Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!! Today, we are going to be looking at honey and some of the amazing benefits we can get from it.
My grandfather now deceased was a beekeeper. I remember how he would have to put on his white bee-suit and smoke out the bee hives to extract the honey. I was very young then and had no idea how valuable his craft was. I never really liked the taste of honey. As an adult, I now see the value of something I had taken for granted as a child growing up.
Honey has been around since the ancient times and was seen as a precious commodity. It was used not only as a natural sweetener but for medicinal and religious purposes as well.
What is honey?
The simplest way to describe it, honey is a sweet product that is made by bees using the nectar of flowers. Honey is rich in various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
According to the National Honey Board , “Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger.”
Some uses and benefits of honey
Let’s take a look at some of the uses and benefits of using honey. Please note that raw or pure honey is recommended when treating any of the undermentioned.
General Health Benefits:
- Helps prevent cancer and heart disease
- Reduces cough and throat irritation
- Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
- Boost your immune system
- Helps regulate blood sugar
- Helps soothe acid reflux
- Help boost your energy
- Helps with cholesterol
- Good memory booster
- Treat yeast infections
- Aid in weight loss
- Promotes a better sleep
- Helps with allergies
- Treat herpes
Skin and Hair Benefits:
- Promotes a healthy scalp
- Heals wounds and burns
- Helps fight acne
- Treat eczema
- Shampoo and condition hair
Best type of honey to use
Raw or unprocessed honey is the best type to use because commercial honey is often heavily processed and may even be chemically refined. Commercial honey is usually golden in colour and has a syrup-like appearance. Additionally, you should note that once raw honey is excessively heated and processed, the health benefits are largely depleted. All honey is therefore not created equal so be sure to ask questions and read what you are buying.
How to use honey
Although honey is full of benefits, it is also high in fructose and must be used in moderation therefore less is best especially when consuming it.
Important – Possible Side Effects
Now I could not leave you without mentioning some possible side effects of consuming too much honey. Some side effects can include: weight gain, cavities, nausea, weakness, vomiting, dizziness, and sweating.
Children under 12 months MUST NOT be given honey because it is a potential source for the bacteria that causes botulism. Raw honey is however, safe for older children and adults.
If you are allergic to pollen or have any other bee-related allergies, it is recommended that you do not consume raw honey.
How I use it
- I like to mix 1 teaspoon honey in warm water with cinnamon and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Drink on an empty stomach once per day. This aids in my detox and weight management.
- I sometimes mix it with some lime or lemon juice if I have a sore throat.
- I use 1 teaspoon of honey mixed with sugar and a few drops of lemon juice as an exfoliator on my skin once or twice per week. Rubbing the mixture in circular motion on my face and neck and I leave it for about 10 minutes before I wash it off.
- I also like to add it to my Bar-B-Que sauce replacing brown sugar.
There are tons of recipes and combinations for using honey based on your objectives and goals. So do your research and get yourself a bottle today.