Honey is a natural sweetener, a sweet food produced by the bees using nectar of flowers. Honey is very good for our health because of the compounds ( around 600) present in it. Ayurveda which is also known as the medical science of ancient times gives a lot of importance to honey because of its amazing health and beauty benefits. In this article, we will know about all the major health and beauty benefits of honey in detail.
Health Benefits of Honey
(1) Honey And Weight Loss
If you are suffering from obesity and wants to lose weight naturally then you should start taking warm honey-lemon water first in the morning or on an empty stomach.
This is because honey is very effective in weight loss.
Although honey is higher in calories in comparison to sugar it is still good for weight loss when it is taken along with warm water as it helps in the digestion of stored fat of our body and breaks it down and thus helps in weight loss.
Honey is also a natural sweetener and taking honey doesn’t show any increase in blood sugar level which also contributes to weight loss.
(2) Honey For Reducing Cough and Throat Irritation:
Honey is very effective in providing relief from a cough and throat irritation, especially in children.
This benefit of honey was confirmed by a 2007 study done by the Penn State college of medicine.
The study involved 139 children and it was found that children who were given buckwheat honey showed more improvement and were able to sleep more effectively at night without getting troubled by the night time cough in comparison to the rest of the group who were given cough suppressant dextromethorphan ( DM).
As per a different study ( involving 270 children ) published in Pediatrics, it was found that children who received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes prior to bed were less likely to lose sleep due to cough in comparison to rest of the group who was not given any honey.
(3) Honey Boost Memory
Consuming honey on a regular basis is very effective in increasing memorizing power of our brain.
This memory boosting benefit of honey was confirmed by research reported by Reuters.
As per this research, 102 healthy women who were in the menopausal stage of their life were asked to consume 20 grams of honey every day, take hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen or progesterone or 20 nothing.
After four months, results were compared and it was found that women who took honey or hormone pills were able to recall one extra word out of the 15 presented on a short-term memory test.
This may not sound big but it still shows that honey is as effective as hormone pills when it comes to boosting memory.
(4) Heal Wounds & Burns
Honey is very effective in healing wounds and burns and this benefit of honey is confirmed by numerous studies.
Some of the notable studies are- Norwegian study, in which it was found that Norwegian honey and the medihoney were able to kill strains of bacteria in a wound.
In another study, 59 patients suffering from wounds and leg ulcers were treated with unprocessed honey and all (except one) showed remarkable improvement.
The interesting fact about this study that 80 percent of the patients who had gone for this treatment had failed to health with conventional treatment.
WebMD recommends applying honey directly or in a dressing ( that usually gets changed every 24 to 48 hours) for using honey for the treatment of burns and wounds.
In the case of applying honey directly, it is better to cover it with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.
(5) Provides Nutrients
Honey is very effective in providing most of the nutrients required by our body.
As per National Honey Board, some of the major vitamins and minerals present in honey are Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium.
As there are so many vitamins and minerals so it is better to replace our conventional sugar with honey which is more beneficial for our health and doesn’t even lead to an increase in blood sugar.
(6) Potentially Prevents Low White Blood Cell count And Increase Red Blood cells
Honey is very effective in preventing the lowering of white blood cells counts.
This was confirmed by a small trial, in which 40 percent of cancer patients with a risk of Neutropenia ( risk of low blood count) showed great improvement ( in regard to Neutropenia ) when they were given two teaspoons of therapeutic honey during their chemotherapy session.
This benefit of honey is not just limited to white blood cells and it has been found to be very effective in taking care of anemic conditions too because of the ability of honey to increase red blood cells and raising the hemoglobin levels in the blood when it is mixed and drunk with tepid water.
Because of these benefits of honey, honey is also found to be effective in providing relief from the conditions like fatigue, breathlessness, etc. associated with the low red blood count level.
(7) May Relieve Seasonal Allergies
Honey is believed to provide relief from seasonal allergies but this is yet not proved in clinical studies.
However, some experts believe that honey contains traces of flower pollen and exposure to small amounts of allergens helps in combating the reactions of seasonal allergic reactions.
Honey is also anti-inflammatory in nature and this benefit of honey makes it very effective in providing relief from a cough and throat infections ( which is many times caused by allergens) so it is quite a possibility that honey plays an important role in treating seasonal allergies.
