Nature's Wonder: Discover the Amazing Health Benefits of Honey!
Healthy Living

Nature's Wonder: Discover the Amazing Health Benefits of Honey!

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 10 Jan 2015 - 16:15.

Honey, the magic potion you can't miss it in your life! You add it to your green tea, to your toast, to lemon water, but what does honey really mean to health? Called "the nectar of the Gods" by ancient Greeks, the benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. Ever thought about what goes into making it? Well, about 60,000 or so bees in a beehive, collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. Fascinating isn't it?

Honey has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties to treat many conditions and also used as healthy food. Infact Hippocrates, (father of modern medicine), believed in honey as the great golden healer. 

Honey is highly nutritious, as it has traces of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants which destroy free radicals and delay ageing. In short, it is a safe and wholesome food for all, with no side effects. Honey is an energizer, used by sports persons to beat fatigue and regain energy. Also used as a sweetener and a remedy for nausea, cough, colds etc. and used.

Used as cough medicine

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film. According to Mayo Clinic, hot water with honey can help reduce soreness and irritation of a sore throat. Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey water with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.

Prevents cancer

Honey and cancer have a sustainable inverse relationship. A recent study published the journal Molecules looked at the role of honey in positively impacting the development and progression of tumours or cancers. In a report from the Russian Academy of Medical Science, patients with uterine cancer undergoing radiotherapy and treated with ‘honey laminolact’ showed a significant decrease in the severity of radiation-induced intestinal morbidity.

Reduces ulcers and gastrointestinal disorders

In its natural, raw state, honey contains many enzymes that can help some people digest food more easily so it may also help treat ulcers and diarrhoea. Manuka honey shows promise for healing peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, in research cited by the University of Waikato in New Zealand. It is also effective against various strains of bacteria that cause gastroenteritis. Honey has a mild laxative effect that can help cure constipation and stomach bloating.

Used asan antibiotic

Manuka honey has potent antibacterial properties, making it especially beneficial for preventing and treating wound infections by drug-resistant bacteria. Microbial resistance to honey has never been reported, which makes it a very promising antimicrobial agent against the antibiotic-resistant chronic infections.

Heals wounds

Honey, when applied topically, rapidly clears wound infection to facilitate healing of deep surgical wounds with infection. The application of honey can promote the healing in infected wounds that do not respond to the conventional therapy, i.e., antibiotics and antiseptics.

Acts as a probiotic
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. Honey contains probiotics that help support the growth and activity of good bacteria in our gut, making digestion efficient. Honey contains 4 to 5 percent fructo-oligosaccharides, which serve as probiotic agent.

Improves your sleep

Add some honey to a warm glass of milk or take 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey before bed it helps for a better night’s rest. Honey helps your body release melatonin into the brain, which promotes a deeper, a more restorative sleep.

Aids in weight loss

Honey and weight loss are often associated. Combining pure, raw honey with fresh lemon juice is a popular weight-loss remedy. Taken half an hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at before going to bed at night drinking honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water helps in weight loss.

Increases athletic performance

Honey is a great carbohydrate option for athletes as it helps maintain blood sugar levels and is low in glycaemic index. Athletes consuming sports gels or honey are able to generate more power in the last stretch of exertion, according to a double-blind randomized controlled trial in the March 2004 issue of "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research’’.Some studies demonstrated that honey is an effective carbohydrate source for athletes before and after resistance training and during endurance exercise.

Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral

Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines. Manuka is the preferred honey for wound dressing due to its strong antibacterial property.

Reduces aging effect

Honey is great for your skin as it locks in moisture. Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in milk and honey to preserve her youth and beauty. Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. You got your beauty tip!!

A word of caution!

  • Honey should be avoided in people with known allergy or sensitivity to celery, pollen, or other bee-related allergies. When honey is made from plants in the Rhododendron genus it can be toxic and can cause heart problems, low blood pressure and chest pain.
  • When consumed by infants under the age of 12 months, it can lead to a severe medical condition called ‘botulism’. This is not applicable to older children or adults.
  • Honey may cause low blood pressure so people taking drugs to lower blood pressure must be cautious.

 

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*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.