repair as it helps out with evening out your skin tone and eradicating acne. You can also use it to treat sunburn naturally.

Dandruff

If you are struggling with dandruff, honey can come to your rescue. It performs better than anti-dandruff shampoos because most contain chemicals that are harmful to the scalp. Natural honey brings instant relief and is entirely safe, too. You can use it to treat dandruff and even dermatitis because it targets the fungus on the scalp directly and kills it. Honey also decreases inflammation that may be caused by a fungal infection. With honey, your scalp heals faster and reduces hair loss.

Sleep Aid

There are several advantages to consuming honey before going to bed. It promotes therapeutic sleep and prevents the early-morning release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Honey also encourages the body the release of melatonin while sleeping, and this hormone helps with the rebuilding and recovery of your body tissue while you rest.

Honey is one of the best gifts from nature, so make sure that you incorporate it into your daily life. Add it to your early morning smoothie, enjoy using it as a tea sweetener, prepare delicious dishes with it, or eat it directly from the jar. You can also add it to your beauty or skincare routine to support a beautiful glow.


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