(8) Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
As per some clinical studies, medical grade honey has been found to very effective in killing the foodborne illness pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
(9) May Help Metabolize Alcohol
If you are an alcohol consumer then you can take advantage of this benefit of honey.
As per the NYU Langone Medical Centre, it was found that consuming honey might increase the ability of our body to metabolize alcohol more effectively and thereby limiting the intoxication and in dropping the level of alcohol in blood vessels more rapidly.
(10) Makes Great Workout Fuel
Honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon and this makes honey an excellent source of energy.
Consuming honey for energy purpose for a sports activity is better than relying on sugar-laden energy drinks because honey not only provides energy but is also good in providing essential nutrients to our body.
Because of this benefit of honey, The National Honey board recommends adding honey to our water bottle for getting the required energy boost during workouts.
Honey can also be taken with snacks before and after a workout session and honey sticks can be eaten for endurance.
(11) Increase Athletic Performance
A single tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates and this makes honey a very effective source of energy.
Because of this benefit of honey, honey has been found to be very effective in increasing the athletic performance as they help in maintaining glycogen levels in our body and also helps in recovering ( after the event).
Maybe this is the reason why ancient Olympic athletes used to eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance during the Olympic event.
Honey not only provides energy but also provides essential vitamins and minerals which are an added advantage.
(12) May Prevents Cancer
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of several types of cancer like liver cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, and mouth cancer, etc.
This cancer preventing benefit of honey is because of the presence of compounds like flavonoids and antioxidants in honey.
Antioxidants present in honey fights with the free radicals of our body and stabilize them and thus reduces the risk of development of cancer.
(13) Reduce Ulcers And Other Gastrointestinal Disorders
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders like bacterial gastroenteritis.
This benefit of honey is because of the antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral nature of honey.
Suggested Read-10 Risks And Side Effects of Eating Too much Honey
(14) Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antiviral
Honey is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal in nature and this benefit of honey makes it very effective in fighting against various diseases and conditions caused by the development of bacteria and viruses.
(15) Balance The 5 Elements
Honey is one of the most widely used ingredients in ayurvedic medicine in India and is believed to have a positive effect on all of the three primitive materials ( vaat, Pitt, Kaff ) of our body.
Because of this, honey plays a very important role in maintaining good health and some of the major health benefits of honey in terms of Ayurveda are improved eyesight, helps in losing weight, cures impotence, and premature ejaculation, provides relief from urinary tract infection, relief from bronchial asthma, nausea, and diarrhea.
(16) Blood Sugar Regulation
Regular consumption of honey has found to be very effective in reducing the blood sugar level of our body and this benefit of honey makes it a wonderful substitute for white sugar that we use in our everyday life ( but which is harming us ).
Just like white sugar or artificial sweeteners, honey also contains simple sugar but still, honey is beneficial when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels.
This benefit of honey is because of the sugars present in honey. It contains about 30 percent glucose, 40 percent fructose, and 20 percent other complex sugar.
Along with this, honey also includes a starchy fiber known as Dextrin.
All these substances combined together helps in regulating the blood sugar level of our body and also reduces the risk of diabetes.
(17) Probiotic In Nature
Regular consumption of honey is good for our gut health because of a large number of friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in it.
(18)Honey As Energy Source
Another benefit of honey is in terms of energy. A tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates and provides about 64 calories which are way more than 15 calories that we get from one tablespoon of sugar.
Other than this, the carbohydrates found in honey can be easily converted into glucose and that makes honey good even for those with a sensitive stomach and can’t digest things easily.
(19) Honey is Good for Yoga Practitioners
Taking honey on a regular basis is good for people who practice Yoga because honey balances the chemistry of blood and also makes our system more vibrant.
Taking honey with tepid water first in the morning on an empty stomach before you start doing yoga practice has been found to be very good for our health and is also effective in weight loss.
(20) Honey helps with digestion
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in providing relief from stomach problems like constipation, gas and bloating stomach because of the presence of friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in it.
The presence of these friendly bacteria in honey helps in the digestion process and also keep our immune system healthy and reduces energy.
Consumption of honey has also found to be very effective in reducing the toxic effects of mycotoxins produced by fungi.
Honey is also a mild laxative and helps in keeping constipation at bay and for proper removal of waste materials out of our system.
(21) Acid Reflux
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in providing relief from acid reflux, as reported by Professor Mahantayya V Math, from MGM Medical College, India.
