“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, says Hippocrates.
Honey, or most commonly ‘Shahad‘ in Hindi, ‘Theene‘ in Telugu, ‘Then‘ in Tamil, ‘Thean‘ in Malayalam, ‘Jenu‘ in Kannada, ‘Madh‘ in (Gujarati & Marathi) and ‘Madhu‘ in Bengali. Honey is the best fit to this statement! Nature’s energy booster–honey, has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to treat several ailments. It has been an all-time favorite of nutritionists, dietitians as well as naturopaths. Honey is a rich source of natural sugars like fructose and glucose along with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Including honey in your daily diet is one of the simplest yet most powerful ways to prevent various diseases. This natural, delicious golden liquid is a great alternative to white sugar.
Nutritional Facts Of Honey
|Nutrient||Average amount per 1 Tbsp. serving (21 g)||Average amountper 100 g|
|Information for nutritional labeling*|
|Total Calories (kilocalories)||64||304|
|Total Calories (kilocalories) (from fat)||0||0|
|Sodium||0.6 mg||2.85 mg|
|Total Carbohydrates||17 g||81 g|
|Protein||0.15 mg||0.7 mg|
|Thiamin||<0.002 mg||0.01 mg|
|Ribofl avin||0.06 mg||0.3 mg|
|Niacin||0.06 mg||0.3 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||<0.05 mg||0.25 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.1 mg||0.5 mg|
|Calcium||1.0 mg||4.8 mg|
|Iron||0.05 mg||0.25 mg|
|Zinc||0.03 mg||0.15 mg|
|Potassium||11.0 mg||50.0 mg|
|Phosphorous||1.0 mg||5.0 mg|
|Magnesium||0.4 mg||2.0 mg|
|Selenium||0.002 mg||0.01 mg|
|Chromium||0.005 mg||0.02 mg|
|Manganese||0.03 mg||0.15 mg|
|Ash||0.04 g||0.2 g|
|*Contains less than 2% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium|
Before we move on to the health benefits of honey, let’s check out some trivia about it:
The uses of honey in ayurvedic medicines dates back to almost 4000 years. Honey, when blended in herbal preparation, enhances the medicinal value. It is believed to improve eyesight, enhance weight loss and cure impotence. Honey also helps in treating urinary tract disorders, diarrhea, bronchial asthma, and nausea.
- In ancient times, athletes used to consume honey to enhance the endurance level, reduce muscle fatigue and instantly boost the performance. Honey is also known to help in recovery and maintaining glycogen levels.
- Honey is also said to assist in the treatment of disorders such as bacterial gastroenteritis and ulcers.
- It is a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
- The fusion of fructose and glucose in honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels.
- It possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties because of the presence of an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide.
Honey is a great natural sweetener and boasts about its wonderful health benefits. Listed here are the benefits of honey, one of the oldest sweeteners on earth.
Benefits Of Honey
1. Beautiful Skin
Honey can do wonders for your skin. That’s the reason why you will find it in many skin-care products today. Honey acts as a great anti-aging agent and moisturizer. It is rich in natural antioxidants that have antimicrobial properties. They help protect your skin from harmful UV rays and facilitate the skin’s ability to rejuvenate. Honey also has the ability to absorb and retain moisture, and this helps in keeping the skin well hydrated, fresh and supple. It is known that ancient women used honey and milk to keep the skin youthful, radiant and smooth. Here are some easy recipes of facial mask and exfoliators that you can try at home.
Facial Mask – Recipe 1
- 1 teaspoon honey (preferably raw honey)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Yolk of an egg
- Blend all of them together and apply it to face.
- Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
This mask will help you remove sun tan and give glowing skin.
[ Read : Honey To Get Glowing Skin ]
Facial Mask – Recipe 2
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fuller’s earth (multanimitti)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
[ Read: Honey for Oily Skin ]
- Mix them well to form a thick paste.
- Apply it to skin and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Wash it off with warm water.
Use this mask to give your face that oomph!
Facial Exfoliator Recipe
Use this exfoliator to remove dead skin cells from their roots. This also helps in terminating blackheads. Exfoliation is good for oily as well as dry skin. It should be done at least once a week.
- Lemon juice
- Mix them and gently rub it on your skin.
- Leave it for about 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Honey cleanses your skin, lemon juice brightens it up and sugar works as an excellent exfoliator.
2. Fights Acne
It’s embarrassing and debilitating to have acne. Honey benefits to rescue those suffering from chronic acne. It plays a crucial role in the treatment of acne. Acne is caused by the build-up of oil and dirt on the skin. Since honey absorbs impurities from the pores on the skin, it acts as an ideal cleansing agent. Honey is also a natural antiseptic, and soothes and heals your skin. It is often used to get rid of pimples.
When you buy honey, make sure you buy raw honey. Raw honey gives better results than regular honey as it has all its beneficial values intact because it is unfiltered. Organic honey can also be a great alternative.
