It’s a blazer out there today, so I’m planning to be inside tackling some of the tasks I’ve been putting off while the weather was a little more pleasant. Because I try never to leave you hanging, I wrote this article for the July issue of Inner Child Magazine and wanted to share it with you! Did you know that using honey can sweeten your health? How’s that for good news?! I hope you enjoy my findings and have a wonderful rest of your week!
Wishing You Total Well-Being,
It’s probably safe to assume that most of you have sweetened a beverage or baked good with honey at some point in your life. Maybe you drizzled a little on your oatmeal this morning, or even swapped out refined sugar in favor of this nectarous, golden elixir. Honey is more than a thrill for our tastebuds, though. It has been used as both a medicine and a food for centuries. It’s depicted in a 10,000 year old Spanish rock painting, it was left in the tombs of pharaohs by the Ancient Egyptians, and is mentioned in the sacred texts of almost every major religion. It’s been used to dress the wounds of Roman soldiers and clay tablet prescriptions have been discovered dating as far back as 2000 B.C. from the region of Nippur. It seems our ancestors knew that its value was worth more than its weight in gold. The good news is that you can still use honey today to address a number of health concerns and reap its tasty benefits for yourself.
Honey is full of antioxidants, including phenolic compounds like flavonoids. These antioxidant compounds have a host of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol, and lowering triglyceride levels. All of these benefits can have positive effects on heart health and show promise in assisting Type 2 diabetics when honey is used to replace table sugar in the diet.
Honey has been a common ingredient in home remedies for cough and commercial cold medicines for years. In fact, in a 2010 study showed that honey scored better than two common cold remedies, dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine, in relieving nighttime coughing in both children and adults. It’s also becoming a commonly accepted form of seasonal allergy relief, thanks to some promising discoveries in the field of immunotherapy. Pollen found in local honey is introduced to the allergy sufferer in such a small amount that it may help them build immunity to it over time. Keep in mind, that honey from other regions may not have the desired effect.
Honey isn’t just good for the insides. Research suggests it has a healing effect on the skin, as well. One such group of studies touts the use of honey as an effective treatment for diabetic ulcers, while another series suggests that it may help heal partial thickness burns and wounds infected after surgery. That’s because researchers believe that honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help protect and nourish skin tissue. That’s also why you might see it in the beauty creams in high end cosmetic shops and in DIY skincare recipes.
One very important thing to keep in mind is that honeybees are hurting. They are dying at an alarming rate and they need a little compassionate human intervention to survive. Get to know your local beekeepers at farmer’s markets in your town and like or friend them on social media. When you see a hive in your neighborhood or somewhere that it’s likely to be sprayed and lost, give them a call so it can be properly captured and cared for. The health benefits of honey could be lost to us forever if we don’t first concern ourselves with the health of the honeybee. Do your part to save them and sweetness will follow.