Honey has been used as food, medicine, currency and more for thousands of years. Honeycomb was often buried alongside pharaohs in ancient Egypt, and the Romans would use honey to tend to their wounds. It’s a natural sweetener, and is made from the nectar of flowers. The nectar combines with enzymes from the bees, creating chemical compounds and converting the nectar into fructose and glucose. The color and taste change depending on the flowers used, and the health benefits are plentiful.
Honey contains vitamins and minerals like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, as well as 18 different amino acids. Honey is considered a low-GI food, meaning it’s slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and leaves us feeling fuller for longer. This results in better digestion and regulated blood sugar levels. It’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, due to an enzyme added by the bees that creates hydrogen peroxide. This hydrogen peroxide promotes enzymes that dissolve dead cells and tissues, and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.
Raw honey is full of benefits. It can suppress a cough, strengthen your immune system, promote faster healing for cuts and sores, heal burns, improve skin problems and is a powerful probiotic. Certain types of honey can even be effective against antibiotic-resistant superbugs like golden staph. Honey is also full of antioxidants that may provide protection against free radicals and oxidative damage.
Honey is a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air into the skin, and as such it can provide a deeply moisturizing effect when used on the skin. It can also act as an effective spot-treatment for pimples, a natural hair conditioner, a deep pore cleanser, and an after-sun treatment. Honey is a natural skin-lightener, and the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties enable it to fade scars and increase healing. To use, mix one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of coconut oil or vitamin E oil, and apply to the affected area. Cover with a bandage and leave to soak overnight, washing it off in the morning. Repeat once a day or as often as needed.