Honey is a natural sweetener, a sweet food produced by honey bees using the nectar of the flowers. It has more than 600 active compounds that benefit our health and plays an important role in Ayurveda. It can be consumed in different ways, and provide many health and beauty benefits due to the abundance of essential nutrients.
Health Benefits of Honey
Some major health benefits of honey are as follows.
(1) May Help With Weight Loss
Despite being high in calories ( 304 calories per 100 grams), honey promotes weight loss when consumed appropriately and in small doses.
For weight loss, drink one glass of warm water with a small amount of lemon juice and honey added to it on an empty stomach.
It improves digestion, accelerates metabolism to burn off stored fat cells, and promotes weight loss.
(2) Reduces Cough And Throat Irritation
The antimicrobial and soothing properties of honey help in reducing cough and throat irritation in children.
As per a study involving 139 children, children who took buckwheat honey showed more improvement and were able to sleep peacefully at night without getting troubled by cough in comparison to another group that took cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DM)
Another study published in Pediatrics revelated that children who took two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed were less likely to lose sleep due to cough in comparison to the rest of the children who didn’t take honey prevent prevents.
(3) Honey Boost Memory
Studies have found that honey boosts short-term memory.
As per research, 102 healthy menopausal women were divided into different groups. One group was asked to consume 20 grams of honey per day, the second group took hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen and progesterone, and the third group was neither given pills nor honey.
After four months, it was found that women who took honey or hormone replacement pill were able to recall one extra word out of the 15 words presented on a short-term memory boost.
In this study, honey was found to be as effective as a hormone pill for boosting short-term memory.
(4) Heal Wounds & Burns
Honey helps in treating wounds and burns.
As per a Norwegian study, Norwegian honey and medihoney were able to kill strains of bacteria in a wound.
In another study,58 out of 59 patients suffering from wounds and leg ulcers showed remarkable improvement on treatment with unprocessed honey.
As per WebMD, honey can be applied directly or in a dressing ( that gets changed every 24 to 48 hours) for treating burns and wounds.
While applying honey directly, cover it with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.
(5) Contain Essential Nutrients
Honey is an abundant source of essential nutrients that provide many health and beauty benefits.
As per the National Honey Board, some major vitamins and minerals present in honey are Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium.
Honey is a better alternative to conventional sugar as unlike white sugar it is not deprived of nutrients and is not just empty calories.
(6) Potentially Prevents Low White Blood Cell count And Increase Red Blood cells
Regular and moderate intake of honey boosts the production of red blood cells and prevents the white blood cell count from reducing.
As per a small trial, 40 percent of cancer patients with a risk of low blood count showed great improvement in their blood count level on consuming two teaspoons of therapeutic honey every day during chemotherapy sessions.
Taking honey with lukewarm water increases the production of red blood cells, and reduces the risk of blood disorders such as iron-induced anemia.
(7) May Relieve Seasonal Allergies
Traces of flower pollen and exposure to small amounts of allergens in honey helps them combat seasonal allergic reactions.
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey provide relief from cough and throat infections caused by allergens.
In this way, honey may help in relieving seasonal allergies.
(8) Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
The anti-microbial properties of medical-grade honey help in killing foodborne illness pathogens such as E.coli, salmonella, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
(9) Help With Alcohol Metabolism
As per the NYU Langone Medical center, honey increases our body’s ability to effectively metabolize alcohol.
Honey helps in rapidly dropping alcohol levels in the blood vessels and suppresses the effect of intoxication.
(10) Boosts Energy And Increase Athletic Performance
Honey is an excellent source of energy because of its high calorific value of 304 calories per 100 grams.
One teaspoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates that boost our energy level.
Consuming honey for workouts and sports activity is better than relying on other sugar-laden or caffeinated energy drinks.
Honey boosts athletic performance because of its ability to maintain glycogen levels.
Ancient Olympic athletes used to eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance.
It reduces fatigue and promotes faster recovery.
Contrary to other energy drinks, honey is not just empty calories but full of nutrients.
(12) Protection Against Cancer(s)
Honey reduces the risk of several cancers due to the abundance of antioxidants and other antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, phytonutrients, etc.
These compounds protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and reduce the risk of several types of cancers such as liver cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, intestinal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
(13) Reduce Ulcers And Other Gastrointestinal Disorders
The antimicrobial properties of honey protect our digestive system from bacterial, viral, our body.
For this reason, honey is used as an important ingredient in ayurvedic medicine for maintaining good health, and for other benefits such as better eyesight, weight loss, improving sexual health, treating urinary tract infections, treating respiratory problems like bronchial asthma, and other conditions such as nausea and diarrhea.
(16) Blood Sugar Regulation
Honey is a better alternative to white sugar when it comes to regulating blood sugar.
Honey contains about 30 percent glucose, 40 percent fructose, and 20 percent complex sugar.
On the other hand, white sugar is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.
Fructose has a lower glycemic index in comparison to glucose and doesn’t acutely raise blood sugar levels.
