Honey is not only sweet and delicious, but also contains numerous health benefits. Raw or pure honey is unpasteurized and completely unaltered (aside from filtering for foreign objects), and is the best option.
Because honey contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, it is often utilized to help both with colds and with seasonal allergies. In addition, because honey contains small amounts of pollen, honey can act like a vaccine by instigating a smaller reaction to the pollen while allowing your body to build antibodies to fight the allergic reaction.
Consuming raw honey regularly can help with seasonal allergies in much the same way a flu shot will prevent a full-on bout of the flu.
2. Energy Boost
The fructose and glucose in honey can enter the bloodstream quickly, delivering to your body a boost of energy. If you’re looking for a low-calorie, harmless pick-me-up in the morning, add a teaspoon of honey to your tea, cereal, or oatmeal, or just eat it by itself. Although honey is not as damaging to our body’s blood sugar levels as normal table sugar, too much will still negate any positive health benefits so be sure not to overdo it.
3. Memory Support
Honey is full of antioxidants, some of which help prevent cellular damage, especially in the brain. Research suggests that honey may also help support postmenopausal women with memory recall. Honey also helps the brain efficiently process new material and make decisions.
4. Cough and Sore Throat Aid
As mentioned briefly above, the anti-inflammatory properties of honey often make it a good choice for those suffering from an inflamed nasal passage or throat due to a cold. Honey can also soothe a cough; just eat two teaspoons of honey by itself, or stir in two teaspoons into a glass of warm lemon water. The sweet stuff also helps to coat and soothe an irritated throat.
5. Sleep Aid
Honey can induce a feeling of well-being and also helps release serotonin, which in turn releases melatonin (which induces sleep). Honey also contains many sleep-inducing amino acids, such as tryptophan. In addition, it prevents the release of stress hormones (e.g. cortisol), which in turn helps you fall asleep and enjoy restful, rejuvenating nap.
6. Healthy Scalp
Research has shown that applying honey to a dry, itchy scalp and leaving it on for three hours not only soothes the itching, but also reduced scaling and flaking within one week. Again, this can be attributed to honey’s anti-inflammatory properties, which soothes the irritated skin.
7. Natural Antibiotic
Honey is an all-natural solution to treating cuts and burns, thanks to its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies support this claim, showing that patients that applied honey topically to a wound or burn showed impressive improvement quickly.
While honey is an impressive natural remedy for many ailments, it should not be used for infants, pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers. Other than that, there are relatively no side effects with consuming honey (unless consumed in excess, of course). Try adding honey to your diet more often, even if it’s just a little bit on your toast, or in your tea, to begin reaping the many benefits of this liquid gold. If buying commercially, the recommended brand is Manuka Honey.