16 Healing Home Remedies With Honey

Although honey is delicious to eat, it has also been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. Due to its many healing properties, honey can… Teri B Clark - May 20, 2016

Although honey is delicious to eat, it has also been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. Due to its many healing properties, honey can be used in a wide variety of ways. Researchers have teams of people looking into the properties of honey and its health benefits. One such team, the Waikato Honey Research Unit in New Zealand, continues to find evidence that honey is not just beneficial, but far more beneficial than we ever considered.

However, not all honey is made the same. Different honey should be used for different remedies. Picking the right honey will determine how effective it is when you try a home remedy. When looking for honey with antibacterial properties, you should choose manuka honey. Manuka honey is made from the pollen of the manuka tree of New Zealand. Manuka honey contains more antibacterial compounds than any other and contains high levels of non-peroxide activity making it more effective at fighting bacteria.

Here are 16 ways to use honey in your home as remedies for the things that ail you.

1. Cuts and Scrapes

Honey is both an antimicrobial and an antiseptic. People have been using honey on wounds for thousands of years. However, recent evidence shows that honey really is effective. It can not only boost the speed of healing but can also prevent infection. To use honey for cuts and scrapes, be sure that the honey is sterilized and lab-tested. You will want honey will a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) that is 10 or higher in order to fight infection.

  • Clean the wound
  • Cover the bandage with honey (Do not apply honey directly to the cut or scrape. This keeps the honey clean and in the proper place.)
  • Cover the cut or scrape with the honey-covered bandage.
  • Change the bandage twice a day, first thing in the morning and before bed. Once the wound is healing, you can change the bandage just once a day.

Hint: Some stores carry bandages that already have honey embedded in them. This can be less messy.

If your wound is deep, is not healing quickly, or looks infected, you should seek medical care immediately. Your doctor may recommend that you keep using honey or may suggest antibiotic cream or medicine in addition to, or instead of, honey. Wounds that get infected can become septic, which can lead to blood poisoning and potential death. Honey can help prevent this, but be sure to be cautious when treating wounds.

2. Coughs


If you’ve ever had a cough, you know that it can be miserable with wakeful nights and the inability to even hold a conversation. To make matters worse, common medications for a cough make you feel sleepy, causing a host of other problems. But you don’t have to rely on medications for cough since studies show that honey is just as effective and doesn’t have side effects.

  • Mix together one cup of honey, 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, and ¼ cup of warm water.
  • Put the mixture into a jar with a lid
  • Store in the refrigerator
  • Take 1 Tablespoon of honey cough syrup whenever you begin to cough.

This remedy is perfect for a cough all by itself, but can be used when the cough is due to the cold or flu as well. If your cough persists longer than two weeks, or you develop a new cough, be sure to contact a medical professional to rule out any other medical issues that may be the root cause.

3. Cold Sores

cold sore

Cold sores are painful and not very pretty. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which never goes away once you’ve contracted it. Honey has both flavonoids and phenolic acid, which have been found to fight the virus in research, making it the perfect remedy to fight cold sores.

  • Put honey on a cold sore up to four times a day to speed up the healing
  • If you feel a cold sore coming on (a tingling and soreness that develops before an actual outbreak of cold sores), begin treatment on the affected area. This may prevent the outbreak from occurring at all.

4. Eczema


Some people experience eczema, which is inflammation of the skin, causing redness, irritation, itching, and swelling. Eczema is often caused by things in your environment, such as make-up, cleaning products, and soaps. If you’ve eliminated the most common irritants but are still suffering, then you might want to look at honey as a way to soothe your skin.

Honey works two ways. The anti-inflammatory properties of honey help to decrease the symptoms caused by inflammation. At the same time, the antibacterial properties keep the skin from getting infected, especially where the skin has been rubbed raw and is open to the air. Since the honey will be used for antibacterial properties, get honey with a UMF rating of 10 or greater to get the most benefits.

  • Apply honey directly to the skin wherever eczema symptoms are occurring.
  • Cover the area with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse gently to remove the honey.

If your eczema does not clear up or gets worse, consult with a healthcare professional. Sometimes, those with eczema need a topical steroid cream to eliminate the symptoms.