Consuming honey may also help in preventing Gastroesophageal reflux because of the higher viscosity of honey in comparison to distilled water at room temperature.
(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.
(23) Immunity System Builder
Regular consumption of honey has been found to be very effective in making our immune system stronger and thus reducing the risk of development of various diseases and health problems.
This amazing immune-boosting benefit of honey is because of the antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal nature of honey.
Honey is also rich in friendly bacterias and antioxidants which help in improving our digestive system and keeps us healthy.
Beauty Benefits of Honey For Skin
(1) Provides Smooth, Radiant And Youthful Skin
Honey is very effective in providing us a beautiful skin because of the presence of a good number of natural antioxidants in it.
These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilize them and prevents them from damaging our body cells particularly our skin cells and reduces the risk of development of skin cancer and from the harmful radiation of UV rays.
Honey is also effective in keeping us hydrated and that’s the reason ancient women were fond of using honey and milk to keep their skin youthful, smooth and radiant.
(2) Using Honey As Face Mask For Moisturizing Skin
Honey is very beneficial for our skin and it can be used as a face mask to keep our skin beautiful, youthful, radiant and moisturized.
To use honey as a face mask, blend one teaspoon of raw honey, one teaspoon of olive oil and yolk of an egg together in a blender.
Apply the mixture on your face and leave it for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
This honey facial mask will not make your skin radiant and smooth but will help in removing sun tan and will add a glow to it.
If for any reason, you don’t want to use egg yolk then you can try another honey facial mask.
For this, take one teaspoon of honey ( preferably raw honey), one teaspoon of fuller’s earth ( Multani mitti) and one teaspoon of lemon juice.
Mix all these ingredients together to form a thick paste. Now, apply this mixture on your skin and then wash off with warm water after 15 minutes.
(3) Using Honey For Skin Exfoliation
Honey is a great skin exfoliator and can help in the removal of dead and dry cells of our skin.
To use honey as a skin exfoliator, mix honey, lemon juice, and sugar together and rub it gently on your skin.
Leave it for about 10-15 minutes and then wash off with warm water. This will not help in the removal of dead skin cells but will also help in the removal of blackheads.
(4) Honey Helps In Fighting Acne
Acne is one of the major skin problems that affect millions of people all over the planet.
What makes acne even worse is that they keep coming again and again and you always find yourself battling with them in one way or another.
The main cause of acne is the buildup of oil and dirt on our skin pores. Because of the clogging of skin pores by oil and dirt, our body finds it hard to remove impurities out of our body and they end up showing in the form of acne.
Honey is very effective in the treatment of acne because of its ability to cleanse our skin by absorbing impurities out of it.
It not only helps in providing relief from acne but also helps in keeping it away or in other words, it helps in providing relief from chronic acne.
One thing to remember is that honey can only heal acne when they are caused by bacterial infections but if you are suffering from acne because of some other reason like hormone imbalance, irritation, and other things then it will be best to consult a dermatologist.
Honey is equally beneficial in treating pimples and healing our skin because of the antiseptic properties of honey.
(5) Lighten up dark circles
Honey is very effective in providing relief from dark circles by fading them. For this, mix equal parts of honey and almond oil together and then apply it to the affected area ( under your eyes) before going to bed. Let it stay for the whole night and then rinse off in the morning. This will not only help in lightening up dark circles but will also help in getting rid of under eyes swelling.
(6) Smooth out wrinkles
Honey is a wonderful anti-aging product because of the presence of antioxidants and other essential nutrients in it.
These antioxidants and nutrients fight with the free radicals of our body and prevent our body from damage caused by premature aging. Another anti-aging benefit of honey is its ability to smooth out wrinkles.
For this, mix one tablespoon of raw honey with half a ripe avocado to form a concoction.
Apply this mixture on your face evenly and rinse off with warm water after 15 to 20 minutes.
(7) Reverse cuticle damage
Do you have cracked cuticles? If the answer to this is yes, then honey is for you as it can reverse cuticle damage.
Although our skin can heal itself automatically and our cuticles are no different but there are times when it’s best to go with some natural ways of healing cuticles as cracked cuticles can give an invitation to fungi and bacteria to creep in.
To use honey for healing cracked cuticles and nails, make a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar ( one teaspoon each) and apply on your cuticles and nails. Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse it off.
