Honey is a sweet food made by honeybees using the nectar from flowers. Honey is made up of fructose, glucose and other minerals such as calcium, phosphate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium chlorine. Typically, honey contains 38.2% fructose, 31.3% glucose, 7.1% maltose, 1.3% sucrose, 17.2% water, 1.5% higher sugars, 0.2% ash and other compounds 3.2%.
Honey was used as a traditional Ayurvedic medicine in olden times, where it was thought to be effective at treating material imbalances in the body. Honey was used topically to treat wounds, in the pre-ancient Egyptian times. Honey was used in Egyptian medicinal compounds more than five millennia ago. The healing powers of honey were glorified even by the Prophet Mohammed. The benefits of honey are plenty. And here is a list of top 10 Health Benefits of Honey:
10. Heals wounds and cuts and burns
The use of honey to heal cuts and wounds is an ancient practice. The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Egyptian medical manual written around 1600 B.C suggested using honey to treat everything from head wounds to a broken nose to a dislocated jawbone. On being applied on a cut or wound honey acts like a dry sponge that soaks up the spare water by a process called osmosis. Through this process the honey draws fluid away from the infected wound and helps to kill bacteria, which require liquid to grow. Honey seems to reduce odors and pus, help clean the wound, reduce infection, reduce pain, and decrease time to healing.
Honey has been used for centuries to treat superficial and partial-thickness burns. It has wonderful healing and antiseptic properties. When applied to a burn, honey draws fluids out of the tissues and thus cleans the burned area. Researchers in India found that burns dressed with honey healed faster and with less pain and scarring. You can apply the honey on a gauze bandage and put it directly on the burn. Apart from being a salve and an antibiotic, bacteria simply cannot survive in honey. Its antibacterial and anti fungal properties can prevent bacterial growth and the antimicrobial properties prevent infection.
09. Treats cold and cough
For years, honey is known for its antibacterial properties. Studies have found that honey is a far more effective remedy for coughs as compared to several cough medicines. The viscosity of honey provides a soothing layer on the throat that helps in easing comfort and dryness. According to certain studies, it is shown that unprocessed, pure honey is three times more effective in killing bacteria than processed honey. To get instant relief from coughing make a mixture of one tablespoon of honey with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and drink this solution at regular intervals. Or else gargling with a mixture of honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water can also be effective. To treat cough the best option is to use buckwheat honey.
08. Treats indigestion
For those who suffer from indigestion, besides taking medicines you can regularly consume one or two tablespoons of honey before heavy meals, as the antiseptic properties of honey relieve acidity in the stomach and alleviate digestion. Honey by neutralizing gas becomes the ultimate soother when it comes to overheating. The ability of honey to fight bacteria allows it to aid in problems within the stomach and bowels caused by bacteria build up. Honey stimulates the growth of probiotics in the intestine which help in digestion.
07. Reduces weight
Wondering how to shed some kilos or what should you do to reduce weight? If yes, then your solution is honey. Just try to replace your sugar intake with honey, throughout the day. In addition to that you should consume three spoonfuls of honey with hot water every night before bed. Combining this with an exercise regime will definitely lead to a sizable drop in your weight. Consumption of a mixture of warm water, honey and lemon also creates a more alkaline atmosphere in the stomach thus helping you lose weight faster.
06. Regulates blood sugar level
In spite of being sweet, honey can help regulate blood sugar levels due to the combination of fructose and glucose. Certain kinds of honeys have a low hypoglycemic index. This means when such honey is consumed, it doesn’t jolt your blood sugar. Those suffering from Type 1 diabetes should eat one tablespoon of honey daily. At the same time, the minerals, vitamins and antioxidant properties in honey are highly beneficial.
05. Boosts energy and immunity
Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates.It contains the sugar fructose, which is much sweeter than glucose. It is rapidly absorbed by the body, so it can be used as an instant energy booster immediately after a workout or otherwise. The natural sugars present in honey provide a healthy source of energy and calories for the body.
Drinking a teaspoon of honey daily, along with your morning vitamins can also strengthen your immune system. Studies indicate that raw honey contains lots of phytonutrients that stimulate antibody production, thus acting as an immune booster. So, next time instead of sipping some energy drinks try some honey instead.
04. Good for skin
Honey is splendidly good for skin. Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in milk and honey to preserve her youth and beauty. Honey is a natural cleanser that exfoliates the skin to bring out a radiant and glowing complexion. Honey also helps to lock moisture of the skin. Due to its antibacterial properties it is good for acne treatment. It also helps to sooth inflammation of the affected area and manages blemishes cause by acne. It is great for slowing down aging as it is full of anti-oxidants. Honey is clarifying because it opens up pores making them easy to unclog.
03. Acts as a sleep aid
Often people experiences trouble sleeping and honey is one simple solution to this problem. Honey promotes relaxation and helps ease you to sleep at night. Honey is a fat-digesting carbohydrate that stimulates the release of insulin and allows tryptophan, the compound that makes us sleepy, to enter the brain easily. Simply taking a spoonful of honey before going to bed or a glass of warm milk with honey can help you get restful sleep. Both honey and milk are tryptophan containing foods.
02. Reduces ulcers
Between 50 A.D. and 70 A.D., the Greek physician honey for heart wrote in his medical treatise De Materia Medica that honey was good for treating ulcers. Honey is shown to possess a number of curative powers and very effective for treating ulcers particularly for two reasons. First, glucose oxidase, an enzyme in honey, produces hydrogen peroxide, which kills harmful bacteria that can contribute to the development of ulcers. Second, there are other floral antibacterial substances in honey that add to honey’s effectiveness in eliminating bacteria. Pure and unprocessed honey is the most effective for treating ulcers than the processed one. Taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey on an empty stomach (half an hour before a meal) up to three times a day to provide pain relief and assist in healing.
01. Reduces risk of cancer and heart diseases
Honey contains flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. When mixed with cinnamon honey has been showed to revitalize the arteries and veins of the heart and reduce cholesterol in the blood by up to 10%. Therefore, taking this mixture regularly can check the chances of heart attacks. Studies have shown that manuka honey, as little as 1.0 per cent, can stop the growth of cancer cells by up to 70 per cent.