The complex sugars present in the honey get digested at a slower rate and prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level.
Dextrin, a starchy fiber in honey reduces the rate at which sugar is absorbed by the bloodstream, and helps in blood sugar regulation.
(17) Probiotic In Nature
Honey improves our gut health as they contain a large number of friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
(19) Honey is Good for Yoga Practitioners
Taking honey with lukewarm water on an empty stomach balances the chemistry of blood, and maintains vata-pita-Kapha balance in the body.
It helps the yoga practitioners and makes their system more vibrant.
(20) Improves Digestive Health
Honey is good for our stomach and improves our digestive health.
It is a mild laxative that improves bowel movement, relieves constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Antioxidants in honey protect our digestive system from free radical damage and reduce the risk of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
The antimicrobial properties of honey protect our digestive system from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
It reduces the toxic effects of mycotoxins produced by fungi.
(21) Treating Acid Reflux
Honey has higher viscosity in comparison to distilled water at room temperature.
Because of this, regular and moderate intake of honey prevents gastroesophageal reflux and provides relief from acid reflux.
However, too much honey should be avoided as it may increase stomach acid, and cause acid reflux, and heartburn.
(22) Infantile gastroenteritis
As per a report published in the British Medical Journal, E. Hajjee and A. Moosa reported that using honey in oral rehydration solution in children is found to be very effective in providing relief from gastroenteritis.
As per a report published in the British Medical Journal, using honey in oral rehydration solution in children provides relief from gastroenteritis.
(23) Strengthens Immune System
Regular and moderate intake of honey strengthens our immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats various infections, injuries, diseases, and wounds.
Honey contains several antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, catalase, and peroxidase that protect our immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage.
This strengthens our immune system and reduces the risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells and further strengthens immunity.
The antimicrobial properties of honey reduce the risk of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Probiotic bacteria present in the honey improves our digestive health and contribute to better immunity.
(24) Aids In Cholesterol Management
Honey helps in managing our cholesterol level as it contains dietary fibers that reduce the level of LDL cholesterol.
This reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls.
It is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
(25) Regulates Blood Pressure
The vasodilating properties of potassium in honey relax our blood vessels, improve blood circulation, and provide relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition that affects millions around the world.
It is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
If you take blood pressure medication, consult your doctor before adding honey to your diet to avoid food-drug interference risk.
Eat honey in moderation as too much honey may drop blood pressure below the healthy range, and cause dizziness, blurred vision, pale skin, confusion, irritability, or moodiness.
(26) Improves Cardiovascular Health
Honey benefits our heart and improves our cardiovascular system due to the abundance of healthy compounds in them.
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in honey protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fiber in honey helps with cholesterol management and improves cardiovascular health.
Potassium in honey provides relief from hypertension and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese, etc in honey also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health.
(27) Improves Neurological Health
Honey improves our neurological health as polyphenols in them have neuroprotective and nootropic effects.
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and other relevant compounds like catalase, and peroxidase in honey protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Other nutrients like zinc, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, and manganese, etc in honey improves our neurological health by providing cognitive benefits such as sharper memory, better focus, improved concentration, and alertness, etc.
(28) Good For Eyes
Honey is good for the eyes and improves our ocular health.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other relevant compounds in honey protect our eyes from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.
It can be used both internally and externally.
Adding honey to your diet is an easy way to improve ocular health.
Raw honey should never be placed directly in the eyes.
Beauty Benefits of Honey For Skin
Some major beauty benefits of honey for skin are as follows.
(1) Keeps Premature Aging At Bay
Honey improves our skin health and helps in keeping premature aging at bay.
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in honey protect our skin from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, skin blemishes, and other signs of premature aging.
Antioxidants in honey protect our skin from the UV rays damage caused by the sun and reduce the risk of wrinkles, leathery skin, and other skin problems.
Honey keeps our skin well moisturized and hydrated and makes our skin youthful, smooth, and radiant.
(2) Moisturizes Skin
Honey is a wonderful skin moisturizer that improves skin smoothness and makes our skin soft and radiant.
For skin moisturization, do as follows.
- Blend one teaspoon of raw honey, one teaspoon of olive oil, and the yolk of an egg together.
- Apply the mixture on the face, and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water.
Regular use makes our skin smooth and radiant, reduces suntan, and improves skin glow.
- Mix one teaspoon of raw honey, one teaspoon of fuller’s earth, and one teaspoon of lemon juice to form a paste.
- Apply it on the face, and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water.
(3) Wonderful Skin Exfoliator
Honey is a wonderful skin exfoliator as it helps in removing dead and dry skin cells.
To use honey as a skin exfoliator, mix an equal amount of honey, lemon juice, and sugar and rub it gently on the skin.
Leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then wash off with warm water.
Regular use helps in the removal of dead skin cells, and blackheads.
(4) Fights Acne
Honey helps in fighting acne, a common skin problem mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, and other impurities within the skin pores.