5. Hiccups


Although hiccups are not serious, they can be irritating. A hiccup is nothing more than spasmodic contractions of your diaphragm. Many people suggest holding your breath to get rid of hiccups. Other urban legends suggest having someone scare you or hanging upside down while trying to drink a glass of water. However, swallowing honey is more effective and easier to do. Honey, along with castor oil, has anti-spasmodic properties. Combining the two makes an effective home remedy for hiccups.

  • Mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of castor oil.
  • Swallow one teaspoonful every five minutes until the hiccups are gone.

6. Dandruff


If you have an irritated, flaking scalp, you may have dandruff. Not only does it causes itching and irritation, but it can also be embarrassing as the little flakes fall to your shoulders so the world can see your problem. What you may not know is that dandruff may be caused by a fungal yeast overgrowth. Thankfully, the anti-fungal properties of honey can help relieve itching and flaking without the side effects of anti-fungal medications and products.

  • Mix together three parts honey to one part water.
  • Shampoo your hair regularly and rinse.
  • Massage the honey mixture into your scalp.
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse hair with warm water.
  • Repeat daily for one week.

You will notice a difference immediately, with continued improvement throughout the week.


7. Acne

Although many people assume acne is a teenage hormone problem, adults also suffer from acne. Acne can be caused by hormones as a teen, hormone issues as an adult such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or have what appears to be no cause at all. Many of the prescribed medications for acne come with bad side effects. For instance, Accutane can lead to liver problems, mental health issues such as depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Other medications can be messy and difficult to deal with. For instance, creams with benzoyl peroxide can cause skin irritation and dye clothing or furniture if touched.

A natural cure is honey with cinnamon. Both have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which lend them great remedies for acne by reducing redness and swelling.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered cinnamon with two tablespoons of honey with a UMF of 10 or greater.
  • Use your fingers to apply the honey mixture to your face, particularly the acne-prone areas.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse gently.

8. Burns

For serious burns, make sure you seek emergency treatment to prevent infection and tissue loss. On the other hand, if you have a minor burn from cooking, ironing, or curling your hair, you might want to try honey to heal faster and ease the pain. Research has shown that burns treated with honey actually heal faster than burns treated with conventional methods.

  • Cool the burned area under cold running water for 10 minutes. This might feel painful but will stop the burn from going deeper.
  • Pat dry.
  • Put a thick layer of honey over the burn and the surrounding area.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and hold in place with a bandage.
  • Change the dressing twice a day. You can change it once a day as the burn begins to heal.

dry skin

9. Dry Skin

In the winter months, dry skin is a big problem. This is because the cold air outside and the dry, hot air inside strip the skin of its natural oils. Some people, however, experience dry skin all year long due to hormone changes, high altitudes, or dry climates. Having dry skin can leave you feeling sore and tight and produce redness across the driest areas.

Honey is a great moisturizer known as humectant that helps your skin keep and replenish its natural oils. Paired with olive oil that helps keep skin supple and elastic, the two make a great home remedy for dry skin.

  • Mix equal amounts of honey and olive oil until they are creamy.
  • Massage the lotion into dry areas of skin, including the face. Areas that dry out quickly like knees and elbows benefit greatly from this home remedy.

10. Athlete’s Foot

athlete's foot

The fungal infection known as Athlete’s foot causes red, flaky, itchy feet. Once again, due to its anti-fungal properties, honey is a great home remedy.

  • Before bed, rub a thick layer of honey on the bottom of your feet and between the toes, where you see Athlete’s foot.
  • Cover your feet with an old pair of socks.
  • Wear socks all night to keep the honey in contact with the infected feet.
  • Wash and dry your feet in the morning.
  • Repeat until the infection has cleared up.

sore throat

11. Sore Throat

Colds, the flu, or any upper respiratory infection often lead to a sore throat. The pain can be terrible, making you feel as if you are swallowing razor blades. The pain is often worse right after you wake up since your throat has dried out during sleep.