[ Read: Honey To Remove Acne At Home ]
Honey can be applied directly to your skin. It does not dry, so use a thin layer so that it does not drip all over your neck. It can be left on for 30 minutes or longer, however, please do a skin test before to make sure you are not allergic to it. Apply a little to your jaw and leave it for 30 minutes and if there is no reaction, then your skin has given you a go-ahead signal to apply it to your face. Once done and left on for 30 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water and dab your face dry. Be gentle, don’t rub your face as you might irritate your acne.
Honey can clear your acne only if it is caused by bacterial infections. If your acne is a result of irritation, hormones or any other cause, honey might not do much. However, it helps to soothe your existing acne and heal your irritated skin. If your problem is acute and does not subside with natural remedies, it is best that you visit a dermatologist. Click to know more remedies and treatments for acne.
3. Healthy Hair
Honey with all it goodness does wonders for your hair! Know how honey benefits hair! It cures dry, damaged and dull-looking hair. It helps retain moisture and get rid of dry, itchy flakes on your scalp. It also helps keep your hair clean, lustrous, healthy and shiny. Try the following hair mask to get smooth and shiny manes: Other than this, you can even learn more hair masks in this excellent post.
Honey Hair Mask
- Olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
- Lemon (you can substitute lemon with whipped yogurt if you wish to)
- Heat together three tablespoons of olive oil with two tablespoons of honey.
- Further, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well.
- Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair when still warm.
- Leave it for 30 minutes or longer and then rinse and wash off.
For Quick Rinse
After shampooing your hair, add two teaspoons of honey and some lemon juice to three cups of water and stir. Rinse your hair with this concoction and dry it normally.
For Quick Boost
To give your hair a regular boost of honey benefits, mix a teaspoon of honey with your shampoo and apply to your scalp and hair. Work it to lather and let it sit for two minutes or so and then, rinse it off.
[ Read: Benefits Of Honey For Hair Growth ]
4. Honey For Eyes
Well, this may come as a surprise to some of you that honey can be used for eye care. Ancient Egyptians and Indians found out the benefit of honey as a remedy to cure eye diseases.
When applied daily, honey protects and improves eye-sight.
Honey is also beneficial in the treatment of eye infection such as redness and itching of the eyes, trachoma, conjunctivitis and other similar diseases.
Honey used both internally and externally prevents glaucoma in its initial stage. Honey is also said to be useful for prevention of cataract.
Many have found relief from Dry Eye Syndrome using honey. Dry eye syndrome is the result of drying out of liquid in the white or conjunctiva part of the eyes. Here below is explained how to use honey for eye care:
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon warm bottled water
- Dissolve honey in warm water.
- Apply, when cooled, as lotion or eye bath.
This works as a wonderful eye wash for relieving eye infection.
5. Controls Diabetes
Honey is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. It is a great source of natural sugars like glucose, fructose and minerals along with essential vitamins and minerals like copper, iodine, and zinc in small quantities. Honey gives you an energy boost, and it’s a much healthier option than refined sugar or sweeteners. It is considered a safe alternative to white sugar for diabetics as long as their blood sugar is closely monitored and they eat it in moderation. Since the level/type of diabetes varies from one person to another, it is advisable to seek your doctor’s advice prior to consumption of honey to safely use it as an alternative.
6. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Diseases
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, published in 2009 states that honey promotes a healthy heart by improving blood circulation and preventing clogging of arteries. This is possible because honey reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and concurrently increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in blood. It helps in removal of cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and prevents the build-up of a plaque.
Honey mixed with cinnamon revitalizes the arteries and veins of the heart, and reduces blood cholesterol by up to 10%.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey and 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon to warm water and drink it daily. Taken on a regular basis, this concoction helps reduce the risk of heart attacks.
7. Promotes Weight Loss
Including honey in your diet aids in weight loss. Drinking warm water with lemon and honey on an empty stomach every day is the prime component of all weight loss and detox programs. It is an excellent way to cleanse the liver, remove toxins, and flush out fat from the body. For optimal benefits, you can replace your refined sugar and artificial sweeteners with honey. However, please remember that it should be used sparingly as one tablespoon of honey contains approx. 63 calories. Here is a link to know more on tips & tricks for weight loss.
8. Boosts Immune System
Honey has great antibacterial and antioxidant properties which give your immune system a boost. It helps in keeping away several ailments such as flu, common cold, etc.
To improve your immune system, add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to warm water and take it daily on an empty stomach. For an extra boost, add fresh lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon.
9. Cures Cough And Sore Throat
Honey is an effective cough suppressant and soothes a sore throat. Adding it to tea or warm lemon water can relieve cough and throat infection. Honey is also good for children who suffer from night-time cough and upper respiratory tract infections. They should be given two teaspoons of honey before they go to bed.
