Health benefits of honey

Honey can heal cuts and scrapes even better than antibiotic creams

If you cut or scrape yourself, reach for honey instead of your antibiotic cream and you pay be pleasantly surprised. When applied to a wound, honey slowly releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic compound produced from an enzyme, disinfecting the wound, killing the germs and healing the broken skin. Scientific evidence has shown that most strains of harmful bacteria cannot survive in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Also, honey’s viscosity provides a protective barrier and forms a moist environment for the wound. It creates a healing layer between wound and dressing with no sticking and no tissue damage, reducing the chance of scarring as the skin cells grow without forming any scab. Honey supplies nutrients necessary for healthy tissue regeneration and stimulates the growth of new blood capillaries. The antibacterial properties also provide a barrier to cross-infection of wounds. Honey’s high sugar content has an osmosis effect on wounds. It draws lymph out to the cells while absorbing moisture and provides an anti-inflammatory action which reduces swelling and pain.

Animal studies have demonstrated some profound findings with honey. Clinical studies have shown that honey accelerated wound healing. In rabbits with cutaneous wounds, honey was found to decrease edema, decrease inflammation, reduce necrosis, improve epithelialization, and improve wound contraction when the wound tissue was examined histologically. In mice, the use of honey also demonstrated accelerated wound healing on cutaneous wounds at the histological level. Clinical observations from human trials reported that honey-debrided wounds facilitated formation of granulating tissue, improved epithelialization, and reduced inflammation. This was consistent with what was reported in the animal study data previously discussed; however, clinical observation without the support of histological evidence is limited.

Studies showing honey helps children with night-time coughs

Honey is also suggested for a night-time cough. Giving yourself or child honey a few times throughout the day and especially before bed can help sooth a night-time cough. (Honey should never been administered to a child under one years of age). A tasty idea is to heat up organic honey on the stove add some elderberry syrup mix well, chill and store in the refrigerator.

Studies have shown that honey is a potent treatment for nighttime cough. In one study of 130 children aged 2-17 with runny nose and cough were randomized to receive nightly doses of buckwheat honey, artificial honey-flavored cough medicine (dextromethorphan), or no treatment. On a parent-rated symptom scale, honey was found to be the most helpful in reducing nighttime cough and improving sleep in children with upper respiratory infections. Another randomized study of 139 children aged 2-5 years old with upper respiratory infection were divided into 4 treatment groups: honey, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine (eg, Benadryl), or no treatment. Standard care, such as acetaminophen and nose drops, was also given to all children as needed. While improvement was seen in all of the groups, children receiving honey had the fewest episodes of nighttime cough and slept better compared to children in the other groups.

Honey used for acne

For centuries, people have been using honey mask for acne and for curing other marks, scars, spots etc. The honey masks are very popular and very effective. It can be made with different combinations of herbs and other substances. Below is a special Rosh Hashana facial mask

Ingredients: One medium sized apple (preferably organic apple), four to five tablespoons of honey (preferably organic honey) and lukewarm water (to wash face).

To preparation: Scoop out the seeds of the apple and run the rest in a mixer to make a fine pulp. Now add three to four (depends on the size of the apple and how many persons it will serve. The quantity of honey should be sufficient to mix well with the pulp) tablespoons of honey into it. Mix well into a uniform paste. Your apple honey mask for acne is ready to apply.

How to use: Apply a layer of this apple honey mask on your whole face. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes and let the mask dry up a bit. When done, wash the mask off with lukewarm water. That’s it. You are done!

Insight: The apple honey mask works best when fresh and is very easy to prepare, make it just before you apply.

Facts: The grains of apple work as a sort of gentle scrub for cleaning your face, but it’s the glycolic acid in the apple that facilitates exfoliation. Together they clean up the skin pores. Also, since honey in it is a natural antioxidant and has anti-microbial properties. This eliminates the microbial infections that cause acne.

Patch test before applying to you entire face: Test if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the mask by applying it on a small patch in your wrist and wait for a few hours. If rashes appear or you show other symptoms of allergy, do not use this mask on your face.

Honey and acid reflux

Many people are finding relief with reflux with the use of honey. Honey is very thick and has a tendency to coat the stomach and digestive system. Not only will it quell acid flare-ups it can also help with digestive disorders as well. Honey seems to help food to break down and coats the small and large intestine, which means that digested food moves through quicker and easier.

Manuka honey in particular, has shown to help with acid reflux. The antimicrobial action of honey is finally being proven in clinical studies and manuka honey seems to be one of the stars. What is so unique about manuka honey for alleviating acid reflux? It is interesting to learn, that manuka honey is collected by bees which exclusively feed on the manuka flowers, and it contains a higher percentage of methylglyoxal (MGO) than other honey types. The methylglyoxal along with other components are responsible for imparting the antibacterial property to it. In addition to the strong antibacterial action, manuka honey acts as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. If you suffer with acid reflux it is worth giving manuka honey a try.