Honey has been used for various medicinal benefits over some centuries. In Ayurveda, it has various uses, in present day it is used in relation with modern medicine mainly in wound healing.
A tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories, is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free and its composition is roughly 80% carbohydrates, 18% water, and 2% vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
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. Honey is believed to be as effective as the common cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan.
The benefits of honey that we get greatly depend on its quality. Not all honey is created equally, so quality is different, and subsequently, the various types do necessarily provide the same benefits. Be careful while choosing a honey bottle.
- Prevents cancer: Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. The numerous flavonoids and phenolic compounds identified in honey, including chrysin, p-coumaric acid, gallic acid, ellagic acid, ferulic acid, syringic acid, caffeic acid, are found to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic properties and have inhibitory effects on tumors and cancers.
- Cough suppressant: Honey’s thick consistency helps coat the throat while the sweet taste is believed to trigger nerve endings that protect the throat from incessant coughing. It can be used in treating upper respiratory tract infections. It helps in preventing throat irritation.
- Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.
- Heals wounds and burns: Honey is a natural antibiotic that can act both internally and externally. Its antibacterial properties prevent infection and functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing both swelling and pain, and even scarring. Honey has been used as a natural cure in first aid treatment for wounds, burns and cuts as it is able to absorb moisture from the air and promote healing.
- Energy booster: Honey is a great source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies. It is very effective in boosting the performance instantly. Natural sugars in honey prevent fatigue during exercise. Glucose in honey absorbed quickly and gives immediate energy boost, whereas fructose absorbed slowly and provides sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.
- Reduce gastrointestinal problems: Honey shortens the duration of bacterial diarrhoea in infants and young children. It is safely used as a substitute for glucose in oral rehydration solution containing electrolytes. It may be helpful in preventing GERD.
- Weight loss: Though honey has more calories than sugar, when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey and lemon juice as well as honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight.
- Skin: Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients can also be moisturizing and nourishing.
- Improves immunity: Its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease. Start every day with this cleansing tonic if you want to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink it.
- Anti-dandruff: Honey can bring temporary relief to the scalp by targeting dandruff. Credit to antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can also treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, which are often caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties, which address the redness and itching on the scalp.
Apart from above honey helps in blood sugar regulation, sleeping aid, memory boosting, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, improves eyesight.
- Do not feed an infant (generally up to 12months). It will lead to infant botulism, which produce a toxin inside the body that can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems
- Take honey in moderation, because it is a sugar.
- Cooking honey as ingredient is also no advised, after certain temperature it with transform to glue like substance which is very difficult to digest.