Honey can help by coating the throat and soothing the pain. When the pain has eased, swallowing becomes easier. We also know that cayenne pepper, due to capsaicin, reduces throat pain by activating the mucous membranes. Putting both together can be a powerful home remedy for sore throats.

  • Fill a mug with warm water.
  • Mix in 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Heat in microwave until hot, but do not boil.
  • Sip the drink like you would tea.

You’ll notice a soothing effect on your throat as you drink and for a period of time afterward.

If your sore throat lasts more than 2 weeks or you have a lot of throat swelling, see your healthcare professional. Your doctor may need to add antibiotics.

12. Sunburn


Once again, the moisturizing properties of honey known as humectant can help with a sunburn. When your skin is sunburned, it loses its moisture and the honey helps your skin keep and restore moisture. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties help ease the discomfort of sunburn including redness, burning, and irritation.

So, if you stayed out in the sun too long and developed a sunburn, honey may be exactly what you need to feel better.

  • Mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, and ½ cup of honey.
  • Put it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray sunburned areas for instant relief.

acid reflux

13. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a huge problem among adults in the US. If you have acid reflux, this means that the stomach acid is not staying in your stomach but is entering your esophagus, damaging the esophageal walls. Honey can soothe the burning pain by coating the throat.

Additionally, because it is both an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic, honey can help heal the membranes in the throat. If you have mild symptoms, the use of honey may be a great answer as opposed to proton pump inhibitor drugs and their side effects.

  • Measure out 2 tablespoons of honey.
  • Swallow when having symptoms.

If your acid reflux is a new symptom or you are having stomach pains, talk with a medical professional because you could have an ulcer or other serious medical condition. If you have an ulcer caused by the bacteria Helicobacter, acid reflux may occur. Antibiotics can resolve this type of infection, and then eating honey and yogurt can keep the infection from recurring.

14. Dry and Damaged Hair

dry and damaged hair

Hair can become damaged and dry for many reasons. Perhaps you use hairdryer or other electric tools on your hair. Perhaps you spend a lot of time in the swimming pool. Perhaps your hormones are acting up, drying out your hair. Whatever the cause, there is no need to buy expensive salon products to restore your hair.

The humectant (moisturizing) properties of honey don’t only affect the skin. It is also a great way to keep moisture in your hair. Adding olive oil will coat the hair shaft to make it smooth and shiny. Together, they make an amazing product that is as good as anything you can get in the salon.

  • Warm ½ cup of honey in the microwave.
  • Stir in ¼ cup of olive oil.
  • Shampoo your hair regularly and rinse.
  • Work the honey mixture through your hair as a conditioner.
  • Leave it on the hair for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.

mouth ulcers

15. Mouth Ulcers

Ulcers in the mouth can occur because of infection or trauma. For instance, you might bite down on the inside of your cheek, and a mouth ulcer will develop. Mouth ulcers create pain in the entire area around the ulcer and can be very difficult to heal. Many over-the-counter medications have side effects, so trying honey is a good way to go.

Honey’s anti-microbial properties keep out infection. Turmeric acts as an antiseptic and cools the area. Together they make a wonderful salve for mouth ulcers.

  • Mix equal parts of honey and turmeric, forming a thick paste.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply the salve to the mouth ulcer.
  • Leave it for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse the mouth.
  • Do this twice daily until the ulcer is healed

16. Insect Bites

insect bites

Being outdoors in the warm weather is wonderful, but it can leave you covered in insect bites. For many people, these bites are painful and itch! Although you can spray to ward off the insects, the sprays have toxic ingredients that can be harmful, especially to those with asthma.

So, if you’ve got an insect bite, honey, and its anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce redness and swelling. Its antibacterial properties can keep the bites from becoming infected. The addition of baking soda can help soothe the irritation and itching. Together, this home remedy is perfect for summer fun.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to make a paste.
  • Apply to the bite.
  • Cover the area with a bandage.

16 honey home remedies

Now you can see why having honey in your kitchen is a good idea. Not only will it sweeten your foods, but it will sweeten your life as it helps you heal yourself with a variety of home remedies. As researchers continue to look at the properties of honey, new uses will continue to pop up.