This will not only help in healing cracked cuticles but will also help in cleansing.
(8) Reduce Skin Irritation Caused By Razor Burn
Honey can soothe our skin and provide relief from irritation caused by razor burn. For this, apply a dab of honey after the shave on the affected area (razor bumps) and rinse off with water after 10 to 15 minutes.
(9) For Skin Pampering
Honey is very effective in keeping our skin healthy, smooth, soft and radiant. Using honey on the skin is just like pampering it.
To use honey for skin pampering, add two to three tablespoons of honey in a cup of hot water and then pour this cup of water in a big bucket filled with hot water and enjoy your bath.
Regular use will make your skin feel like a queen. It is Said that Egyptian queen Cleopatra used to enjoy bathing with honey and milk to get a flawless complexion.
(10) Sunburn Treatment
Honey is very effective in providing relief from sunburn because of its ability to restore hydration to the deepest layers of sun-exposed skin.
Honey is also an effective anti-inflammatory compound which makes it useful for calming burned skin and speed up recovery.
Other than this, honey is a good source of natural antioxidants and other essential nutrients that protect our skin from the harmful UV radiation damage.
(11) Fades Scar
Honey is very effective in fading of scars because of the presence of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds in it.
These compounds, help in decreasing the appearance of scars and also helps in the regeneration of 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 and massage in a circular motion with your fingertips for about two minutes.
Cover your skin with a hot washcloth and let it sit until it’s cool.
The hydrating nature of honey and coconut/olive oil will help in skin revitalization and the gentle massage will increase blood circulation in the skin.
(12) Good For Eyes
Honey is very beneficial for our eyes and can protect our eyes from various eye diseases and improve eyesight.
Regular use of honey is good for our eyes as it helps in the treatment of eye infections like redness and itching of eyes, trachoma, conjunctivitis and other related diseases.
Use of honey (both internally and externally) can help to prevent glaucoma in its initial stage.
Honey is also beneficial in the prevention of cataract and providing relief from Dry eye syndrome in which liquid ( water like substance) in the white or conjunctiva part of the eyes dry out.
Beauty Benefits of Honey For Hair
(1) Provides Relief From Dry And Damaged Hair
Honey is very beneficial for our hair because of its ability to keep our hair clean, lustrous, healthy and shiny. It helps in curing dry, damaged and dull looking hair and is equally effective in getting rid of dry and itchy flakes from our scalp.
To use honey for hair benefits, use it as a hair rinse. For this, add two teaspoons of honey and some lemon juice in a bowl of water ( three cups) and rinse. Use this concoction for rinsing your hair and let your hair dry normally.
Another method of using honey for hair is to use it with shampoo for boosting your hair health.
For this, mix a teaspoon of honey with your shampoo and apply on your scalp and hair ( like you normally do while shampooing).
Let the lather come and let it sit for two to three minutes, and then rinse it off.
(2) Make Your Hair Shiny
Honey is good for our hairs in many ways and one way is its ability to add shine to our hair.
For this, mix half cup raw honey with a quarter cup of olive oil or coconut oil.
Apply this mixture on your hair from root to tips and rinse off after 20 minutes.
Doing the same on a weekly basis will make your hair as shiny as silk.
(3) Provides Relief From Itchy Scalp
The antifungal properties of honey make it very effective in providing relief from an itchy scalp.
For this, dilute one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of water and massage it into your scalp thoroughly for two minutes. After two hours, rinse it off with warm water.
Repeat the same every other day until your scalp is free of itchy flakes. Itchy flakes are caused by the clogging of hair follicles by dirt, oil, and other impurities. Honey being a cleansing agent absorbs these impurities and provide relief from an itchy scalp.
(4) Effective In Lightening Hair Color
Honey can be used for lightening hair color because of the presence of an enzyme (Glucose Oxidase) in it which slowly release hydrogen peroxide.
For this, mix three tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons of water. Apply it to your clean and damp hair and rinse off with water after an hour or so. For best result, use it once a week.
(5) Using Honey As Hair Conditioner
Honey is beneficial for our hair and can be used as a wonderful hair conditioner.
For this, mix one tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of coconut oil.
Thoroughly Apply this mixture to the bottom two-thirds of damp hair (from bottom to the top) and rinse off with water after 20 minutes.
This will make your hair smooth, silky, 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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