“And your Lord taught the honey bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.” (Al-Quran, Surat an-Nahl (The Bee), (68-69)
Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees utilizing the nectar from flowers. It is graded by color, with the clear, golden amber honey usually fetching a higher retail price than the darker varieties.
Both unpasteurized and pasteurized types of honey can be found. Raw honey is removed from the hive and bottled immediately, and as such will contain trace amounts of yeast, wax, and pollen. Consuming native raw honey is believed to assist with seasonal allergies, resulting from repeated exposure to the pollen in the area. Pasteurized honey has been heated and processed to remove impurities.
Honey has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose, and it comprises about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which gives its sweetness. Honey additionally has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Modern medical science has managed to find uses for honey in chronic wound management and combating infection.
Health Benifits of Honey
Wounds and Burns Healing
External application of honey has been proven to be as effective as standard therapy with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.
A review published in The Cochrane Libraryindicated that honey may be able to help heal burns. The lead author of the study said that “topical honey is cheaper than other interventions, notably oral antibiotics, which are often used and may have other deleterious side effects.”
Reduces Ulcers and other Gastrointestinal Problems
According to research-based reviews on honey, it has been proven to lower the severity and duration of diarrhea. Honey also promotes increased potassium and water consumption, which is especially helpful when experiencing diarrhea.
Research that took place in Lagos, Nigeria suggests that honey has also shown the power to block the actions of pathogens that generally cause diarrhea.
Recent research has shown that honey can reduce the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food by lining the esophagus and stomach.
Recent research has shown that honey can cut back the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested meals by lining the esophagus and stomach.
This has helped to reduce the chance of gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD). GERD may cause inflammation, acid reflux, and heartburn.
Honey Works as Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal
In 2010, scientists from the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam reported in FASEB Journal that honey’s ability to kill bacteria lies in a protein called defensin-1.
A more recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases showed that a certain type of honey, called Manuka honey, can help prevent the bacteria Clostridium difficile from settling in the body. C. difficile is known for causing severe diarrhea and sickness.
Some studies have revealed that Manuka honey may even be effective for the treatment of MRSAinfections.
Dr. Jenkins concluded:
“Manuka and other honeys have been known to have wound healing and anti-bacterial properties for some time. But the way in which they act is still not known. If we can discover exactly how Manuka honey inhibits MRSA, it could be used more frequently as a first-line treatment for infections with bacteria that are resistant to many currently available antibiotics.”
Manuka honey may even help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics, according to research presented in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology. This type of honey showed action against Ureaplasma urealyticum, a bacteria that is resistant to many different antibiotics.
“Parents rated the honey products higher than the silan date extract for symptomatic relief of their children’s nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to URI (upper respiratory infection). Honey may be a preferable treatment for cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood URI.”
In The Scientific World Journal, researchers provided data confirming that natural honey was as effective as a eusol antiseptic solution in reducing wound infections.
There is a great deal of evidence supporting the use of honey as a remedy for infection.
Natural Remedy for Cold and Cough
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends honey as a natural cough treatment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also acknowledges honey as a remedy for a cough.
However, they advise that honey is not suitable for children under the age of one year.
A 2007 study by Penn State College of Medicine suggested that honey decreased night-time coughing and improved sleep quality in children with upper respiratory infection to a higher degree than the cough medicine dextromethorphan.
An Ideal Substitute of Sugar for Patients with Diabetes
Honey’s sweet taste makes it a perfect substitute for sugar in the diet.
Added sugar in the diet provides extra calories with no dietary benefit. This can result in an increased body weight, which comes with an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Honey may be added to food and drinks to sweeten the taste without the adverse health affect of added sugars. However, since honey is still a sweetener, it is important to remain aware of how much honey being is used.
More Medicinal use
Honey has been used to treat a wide array of illnesses, ailments, and injuries.
It can be mixed with other remedies and consumed or rubbed onto the skin. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine have attempted to use honey as a remedy for the following:
- sleep disturbance
- vision problems
- bad breath
- teething pain, in children over a year old
- cough and asthma
- stomach ulcers
- diarrhea and dysentery
- bedwetting and frequent urination
- high blood pressure
- hangover relief
- eczema and dermatitis
- burns, cuts, and wounds
While not all uses of honey are confirmed as effective, trying it as treatment will not make conditions any worse or cause harm.
Honey is sometimes touted as a cosmetic solution for cracked, dry, pimply, or clogged skin.