The Amazing Power of Honey as Medicine

The use of honey as medicine is nothing new. It was an ingredient in medicinal compounds and cures made by Egyptian physicians 5,000 years ago. The use of honey as medicine is in other ancient practices from traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda to Mayan shamanism. In the past ten years, there has been an explosion in scientific research on honey as medicine at Universities, research centers, and medical clinics around the world.

Comb from our honey harvest
The amazing power of honey as medicine straight from nature

The global honey market is expected to reach a compound annual growth rate of 2.6% from 2017 to 2023, as indicated on the BeeCulture website. This is largely driven by the ever-growing number of honey’s health applications. The history of honey being used as medicine goes back to the ancient Egyptians. Not only did they use it as a source of food but they understood its medicinal healing power.

The science may be new, but the practice of using honey in remedies dates way back in time. For this blog, we are staying true to science. There is credible and documented research on traditional and modern uses of honey in human diseases. We are looking at the research to understand the proven healing powers of honey.

The power of honey as medicine may surprise you.

In his book, The Honey Prescription, Nathaniel Altman explores the broad spectrum of medicinal uses of honey. Specifically, he explores how these remedies can be used safely at home, as well as by licensed health care practitioners. He includes an extensive selection of honey-based recipes which, can be used to treat common health problems from burns, conjunctivitis, and ulcers to tooth decay.

Altman explains the physiological reasons why honey is so effective in treating antibiotic-resistant diseases with no side effects. He also illustrates honey’s ability to kill E. coli and “super-bugs” like MRSA. In addition to drawing on centuries of material from historical and folk medicine sources, he also examines the sacred role of bees from ancient Egypt onward. Colony Collapse Disorder, including methods for protecting our precious hives, are also covered.

A sweet path to improved health with honey as medicine

At Waxing Kara, we’re not doctors, and this is not medical advice, but we have done our research on the uses of honey on the skin. We’ve also kept a close eye on new research that supports honey used for immunotherapy in allergies. Based on several studies, there is scientific evidence to support honey heals.

Raw honey possesses many health benefits.

  • With a centuries-old track record, It is well-documented that honey is an antibacterial agent.
  • Honey heals wounds, burns and eye infections.
  • Research supports there are benefits of using honey for allergies. If you aren’t sure about the findings of this study, please just give it a try. Consume a teaspoon of RAW real honey from your local beekeeper once daily for a month during allergy season and see if you notice a difference.
  • MDs, naturopaths and other healthcare practitioners have advocated a daily honey regimen to strengthen the immune system and ward off disease.
  • Honey is a nutritious complement to supplements and foods, providing vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals derived from plants.
  • Delay aging and thwart degenerative conditions such as heart disease and cancer with honey which contains bioavailable antioxidants
  • Enhance calcium absorption with vitamin D and sugars naturally found in honey
  • Count on a natural energy source without sugar spikes from processed sugars in honey, especially for athletes
close up honey pouring into bowl overflowing from a spoon with honey pots in background on white countertop

Honey is an incredible pantry staple. It has an eternal shelf life packed with nutrients; honey heals.

Wound Healer

A 2008 study by the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany, showed that there is potential for using honey as an antibacterial agent on patients with suppressed immune systems.

Some varietals of honey, for instance, Manuka honey has been proven to stimulate the production of monocytes that fight infections. If long-term research proves this to be true, it will make Manuka Honey* a robust pharmaceutical.

Honey is medicine, it heals chronic wounds that are resistant to healing:

  • Pressure wounds
  • Post-surgical wounds
  • Meningococcal septicemia
  • Staph
  • Herpes
  • MRSA
  • Burns

Hydrogen peroxide

Honey is a natural antibiotic and is useful both internally and externally on your body. It contains elements of hydrogen peroxide read: bleach, which is used as a bacterial disinfectant to wounds and burns. Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments. But bacteria cannot survive in honey due to its low water content of below 18% and the presence of glucose oxidase which breaks down glucose sugars in the curing process. As a result, bacteria die and the wound dries up. It’s also effective on methicillin-resistant bacterial species such as the Staphylococcus aureus.

Poison Ivy

We’ve even explored and can provide first-hand experience with using honey to heal poison ivy. No kidding, it helps to soothe the itch and burn that comes with a terrible case of poison ivy.

