The Many Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees from the nectar of various flowers. It is a 100% natural sweetener. It's a miracle food which never goes bad. Because of its low water content and high acidity (PH), bacteria cannot survive in honey.
Honey is widely available and its health benefits are as numerous as its colours and tastes.
Benefits of Honey and the Conditions It Treats
- Low Energy: It is a natural energy booster.
- Immune System: It builds immunity, because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
- Asthma: Regular intake gives strength to the lungs, cures cough, dryness of the throat, and removes phlegm.
- Cough: Licking 12 gms of honey three times a day reduces phlegm, and reduces cough.
- Frostbite: Applying and lightly rubbing honey on frostbitten body parts reduces pain.
- Burns and Injuries: Applied on burns and injuries, these injuries heal faster and do not leave scars.
- Gout and Rheumatism: Consume honey regularly. It helps control pain.
- Tiredness: Drinking water mixed with two spoonfuls of honey and the juice of one lemon reduces tiredness and gives you energy.
- Migraine: When you get a headache, take two spoonfuls of honey with your food. It controls migraine pains.
- Heart Tonic: Honey strengthens the heart. Shortage of glycogen in the blood can cause fainting. In such cases, two spoonfuls of honey can prevent one from fainting. If your heartbeat increases, due to cold or weakness, it can cause suffocation. Taking two spoonfuls of honey gives strength to the heart. Taking one spoon of honey every day strengthens the heart.
- Insomnia: If insomnia is due to tension or tiredness, then consumption of a concoction of juice made with one lemon and two spoons of honey can help relax you into sleep.
- Obesity: To reduce weight, drink a glass of hot water with honey in it.
- To Increase Weight: Add two spoonfuls of honey to milk to increase weight gain.
- Cramps: Adding two spoonfuls of honey to water helps prevent cramping.
- Paralysis: Boil one oz water, then add two spoonfuls of honey. After cooling, drink this mixture. Since this mixture provides high amounts of calcium to the body, there's some evidence that it can be beneficial to patients with paralysis. For best results, continue this for three to four weeks.
- Anaemia: To reduce the effects of anaemia, drink water with one spoonful of honey three times a day.
- Blood Purifier: If you suffer from eczema, boils, pruritus, and other skin diseases, add 40 gms honey to 300 ml water and drink this early in the morning for some months. It helps to purify blood and clear skin diseases.
- Skin Diseases: Tying a honey covered bandage on the affected area relieves itching.
- Hiccups: Add two spoonfuls of onion juice to two spoonfuls of honey and lick this. It helps to relieve hiccups.
- Cold and Influenza: Mix 30 gms honey and two spoonfuls of ginger juice in some hot water. Consume this to relieve sore throats and coughs.
Honey should not be given to infants below the age of 24 months as some honey contains low levels of spores of naturally occurring Clostridium botulinum, which bees collect along with the nectar. The spores are neither detectable nor removable during processing. The infant's digestive system is immature and not acidic enough to inhibit the toxins produced by these spores.
Facts About Honey
- Honey has sugar mainly in the form of fructose and glucose. Because of the fructose, honey is sweeter than sugar.
- It has antioxidants.
- It is fat and cholesterol-free.
- It has minerals, vitamins, and protein.
- 1 Tbsp honey has 64 calories.
- It has a lower Glycemic Index (55) than sugar (61), which means it is absorbed into the blood slower than sugar and maintains a lower blood sugar level. Using honey instead of sugar causes the pancreas to be less stimulated to produce insulin.
- Honey gives energy for a longer time as the sugar in honey is more slowly absorbed than refined sugar.
- The potassium in honey helps your immune system fight bacteria.
- It is very beneficial in fighting typhoid, bronchopneumonia, and other bacterial diseases.
- It has high Iron content, which helps with anaemia.
- It has many minerals and elements, like manganese, silica, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, carotene etc.
- Honey is often used as a carrier for other medicines.
Honey's Nutrient Levels
Nutritional values are measured per 100 grams or 3.5 oz.
- Energy: 1,272 kJ (304 Kcal)
- Carbohydrates: 82.4 g
- Sugars: 82.12 g
- Dietary fiber: 0.2 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Protein: 0.3 g
- Water: 17.10 g
- Riboflavin (vit. B2): 0.038 mg (3%)
- Niacin (vit. B3): 0.121 mg (1%)
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.068 mg (1%)
- Vitamin B: 60.024 mg (2%)
- Folate (vit. B9): 2 mcg (1%)
- Vitamin C: 0.5 mg (1%)
- Calcium: 6 mg (1%)
- Iron: 0.42 mg (3%)
- Magnesium: 2 mg (1%)
- Phosphorus: 4 mg (1%)
- Potassium: 52 mg (1%)
- Sodium: 4 mg (0%)
- Zinc: 0.22 mg (2%)
Note: The percentages shown are for 100 gor, or roughly 5 tbs. Percentages are relative to U.S. recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Methods to Judge the Purity of Honey
- Put a few drops of honey in water. If the drops remain as they are and do not mix with the water on their own, then it is pure. If the drops mix with the water, the honey is adulterated.
- Dip a cotton wick in honey light it. Pure honey will stay lit.
- Submerge a bee in the honey. If the honeybee comes out of it without the honey sticking to its wings and flies away, then it's pure.
- A drop of honey poured on paper leaves no spot on the paper.
- Pure honey solidifies in winter and liquifies in summer.
Never heat honey directly on a fire. Adding honey to extremely hot things nullifies its benefits.
Storage of Honey
Store honey at a temperature of 70 degrees F to 80 degrees F in a dry place away from sunlight. Do not store in a refrigerator as cold temperature speeds up the process of granulation of the sugar in it.
Crystallisation or granulation of honey is not a sign of bad quality as over a period of time, all types of honey do so. Reheating the honey at a temperature of 50 deg F to 60 deg F liquifies it. Never boil honey.
Honey can be taken with milk, water, curd, tea, toast, vegetables, fruit juices, lemon, etc. In fact, it can be added to anything. In winter, add it to hot beverages. In summer, add it to cold beverages.
Additional Information About Honey
- Benefits From Local Raw Honey for Allergy Relief
If you suffer from allergies, local raw honey may be the key to relieving your symptoms. I found that it was very beneficial for me.
- Honey Association
This website's packed with fascinating facts about honey, how it is made and its uses in our every day lives, health to cooking.
- Home | Honey.com—The National Honey Board
Honey information, recipes, cooking tips, beauty tips and more for consumers and food professionals.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 Rajan Singh Jolly