The detoxifying compounds such as vitamin C and dietary fibers in honey remove toxins, pollutants, and other impurities from our system.
When there are fewer toxins, they are less likely to accumulate in our skin pores and reduces the risk of acne and pimples.
Dietary fibers in honey regulate the secretion of excess oil from oil glands of the skin and prevent acne from worsening.
The antiseptic properties of honey protect the skin from bacterial infection and prevent the risk of acne and pimples caused by bacterial infections.
However, honey is not suitable for all types of acne, and in some cases, it may worsen the acne.
If are allergic to honey or have sensitive skin, avoid honey and consult a dermatologist.
(5) Lighten Up Dark Circles
Honey is very effective for fading off under eyes dark circles.
For treating dark circles, mix equal parts of honey and almond oil and apply them on the under eyes dark circles before going to bed.
In the morning, rinse off the face with water.
Regular use fades off dark circles and reduces under-eye swelling.
(6) Smooth out wrinkles
The anti-aging properties of honey reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging.
It also helps in treating signs of aging when applied topically.
For treating wrinkles, mix one tablespoon of raw honey with half a ripe avocado to form a concoction.
Spread this mixture evenly on the face, and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse off with warm water.
(7) Reverse cuticle damage
Honey helps in reversing cuticle damage.
For healing cracked cuticles and nails, follow the given steps.
Mix one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to form a mixture.
Apply the mixture on nails and cuticles, and leave for 10-12 minutes.
Rinse off with water.
Regular use reverses cuticle damage and helps with cleansing.
(8) Reduce Skin Irritation Caused By Razor Burn
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey reduce the pain and inflammation of the razor burn and soothe skin.
For treating razor burn, gently apply a dab of honey on the affected area ( razor bumps), and rinse off with warm water after 10-15 minutes.
(9) For Skin Pampering
Using honey on the skin is like pampering it as honey makes our skin soft, supple, and radiant.
It provides nourishment to the skin and improves skin health.
For skin pampering, do as follows.
Mix two to three tablespoons of honey in a cup of hot water, and then pour this cup of honey water in a big bucket of lukewarm water, and enjoy the bath.
Regular use increase skin smoothness and make it flawless.
(10) For Treating Sunburn
Prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can harm our skin, and cause wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in honey protect our skin from free radical damage caused by the UV rays of the sun and reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, topical application of honey reduces pain and inflammation caused by sunburn.
It provides moisturization to the skin and restores lost hydration of the sun-exposed skin.
(11) Fades Scar
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey decrease the appearance of the scars and help in the regeneration of the tissues.
For this, mix one tablespoon of raw honey with one tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil.
Apply the mixture to the affected area in a circular motion with fingertips for about two minutes.
Cover the skin with a hot washcloth, and let it sit until it’s cool.
The hydrating properties of honey and coconut/olive oil revitalize our skin, and gentle massage improves blood circulation in the skin.
Beauty Benefits of Honey For Hair
Some major beauty benefits of honey for hair are as follows.
(1) Provides Relief From Dry And Damaged Hair
Honey is loaded with essential nutrients that provide nourishment to our hair and scalp and improve scalp health.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in honey protect our hair from free radical damage and prevents hair dryness.
It reduces premature greying of hair, hair fall, split ends, and other signs of premature aging.
For treating damaged hair, mix two teaspoons of honey and some lemon juice in three cups of water.
Rinse your hair with this concoction, and dry hair normally.
Mix a teaspoon of honey with your regular shampoo, and apply it to your hair and scalp.
Let the lather form and sit for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse off with water.
(2) Make Your Hair Shiny
Honey adds a natural shine to our hair and makes them strong and lustrous.
For improving hair shine, do as follows.
- Mix half cup raw honey with a quarter cup of olive oil or coconut oil.
- Apply the mixture on hair from root to tip, and let it dry for 20 minutes.
- Rinse off with water.
(3) Provides Relief From Itchy Scalp
The antifungal properties of honey provide relief from scalp itchiness.
For this, dilute one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of water, and massage the solution to your scalp for two minutes.
Wait two hours, and rinse off with warm water.
Repeat the same every alternate day to get rid of itchy flakes.
Being a skin cleansing agent, honey absorbs dirt, oil, and other impurities from the scalp reduce scalp itchiness.
(4) Lightens Hair Color
The glucose oxidase enzyme present in the honey slowly releases hydrogen peroxide, and this helps in lighting our hair color.
To lighten hair color, mix three-tablespoon of honey with two tablespoons of water to form a mixture.
Apply this mixture to the clean damp hair.
Wait for an hour, and rinse off with water.
Repeat weekly for better results.
(5) As Hair Conditioner
Honey conditions our hair, and makes them smooth, shiny, and moisturized.
For using honey as a hair conditioner, do as follows.
Mix one tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of coconut oil to form a mixture.
Apply this mixture to the bottom two-thirds of damp hair.
Wait for 20 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.
Regular use makes hair smooth, shiny, and moisturized.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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