10. A Natural Healer
Honey is a wonderful antibacterial agent and is effective in healing burns, cuts, and wounds when applied externally. Applied topically to scrapes, lacerations, and even sore nipples, honey promotes rapid tissue repair and eases the pain. Using pure honey on open wounds keeps them sterile and prevents further infections, gangrene, and other complications. This is due to the presence of a bacteria-killing agent called inhibine, found only in raw honey. Unfortunately, inhibine is easily destroyed during pasteurization.
11. Soothes Indigestion
Honey has been a popular home remedy for centuries to cure digestive problems. The antiseptic properties of honey relieve acidity in the stomach and improve digestion. Honey also neutralizes gas making it the ultimate stomach soother. It is also used for treating ulcers, constipation, nausea, etc. Drinking tea with honey provides relief from digestive disorders. Taking 1-2 tablespoons of honey before heavy meals is the best way to thwart off indigestion and if you’ve already overindulged, add honey and lemon to warm water to help move food through the digestive track.
12. Reduces Gastrointestinal Problems
One of the most effective raw honey benefits is to keep gastrointestinal problems at bay. The viscosity of raw honey makes it an effective agent to curb gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux. Raw honey can also alleviate bacterial diarrhea in babies.
13. Helps You Get A Good Night’s Sleep
A little honey before you hit the bed can help you get a good night’s sleep! And you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to face the world! Honey contains high levels of fructose and glucose. It is a good source of blood glucose. Blood sugar balance is critical for good sleep, and honey provides the balance.
14. Provides Nutrients
The National Honey Board says “honey contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.” The presence of so many minerals makes honey a treasure trove of nutrients.
15. Eliminates Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Many controlled studies have found that honey can even eliminate food-borne pathogens like Salmonella and E Coli. Scientists at ACMC at the University of Amsterdam noted that honey contains a protein defensin-1 that kills bacterial protein, protecting us from a number of diseases.
16. Improves Endurance
For those of you who like to hit the gym or that exercise bike, honey can help eliminate the need for energy drinks. Energy drinks like Gatorade contain glucose and fructose, found in large quantities in honey. Honey provides 17g carbohydrates for every tablespoon. It can be a brilliant replacement to energy drinks.
17. Helps Detoxification
Honey contains many antioxidant properties. Research shows that consuming honey switches on the detoxification genes in the body. Honey helps you improve the quality of sleep and provides antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties that protect you from a number of diseases.
18. Acid Reflux
Honey is wonderful for controlling acid reflux. Since honey is 125.9 times more viscous that water at body temperature, it helps a lot in preventing gastroesophageal reflux. The patients suffering from the said conditions should try having some honey whenever they feel the symptoms are showing up.
19. Honey And Scars
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds that help in the smoothening of scars on the skin. Consistent application of honey and olive oil continuously for two to three weeks will show evident results.
20. Honey And Hangover
After a fun party, morning hangover can be a nuisance and spoils the whole day. Next time when you find yourself in such a situation, just have two to three tablespoons of honey. It will speed up the metabolism, and you will again feel rejuvenated in no time.
21. Honey As Immunity Booster
In 2010, University Of Amsterdam reported that honey has a protein called defensing-1 that helps in killing bacteria. Another study concluded that due to the presence of this protein, consuming honey will enhance the immunity levels of our system and help in fighting and curbing infections before it spreads in the body.
22. Honey For Oral Rehydration
After an extensive study and research, it is seen that honey shortens the duration of diarrhoea in toddlers and children. Due to this property, honey can be safely used as a substitute for glucose in oral rehydration that is given to children suffering from diarrhea and dysentery.
Quick And Easy Ways Of Including Honey In Your Daily Routine
- Add it to your tea, coffee, milk or use it to sweeten your breakfast cereal.
- You can replace your refined sugar with honey in many of your dessert recipes like custard, ice-cream toppings, fruit salad, etc.
- Add them to your snacks or pancakes as toppings.
Boost Your Health With Honey Today!
Pumpkin Honey Bread
- 1 cup – honey
- 1/2 cup – butter or margarine, softened
- 1 can (16 oz.) – solid-pack pumpkin
- 4 – eggs
- 4 cups – flour
- 4 teaspoons – baking powder
- 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons – ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon – baking soda
- 1 teaspoon – salt
- 1 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
Note: Yields two loafs.
How To Prepare?
- Take a large bowl and mix honey with butter in it until light and fluffy.
- Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Sift together remaining ingredients.
- Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans.
- Bake at 350°F for one hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes.
- Invert pans to remove loaves, allow it to cool on racks and it’s done.
Have fun with this recipe and enjoy your scrumptious bread!
Honey is crammed with countless health benefits and including them in your diet not only adds health but also enhances flavor. Don’t wait, make honey your ‘sweet’ friend now to reap the incredible health benefits of honey. Also, do let us know your views on this by leaving a comment here.
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