5 Surprising Benefits of Honey
Honey has been used as a delicious treat and medicine since ancient times by all civilizations. It’s remarkable benefits account for its fame in Ayurvedic and Ancient Chinese medicine. Even the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians have recorded using the healing properties of honey going back to Aristotle’s mention of it in 384 BC.
Honey is not only the best way to replace sugar, but it also comes with innumerable benefits to your health and well-being. According a recent research, if you replace all intake of refined sugar with pure raw honey you can prevent a myriad of diseases. Although you cannot consider honey as a replacement sweetener like other artificial sweeteners used by diabetics, it is so much more than being just sweet. It is a divine and naturally incredible food which contains secrets unaware by the modern world.
On average, 1 tablespoon of honey is about 64 calories, containing no fat or cholesterol. It provides vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and potassium along with numerous antioxidants. As a result, honey can do wonders to your body like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing cancers, boosting the immune system, improving blood sugar and so much more.
Here are 5 surprising benefits of honey you probably didn’t know:
Heals Burns and Wounds
Honey has antibacterial properties and is surprisingly good for healing. It deodorizes bad smelly wounds and boosts the healing process. It can also initiate healing in dormant wounds and works for both dry and moist wounds as well.
A lot of research is being done to study the healing properties of honey. Such researches are going to provide scientific facts and evidence for the believers of ancient and herbal medicine, encouraging more people to benefit from it.
A BBC report in July of 2006 said that doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester have studied the effects of honey on healing and plan utilizing it for quick recovery of cancer patients after surgeries. Another study conducted on honey and wound care showed that it works best in treating partial thickness burns and wounds that get infected after surgeries.
Honey can also be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, that would otherwise need amputation. A research conducted in 2010 found a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment. One more study showed that topical honey application was effective in curing 97% of patients being treated for their diabetic ulcers. The amazing healing powers of honey are due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, it can also heal lesions of psoriasis, hemorrhoids and herpes as well.
A bad cough can affect sleep and life quality for both children and adults. Raw honey can treat coughs as effectively as any over-the-counter cough syrups. Medications for cough are usually bitter for kids and not always effective. Not every ingredient of the cough medicine is good for your body, but honey has been an ancient remedy that is loaded with health benefits.
Just one dose of honey can decrease mucus secretion and cough. Once you take some honey, it will alleviate your cough by acting as a protective film over the throat and you will observe that it not only coats the throat but soothes the pain as well.
A study showed that honey can minimize cough symptoms as well as enhance sleep, more than the cough medication, dextromethorphan. Some studies show that it might even be better than the two common cough medications, dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine. A ½ to 2 tsp of honey at night is a recommended dosage for anyone above 1 year old.
Rich in Antioxidants
A good immune system is vital for a good healthy life and having a natural substance to improve your immunity is divine. Honey is loaded with antioxidants like nutraceuticals, that are potent for removal of free radicals from your body.
Regular consumption of honey boosts your immunity because it has anti-bacterial as well as antioxidant properties. Not only does this improve your body’s immunity but also helps against the life threatening health problems like cancer or heart disease. It can even cleanse and detoxify your digestive system, which is necessary for good health.
Antioxidants in honey can also help in lowering your blood pressure. A recent study has shown significant reduction in blood pressure through honey. Antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic compound (like gallic acid, chrysin, elegiac acid, p-Coumaric acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acid) in honey gives it anti-metastatic properties which means it can fight against tumors and cancers.
A raised level of LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. It is also an important indication of insulin resistance. Having increased LDL also contributes to atherosclerosis which can further increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Honey has an amazing capability to improve cholesterol levels. Numerous studies show that it can significantly reduce total cholesterol and LDL, while increasing the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. A research that was done on 55 patients, compared honey to table sugar. It concluded that honey caused a 5.8% decrease in LDL and a 3.3% rise in HDL. Surprisingly, honey also caused weight loss upto 1.3%, compared to sugar.
Honey can prevent seasonal allergies by acting as a natural vaccine because it contains tiny amounts of pollen. It can prevent allergies through a concept called immunotherapy. When your body is exposed to a little amount of pollen in honey, it starts producing antibodies against it, helping your body build up a defense system against those antigens. As it is just a tiny amount of pollen, your immune system successfully kills it off and develops immunity to it at the same time. Hence, you become desensitized to this pollen that was previously causing problems.
A 2013 study showed that consuming honey daily at a high dose (one gram per kilogram of body weight) relieves allergy symptoms within a period of eight weeks. It was observed that honey consumption had relieved overall and specific symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This is because honey also possesses anti inflammatory properties, helping in alleviating inflammatory symptoms
of allergic rhinitis.
It is important that you use only raw honey for this purpose, as pasteurized honey does not contain any pollen. Just one teaspoon of honey is the recommended daily dose to build up natural immunity to allergy. Make sure you start taking honey two to three months before the pollen season so that your body gets enough time to develop immunity against it.
Byline/About the Author: Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with uae.ekuep.com, which is the answer to UAE’s growing restaurant industry. Ekuep is the brand that restaurants, bakeries, cafes, juice bars, and more turn to when they want to stock their kitchens with only the best restaurant equipment.