Raw honey has been used for thousands of years as a remedy due to its various health benefits. Honey may be available as pasteurized or raw. However, most of the health benefits are attributed to raw honey which is packaged directly from the hive. Raw does not go through any kind of processing and therefore it contains traces of yeast, wax and pollen. Honey contains a high amount of sugar at about 80 percent with high levels of monosaccharides, fructose and glucose. It also has antibacterial properties and has been used historically to store food and in chronic wound management. Here are some of the benefits of using honey.
It is antibacterial and antifungal
Honey contains hydrogen peroxide which is a natural antiseptic that can be effectively used to fight harmful bacteria and fungi.
It helps heal wounds
Honey has been shown to help treat wounds as it is an effective germ killer and also helps in tissue regeneration. It significantly reduces healing time and reduces infection. It is however important to note that honey used to treat wounds should be sterile and of high grade.
It is rich in phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are chemical compounds found in plants that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These compounds are beneficial to the body as they help boost immunity as well as prevent cancer. They are found in raw honey as processing destroys them.
Protects the digestive system
Honey has been shown to be beneficial against digestive issues such as diarrhea. It promotes intake of water and potassium which are essential when experiencing diarrhea. It is also effective in fighting against helicobacter pylori, a bacterium which causes stomach ulcers. Taking honey reduces the risk of upward flow of stomach acid undigested food by lining the esophagus and stomach. This prevents gastro esophageal reflux disease which is characterized by acid reflux and heartburn.
Soothes sore throat
Honey has been widely used historically to treat sore throat. Studies have shown that it is an effective dextromethorphan, similar to cough medication. It can be taken with hot tea with lemon for cold flu or as a cough suppressant.
It is a great dietary sweetener.
Honey is a great alternative to sugar in the diet. It does not contain excess calories and has a tone of nutritional benefits. Excess calories can lead to increased body weight and thus higher risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes. Honey does not have any negative health impacts associated with processed sugar. It is however important to note is should be consumed sparingly for this purpose as it is still a sweetener.
It can treat dandruff.
Honey is a great natural remedy for dandruff. It nourishes and softens dry hair and also prevents hair fall. It can be applied for this purpose as a hair mask letting it soak for up to 15 minutes before washing with shampoo.
Good for dental health.
Honey is beneficial in treating and healing wounds due to its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. Honey can be used to treat teeth and gum diseases such as gingivitis, bleeding gums and plaque. It contains hydrogen peroxide which is an anti-microbial compound that prevents the growth of bacteria. It is recommended to use raw honey mixed with water as a mouthwash. Direct application of raw honey on the affected gums also gives instant relief from pain and inflammation.
Honey has many beneficial prebiotics and nutrients. Choosing honey over regular sugar may have long term health benefits. Raw honey should not be given to a baby less than a year old.