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Known as the nectar of the gods, honey is a well-known ingredient in the diets of thousands around the world. The blessings of honey have been praised ubiquitously from age-old history books to clinical research in the current society.
Honey is a biological product yielded from the nectar of flowers by honeybees. It has been utilized by people since the golden times. Most archaic inhabitants, especially the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, consumed honey both for its nutritious value and therapeutic advantages. (1)
Honey is known to have nourishing, cosmetic, and medicinal values. It is available in 300+ varieties that differ from one another in color, taste, and odor.
Furthermore, honey contains health-promoting compounds that make it perfect for a balanced diet. These include:
- Amino acids
- Organic acids
So, there is no doubt that honey is used in the healthcare industry as a traditional medicine and also as an alternative therapy for various clinical conditions attributed to its properties such as: (1)
- Wound healing
The good news is there are countless methods to use honey as a home remedy for various ailments.
Top Home Remedies Using Honey
Here are some of the health uses of honey.
1. Promotes wound healing
Honey can be used on wounds to accelerate their healing.
A research article that combined multiple reports available on the clinical usage of honey shows positive findings on honey and its role in wound care. There is also plenty of evidence for the good results of honey in a wide range of wounds. (2)
Another study tested the antimicrobial activity of Chilean honey against strains of bacteria and concluded its high antimicrobial activity, which contributed to its possible use as an alternative therapy for wound healing. (3)
Furthermore, data show the therapeutic properties of honey cover the various steps of the wound-healing cascade. These include:
- Tissue growth
- Increased epithelialization
- Reduced scar formation
One study suggested that the properties of honey such as its nutritional value and antioxidant content, stimulation of immunity, and acidity support its therapeutic value as a wound healer. The study results encouraged the use of honey as a natural and safe wound healer. (4)
How to use honey to heal wounds?
Researchers suggest the use of honey as a wound dressing. For this, you should:
- Clean your hands and make sure you’re using sterile gauze and cotton.
- Apply honey to a dressing, which you’ll then use to apply honey to your skin.
- Continue to place a clean and dry dressing over the honey.
- Replace the dressing as needed.
2. Soothes burns
Honey is a known remedy for soothing and healing the skin. Also, because of its antibacterial activity, it will keep you away from infections.
In one study shared by Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters, honey is effective for burn treatment because of its various properties including antibacterial action, hygroscopic effect, and hydrogen peroxide content.
Trials have also demonstrated that the treatment of burns with honey is an effective way to control any infection and is better than the results achieved with standard treatment. (5)
Another research concluded that honey dressings make the wounds sterile in a shorter time, enhance wound healing, and give a better outcome in terms of scarring. (6)
How to use honey to soothe burns?
- For minor burns, spew tap water instantly on the burns to decrease the temperature.
- Apply honey directly or a honey-soaked gauze to the burn wound. Based on the area of the burn, 15–30 ml of honey can be used.
- Apply dressing to prevent the honey from oozing out.
- Change the dressing depending on how quickly the honey is diluted by the exudate. (5)
3. Manages skin conditions
Honey appears to be useful in the management of dermatitis and psoriasis vulgaris.
A study was done to investigate the effects of a mixture of honey, olive oil, and beeswax on patients with atopic dermatitis or psoriasis vulgaris. Patients who got the treatment with honey mixture showed significant improvement in their dermatitis and psoriasis. (7)
The same was concluded by another study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open. It showed how honey has a similar efficacy to various creams in the management of psoriasis. (8)
How to use honey to manage skin conditions?
The use of honey for the management of skin conditions is pretty simple. All you have to do is apply honey to the affected area after cleaning the area with soap and water.
But remember to do a patch test before using honey as a remedy to make sure you’re not sensitive to it. For this, apply a little amount of honey to a small area of the skin and wait for around 20 minutes. If you experience any irritation, avoid the use of honey on your skin.
4. Treats cough and sore throat
If you suffer from a sore throat or have a cough, you can find instant relief with a spoonful of honey. This remedy is also recommended by well-known organizations such as the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
How to use honey to treat a sore throat?
According to a study, consuming a small dose (2.5 mL) of honey before going to sleep has a soothing effect on cough induced by upper respiratory infections. (9)
5. May improve memory
You don’t have to worry about forgetting things anymore as honey can be a good remedy for both short-term and long-term memory improvement.
The same has been proven by a study on the memory performance of postmenopausal women who received tualang honey as therapy. The study concluded that postmenopausal women who received tualang honey showed improvement in their immediate memory power. (11)
Another study showcased how honey polyphenols counter neuroinflammation in the hippocampus region of the brain that is involved in spatial memory. This led to the resolution of memory deficits and induced memory formation at the molecular level. (12)
How to use honey to improve memory?
To reap the neurological benefits of honey, simply consume one spoonful of raw honey every day.
6. Boosts immunity
Honey is also known for boosting immunity. This is because it is rich in antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids, organic acids, and enzymes. These antioxidants protect your body from cellular damage caused by free radicals, which leads to chronic diseases.
Phenolic compounds, such as those found in honey, are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. This is concluded by a review study that also demonstrated that honey has a promising pharmacological role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. (13)
7. Fights gastric issues
Honey is great for your digestive system. It can rescue you from gastric issues such as:
- Acid reflux
This is because honey helps clean your colon and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
A study published in Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, which aimed at assessing the antibacterial properties of honey bees in the treatment of duodenal ulcers, concluded that honey possesses antibacterial activity against H. pylori, which is a famous cause of duodenal ulcers. (14)
The study also suggested that honey with triple therapy regimen helped shorten the duration required to eliminate H. pylori from the stomach lining of the patients. (14)
How to use honey to fight gastric issues?
- Drink warm water with 1 tablespoon of honey every morning.
- For severe heartburn, make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder. Add a pinch of cinnamon powder to a tablespoonful of honey or water and consume it after meals.
What are the signs and symptoms of honey allergies?
Some people are allergic to some components in honey such as bee pollen. The signs and symptoms of this reaction include:
- Stinging on topical use
Is honey safe to use?
Honey is considered safe in adults and children older than age 1. Avoid giving honey to those under the age of 1 year.
Honey is a well-known natural sweetener that also possesses a variety of therapeutic benefits such as suppressing cough and treating minor sores and wounds. It is also deemed to be safe for both adults and children older than 1 year and doesn’t have any known interaction with other medicinal agents.
Consuming honey to resolve various issues is a great remedy.