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8 Surprising Facts You Didnt Know About Honey

8 Surprising Facts You Didnt Know About Honey

As long as 8,000 years ago honey was depicted as being used as an edible food in cave paintings in Valencia, Spain. The production of honey initially flourished in places like Greece and Sicily, and before sugar became available in the 16th Century, honey was often valued as a natural sweetener for foods and drinks. Ancient Egyptians even used honey as a form of currency.

Though it is high in fructose, the health benefits of honey outweigh its drawbacks as it is a substance that relies on bees to develop. The development process of honey involves thousands of worker and drone bees to collect nectar and then go to a hive and ingest, or regurgitate, the nectar into the hive. Honey contains sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and 18 different kinds of amino acids.

Honey Treats Wounds

Honey can be used as a wound dressing for a variety of wound types. Honey has proven to be a viable complementary medical treatment in wound management. It is preferred that you use manuka honey, which possesses many therapeutic qualities. The United States Federal Drug Administration officially approved manuka honey as a recommended option for wound treatment in 2007. Manuka honey, just like manuka oil, releases hydrogen peroxide, which plays a key role in treating infections, rashes and boils.

Honey Fights Off Allergies

Honey contains anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces allergy symptoms. Honey contains small amounts of pollen. Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties produce antibodies that will handle the pollen’s effects. Due to the fact that the body is taking in small amounts of pollen, the immune system builds up a defense mechanism to combat pollen. Honey contains an antimicrobial agent that prohibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Lactobacillus kunkeei is the probiotic bacteria found in honey, which stimulates the immunity processes of cells. Combining honey with an essential known to treat inflammation like rosemary would be a wise move to make.

Cough Suppression: A Great Health Benefit of Honey

According to James M. Steckelberg of the Mayo Clinic, a study where kids from the ages of 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime turned out to be as effective an option as dextromethorphan, an ingredient found in over-the-counter cough medicines. The World Health Organization lists honey as a demulcent. Honey has been found to relieve irritation in a person’s mouth and throat and forms a protective film to fight off bacteria. One study found that 39 of 40 participants were content to use honey to treat their child’s cough

Honey Boosts Energy

Honey contains 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. Carbohydrates serve as the main fuel for energy use in the body. It is recommended that a person consumes carbohydrates before athletic activity. The carbohydrates in honey are released into the system throughout the body, giving it a much-needed energy boost. During the course of a workout honey will keep muscles nourished longer and will also delay fatigue. Honey even works after a workout as the combination of carbohydrates and protein will sustain favorable blood sugar concentrations.

Honey Keeps Your Memory Sharp

Antioxidants feed blood cells to the brain, and honey is very rich in antioxidants. A study conducted by Malaysian doctor Zahiruddin Othman and colleagues found that tualang honey was able to improve memory in postmenopausal women, which was compared to that of estrogen progestin therapy. Tualang honey has been found to improve both short-term and long-term memory. Furthermore a separate study involved 102 women eating 20 grams of honey a day for 4 months, and there were positive results to a short-term memory test. The women remembered one extra word out of every 15 words. Having a consumption program combining ingredients like honey and spearmint oil would be wise if you are trying to regain hormonal balance

Honey is Ideal for Hair and Skin Care

Honey has also proven to be an effective binder of sorts, but not just for dressing up wounds. Honey can be used as a key ingredient in many cosmetic products such as hydrating creams, lotions, shampoos and conditioners. In such products honey exerts humectant, attracting moisture to the skin or the scalp while also slowing down wrinkling. The vitamins that are found in honey, such as Vitamin C (3%), Riboflavin (8%), Vitamin B6 (4%), Niacin, Folate and Pantothenic Acid (2%), and minerals such as Manganese (14%), Iron (8%), and Copper (6%) all help in nourishing and enriching a person’s hair. Honey also helps in preventing buildup of dandruff.

It is ideal for one to make a honey-based facial mask because those same vitamins and minerals will be absorbed by the face, which will effectively take care of the face’s dryness. Applying either amla oil or palmarosa oil to go with this honey-based facial mask would also be a good idea.

Honey is a Powerful Sleep Aid

The natural sugar in honey slightly raises a person’s insulin and allows tryptohpan, the famous compound a person will feel after eating turkey on Thanksgiving, to enter the brain more easily. It is recommended that either a spoonful of honey be taken before bedtime or a mixture of 2 teaspoons each of cider vinegar and honey in a glass of warm water. It would also help to include an essential oil like marjoram oil to go along with bedtime honey consumption as part of a regular sleep routine.

Honey is indeed often used as an ingredient for chamomile tea. Scottish pharmacist Mike McInnes states that there are 3 key components to honey being a strong sleep aid. Honey ensures adequate liver glycogen stores for 8 hours of sleep, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and its melatonin content provides aid in the recovery and rebuilding of body tissue.

Honey Effectively Treats Herpes

Studies have been conducted on the efficacy of honey for the treatment of herpes symptoms. 90 patients with genital herpes tried 3 different treatments in the event of a herpes outbreak, and the options were the propolis (a product of bees) treattment, topical acyclovir treatment (normally used to treat herpes), and a placebo treatment. Test results showed that the propolis treatment outperformed the other 2 options. Another study had 8 patients each with genital or oral herpes treat their outbreaks 2 different ways. The duration of an outbreak’s pain lasted a shorter time for those who took honey whether they took honey first and then the topical acyclovir treatment, or the same two treatments in reverse order.

Applying gauze soaked with honey 4 times a day for 15 minutes on herpes-related wounds would be a preferred application method as long as warm running water is included.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.