There is nothing in the world quite like honey. For thousands of years, honey has been used all over the world and in just about every culture. Ancient Egyptians used it as a form of currency, like gold, and they mixed it into the wines that they offered to their gods. Germans have used it to sweeten alcoholic beverages like mead, cider and beer. In the US, American Indians put it to work as a fruit preservative and base for herbal medicine.
Most people have used honey to sweeten foods and beverages, but few realize that it’s a powerful food, beauty aide and a topical antibiotic. Honey naturally contains 18 amino acids, plus small amounts of a many vitamins and minerals. The old wives’ tales we hear are actually often based in truth, as honey has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. Not only can honey soothe and lubricate a sore throat, but because of its nutrient-rich profile, it has been used internally and externally for a variety of other benefits, including:
Better athletic performance: Many athletes rely on carbohydrates for an energy boost during intense training. Studies have shown that the glucose found in honey, plus other natural sugars, can provide the same boost to athletes. Instead of consuming refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which is on my list as one of the worst things we can consume and is found in many sports drinks, opt for an all-natural boost of honey.
Improved sleep and relaxation: Honey can promote relaxation and help ease you to sleep at night. The natural sugar found in honey raises our insulin slightly and allows tryptophan, the compound famous for making us sleepy after eating turkey at Thanksgiving, to enter our brains more easily. Taking a spoonful of honey before bed can help you get restful sleep.
Fewer allergies: Taking a high-quality raw local honey for two months before allergy season can actually lessen your allergies. Bees carry the pollen that aggravates seasonal allergies, and some of that pollen becomes part of the honey. Consuming honey daily before allergy season can help your body grow accustomed to the pollen and immunize your body against it.
Healed cuts and scrapes: Honey has antibacterial properties that prevent infection in minor abrasions. Plus, its thickness will protect against bacteria and dirt entering a wound. Simply dab a little honey onto your cut and cover with a bandage.
Moisturizing skin: Honey not only attracts water but it helps absorb and retain it on hair and skin. Because of this, honey is added to countless shampoos, soaps and cosmetics. You can enjoy the moisturizing benefits of honey at home by stirring it up with milk for a facial, adding it to your bath water to soften skin, or mixing it with olive oil as a natural hair conditioner. You can even make your own moisturizing exfoliator: Just add sea salt or crushed oats to the honey and rub it on the body.
Honey is one of Mother Nature’s most versatile foods. It not only serves as a delicious, all-natural sweetener, but it’s a helpful tool in supporting a healthy body and glowing appearance. Why do you think it’s been so popular for thousands of years?
Blog written by Lindsey Duncan, ND, CN With over 28 years of clinical experience, alternative health specialist and celebrity nutritionist Lindsey Duncan is one of the...