Healthy Honey: Surprising Uses for Our Favorite Sweet Treat

Woman Drizzling Honey Over FruitThe honey bee is well-known for its contribution to agriculture; in fact, honey bees and other pollinators impact, to some extent, approximately 35 percent of the world’s crops. Of course, our fuzzy little friends are also famous for something else: honey.

You may have friends who use honey as a sweetener for their tea or yogurt, as an addition to fruit and cheese platters, or as an alternative sweetener. However, according to many, honey can be useful in other ways that don’t involve eating it. Though we'll leave medical advice to medical professionals, the following are some of the ways honey has been found to be helpful...and healthful.

Honey's Healing Properties

Honey has natural antibacterial properties due to an enzyme supplied by honey bees, which means it can be applied to burns, cuts and scrapes. If you have rambunctious children or are active yourself, then you likely deal with minor scratches quite often. Some folks choose to mix a bit of honey with the gel of an aloe vera plant when their little one falls off a bike or they get a minor burn.

Have a sore throat or a cough that won’t go away? Try drinking a spoonful of honey. A single dose of buckwheat honey, in particular, has been found to be an effective way to calm your cough and help you sleep at night. As always, check with your healthcare provider for the treatment that’s best for you and your family.

Woman Moisturizing Skin with HoneyHoney Hydration

Did you know you can use honey to condition your hair? Mixing just one teaspoon together with olive oil is enough to soak in the moisture and provide a deep conditioning treatment. Leave in for 20 minutes before shampooing out.

You may have guessed by now that honey is a natural moisturizer. If you’re dealing with dry patches this winter, simply rub honey onto your skin and let it sit for about half an hour before washing off. The honey will do the work!

Likewise, honey is a fantastic substitute for lip balm (and tastes pretty good, too). Make this DIY lip scrub with sugar, coconut oil and honey, and you will not be disappointed!

Close Up on Honey CombKeep Your Gut Health in Check

Some consider raw honey to be especially beneficial. If eaten in moderate amounts, it’s been known to promote prebiotic effects, which is good for your gut!

As mentioned above, honey contains an enzyme that gives it antibacterial properties. This enzyme creates hydrogen peroxide, and that, along with its other antioxidant contents, has been credited with playing a role in minimizing scars and encouraging tissue growth. Because of these effects, honey is also sometimes used to treat ulcers and similar gastrointestinal issues.

So, the next time you buy honey at the store or wonder how you can help promote and support honey bee health, remember that their hard work contributes to human health in more ways than we can count!