The health benefits of honey
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
I’m sure many of you have heard or been told that tea and honey is the best for a sore throat—but did you know that a lot of ailments can be cured, or at least treated, with a little help from our favourite bee-made condiment?
Honey is one of those weird, totally organic, cheap cure-alls that people are so into these days. So I decided to write about a few of its more general uses for common ailments that affect everyone.
First up, let’s discuss external uses. Honey is a natural, very mild, antiseptic. Antiseptics are topical, antimicrobial substances that kill germs and bacteria in order to prevent infection, sepsis, and decay. Now normally when we think of antiseptics, we think of stuff like hydrogen peroxide, or something with a little more kick because we want something powerful enough to kill a lot of the dangerous bacteria. The problem with that is that antiseptics don’t discriminate. It will kill all the bacteria, including that ones that your skin or immune system need. The benefit to honey is that it is mild enough to treat reoccurring issues without damaging the skin, so afflictions like acne, psoriasis, clogged pores, and raw or hang-nailed cuticles can all benefit from a little golden delicious. It’s also been linked to healing minor wounds faster, and is incredibly moisturizing—perfect for all that dry, cracked skin you’re bound to get this winter. Add a little sugar and olive oil and you have the perfect exfoliating mask, and without all those questionable microbeads.
This moisturizing element also makes it perfect for treating dandruff or dry hair. If you love the affects of coconut oil, then mix in a little honey as well to make a leave in conditioner. The enzymes in the honey will actually counteract any dullness, so your hair will appear shinier after you’re done.
If you’re planning on hitting the mountains this winter, you might want to keep honey in mind. Skiing and snowboarding are all fun and games until someone comes back with a sunburn. Instead of aloe vera, grab the nearest bottle of honey—it’s cheaper, and contains the same naturally occurring anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and pain.
Next up, let’s take a look at internal uses. I’ve already hinted at honey’s benefit to dry throats. Being as it is a mild antiseptic, any bacterial infections like strep throat will greatly benefit from a little tea and honey. Unfortunately, illnesses like the common cold and flu are viral infections, so honey is less likely to help combat them, but it does reduce swelling and pain in the throat and vocal chords, which will help you feel a little better and talk easier. It will also act as a stomach remedy if you’re nauseous or suffering from heart burn. The thick coating helps calm overactive stomach acid, making you feel more at ease in a matter of minutes.
Honey has been used as a home remedy since before our ancestors knew what a home remedy was, and with all that it is capable of, it’s easy to see why. So instead of leaving it to collect dust in the cupboard, break it out and see if it works as a cheap remedy to anything that ails you—worse comes to worse, you can always just enjoy it as a snack after.