Honey is considered as “liquid gold” because of its numerous health benefits for our body. It has been used for over centuries now by different cultures all over the world as traditional medicine to cure several diseases and health conditions. Scientists are continuously researching about this precious liquid and its medicinal value to further increase the scope of the conditions it could be beneficial for.
Honey is the natural liquid gathered from bees. These insects collect nectars from flowers then convert them into honey by using the process of evaporation and regurgitation. They store the processed liquid inside their beehive through the wax honeycombs and use this as their main food source.
The taste of honey is sweet but it also depends on the type of flower that the nectar was collected from. The color varies from clear to golden amber, to darker varieties. There are two forms of honey being sold at the market these days— these are the raw honey and the pasteurized ones. Pasteurized ones are the most commonly seen in grocery stores. Raw honey is the liquid gathered directly from the beehive and put into bottle without purifying it. The pasteurized ones are those that have been heated and have undergone some processes to remove impurities.
Raw honey contains traces of yeast, pollen, and some wax from the honeycomb storage and is said to be good in treating seasonal allergies. People with weak immune system must go for the pasteurized ones because of the risk of bacterial infection from consuming raw honey which contains traces of yeast.
Honey is rich in monosaccharides, glucose, and fructose. It is made up mostly of sugar, about 70 percent of it, that is why honey has a very sweet taste. Other compounds are made of minerals and water. This liquid gold has antiseptic and antibacterial compounds which are very useful in treating wounds.
Health benefits you can get from honey
Since the ancient times, people have trusted honey as one of their traditional medicines in treating some health conditions. Even in the bible, honey has been mentioned as good for the body (see: Proverbs 24:13). It can be consumed directly using a teaspoon or you can mix it with your favorite fruit juice or drink as it can also be used as a natural sweetener.
1. Weight management and weight loss
Honey may have more calories than a regular sugar. However, drinking honey mixed in warm water can actually help in the better digestion of fats that are stored in the body. Combining honey with lemon juice or cinnamon tea is a very good way to reduce that extra weight and keeping your weight in control.
2. Provides your body with extra energy
Based on USDA, a tablespoon of honey will give you about 64 calories, so this means that it could give you extra boost of energy. Even though it has higher calorie count than the regular table sugar, note that the carbohydrates contained in honey are easily converted into glucose which means it is easier to digest.
For athletes or people engaged into sports, combining this liquid with your water would give you the extra energy and strength you need for your rigorous training and activities.
3. Provides important vitamins and minerals
The vitamins and minerals found in this liquid depends on the type of flower where the nectar has been collected but most commonly, these essential vitamins and minerals include vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
4. Provides antibacterial and antifungal benefits
Honey contains antibacterial compounds because of its high sugar concentration, low pH level, and hydrogen peroxide properties. Moreover, based on the recent studies, honey also has methylglyoxal and bee defensin-1 which is an excellent antimicrobial compound.
5. Helps in treating acid reflux
The viscosity of honey and the essential nutrients found in it is helpful is treating GERD as it helps protect the esophageal mucosa by coating it. It helps treat the symptoms further by controlling heartburn. By taking 5 ml of this liquid before meal of first thing in the morning helps a lot in treating the symptoms of this condition.
6. A good source of antioxidant
Honey is rich in anti-oxidative compounds that fight off the damages of the free radicals absorbed by the body. These compounds are not just good in reversing the effects of aging but it also helps in boosting the body’s immunity against diseases even those that are highly fatal like cancer and heart ailments.
7. Helps in treating and managing wounds
This is one of the most common conditions where honey is regularly used for even during the ancient times. The antimicrobial properties that are found in honey speeds up the healing process because it works to stimulate the affected tissues. It also initiates the healing process of those wounds that are not healing up normally.
Honey also keeps the wound moist to prevent further aggravation from the itchiness of the drying skin that surrounds the affected area. More so, this liquid also protects open wounds from catching bacteria and germs.
8. Promotes healthy skin
To achieve soft, supple, and healthy skin, honey is often combined with milk because these two work together in effectively making your skin healthy and vibrant. You can either drink this liquid mixed in milk so that internal benefits can also be achieved or you can make a honey and milk bath solution to immediately feel the benefits on your skin.
9. Helps in treating burns
Honey is known to effectively heal wounds with its antimicrobial compounds that speeds up healing process, the same compound used to treat wounds are also the same compounds that help heal burns better and faster. Also, this liquid helps in restoring the skin from burn damages by renewing it. Consuming this liquid also boost our body to produce more collagen that helps with skin elasticity beneficial for burns.
10. Treats allergies
Honey is an excellent treatment for seasonal allergies caused by scattering of pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds brought by wind. Raw honey that contains traces of pollen is effective in making your body become immune with the condition.
11. Protects body from infection
Consuming this liquid regularly helps our body boost its immune system to fight off certain infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Since honey is also rich in properties that have antimicrobial and antibacterial effects in our body, this helps in fighting off infection and treat the condition better and faster. A spoonful of honey everyday combined with your drink or taken directly can do wonderful benefits to your body
12. Natural remedy for colds
Common colds can be caused by an allergic reaction or can also be from contracting virus. If the cause is from an allergic reaction due to the changing season or from pollen irritation, this can be cured by consuming honey. If the cause is from contracting a virus, this liquid can also be helpful in treating your colds because of its antimicrobial and immunity enhancing properties.
Though this liquid is an excellent home remedy for the above mentioned conditions, moderate consumption is still necessary particularly for raw honey. Raw honey, being untreated may cause potential harm in your body. Ask your health provider first before taking raw honey as medication particularly for treating allergies as well as other health problems.
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