Honey is well known for its healing properties and has been used as a food and medicine by people all over the world for centuries. Pure and unprocessed honey is used as an alternative treatment for several clinical conditions. It is a viscous semi translucent liquid and is sweet in taste. It is also an excellent nutritional supplement and helps the body in building up tissues.
Traditional and Modern Use of Honey
Traditionally, honey is used (study) in the treatment of the following conditions
Now it’s multitude of medicinal aspects (study) have been proven by clinical reviews and there is remarkable evidence supporting the use of honey in the medical field.and experts recommend the use of honey in the management of several disease conditions.
Main Sugars and Nutrients Contained In Honey
Honey is a pre-digested food and its most predominant sugar is fructose. It also contains a special sugar called dextrose and presence of this dextrose make honey easily absorbable by our body .
Flavonoids and polyphenols are the main bioactive molecules present in honey. Besides these it contains vitamins, minerals, ,proteins, carotenoids, amino acids, organic acids, enzymes (glucose oxidase and catalase ) and volatile compounds.
Evidences from the studies also suggest its protective effect and use in the control and treatment of cardiovascular, neurological and gastrointestinal diseases.
Different Types of Honey
Honey is known for its complex chemical composition and it varies depending on the botanical source.
Various types of honey are available in the market and when taking honey as a healing remedy, it is important to use raw honey. Raw honey in its pure form is not been sterilized with high heat and without any additives.
Raw honey varies quite a bit, too. There's wildflower honey, organic honey, tupelo honey and clover honey. A good middle road is raw wildflower honey. It has more germ fighting constituents than other types of honey and contains the medicinal qualities of a variety of wildflowers.
How Is Honey Used?
Most people including children (over 1 year of age) respond well when using honey as a medicine.
Here are some of honey's healing uses
Burns: Various studies shows that application of honey upon the affected area is an extremely effective burn treatment. This medicinal effect is due to the various antibacterial compounds present in it. Besides, its moist nature helps to keep the burned skin supple and reduces moisture loss. When using honey to treat minor burns, simply spread honey over the burn and cover lightly with gauze. Generally honey does not need to be refrigerated, but if it is chilled, it feels good on a burn.
Coughs and Colds - Studies show that regular consumption of raw honey helps to prevent colds. It also helps to soothe sore throat and coughs. Its viscous texture coats the throat, and has a cough-suppressing effect. Its antibacterial properties help to fight against throat infections and upper respiratory infections.
Skincare: studies indicate that natural bee products can be used for skin treatment and care Honey is good for dry skin due to its high moisture content. Its antibacterial qualities may help with skin infections like pimples and acne. Honey mixed with plain yogurt makes a soothing cleanser or facial mask. A mixture of raw honey, sugar and sweet almond oil acts as a good exfoliant.
Wound healing - Honey has the ability to heal wounds (study) and reduce scarring. It seems to be beneficial especially for diabetics who have trouble with minor wounds developing into ulcers. It tends to be less painful than conventional antiseptics.
Note; Honey-related food allergies are very rare and may develop symptoms as part of food allergy. Experts recommend to introduce honey to children only after they are one year old.
Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review: Tahereh Eteraf-Oskouei and Moslem Najafi
Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review: E. R. H. S. S. Ediriweera and N. Y. S. Premarathna
Up-to-date use of honey for burns treatmen:t A. Zbuchea
Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care: Anna Kurek-Górecka, Michał Górecki, Anna Rzepecka-Stojko, Radosław Balwierz, and Jerzy Stojko
Wound healing activity of honey: A pilot study: Kumari K. Vijaya and K. Nishteswar1
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