Vitamins and Nutrients

Over the past 10 years, researchers from around the world have found honey to contain vitamins and nutrients:

  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin 
  • Pantothenic acid 
  • Pyridoxine 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Chromium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Pre and Probiotics

Pre and probiotics are in honey. That makes honey a valuable nutritional and medicinal resource. Research has linked honey to an improved gut microbial balance, coughing and other respiratory conditions.

Antioxidant Activity

Honey has a variety of flavonoids and phenolic acids that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge and eliminate free radicals. Honey contains trace nutrients and possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, along with healing potential for ailments such as sore throats and digestive disorders.

Natural Energy Booster

In our quest to nourish our bodies with real, natural, unadulterated food, there is an increasing stream of ideas around the return to “primal” roots. One nutritional shortcoming, debated often amid continuing massive consumption, is the issue of sweeteners.

Honey is a natural energy booster for athletes. In 100 grams of pure honey (the kind you’ll find from beekeepers, not the store) contains 82.4 % carbohydrate, 38.5 grams of fructose, 31 grams of glucose, 7.2 grams of maltose and just over 1 gram of sucrose.

A Cure for Common Coughs and Colds

Saving the bees from harsh climatic conditions is critical for beekeepers worldwide. Moreover, doing so is also critical for the health care sector. Many people are using honey as an alternative form of medicine. Nevertheless, a study done on the benefits of honey on kids showed that kids ages 1 to 5 years suffering from nighttime coughs experienced improvements after taking one teaspoonful of natural honey before their bedtime. When you consume honey, it coats your sore throat, protecting you from constant coughing.

Phytochemicals

Honey that does not possess hydrogen peroxide contains phytochemicals, chemical compounds derived from plants or fruits.

Honey is a natural energy booster for athletes. In 100 grams of pure honey (the kind you’ll find from beekeepers, not the store) contains 82.4 % carbohydrate, 38.5 grams of fructose, 31 grams of glucose, 7.2 grams of maltose and just over 1 gram of sucrose.

Skincare

In ancient times, honey was rubbed into a fresh wound as antiseptic. Today, raw honey is being used to treat certain skincare problems:

Dandruff

Most anti-dandruff shampoos contain carcinogenic chemicals that are harmful to the scalp. Natural honey, on the other hand, is entirely safe and brings instant relief to your scalp. The primary reason why honey is effective in treating dandruff and dermatitis is that it directly targets and kills fungus present on your scalp. It also reduces inflammation caused by the fungal infection. Your skin heals much faster, and you experience a reduction in hair loss.

two cute gals whispering in bed to each other about honey and sleep

Sleep aid

Research has found honey improves, facilitates, and lengthens restorative sleep by at least three mechanisms. When taken before bed honey:

  • Bedtime honey consumption promotes therapeutic sleep. For example, honey ensures adequate liver-glycogen stores while sleeping for eight hours.

Honey at bedtime also helps:

  • Prevent the early-morning release of cortisol and adrenaline, which ensures adequate liver-glycogen stores for eight hours of sleep
  • The body release melatonin, the hormone required for both the recovery and rebuilding of body tissue during rest. 
  • Boost in the immune system
  • Limit the early-morning release of two stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline.
  • Stabilize blood sugar levels.

Ways to Incorporate healing  honey into your daily routine:

  • Add one teaspoon of honey to one cup of warm chamomile, orange blossom, lemon balm or linden flower tea– before bedtime for improved sleep.
  • While we can’t promise that our Eastern Shore Honey will help you bid your sore throat or allergies farewell, we believe it helps. We encourage you to experience using honey for immunotherapy and if it works for you, then keep doing it.
  • Warm one cup of milk and add one teaspoon of honey and some ground turmeric. Drink before bedtime.
  • Prepare one-half glass of orange juice diluted with an equal amount of lukewarm water. Add two teaspoons of honey, and drink just before bedtime.
  • Steep lavender and peppermint in warm water for 10 minutes, add one teaspoon of honey and drink before bed.
  • Combine two ounces of honey with five drops of lavender oil. Add two tablespoons of this mixture to a warm tub of water and enjoy a relaxing soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Try these healing honey recipes:

This Lemon, Turmeric and Ginger Tea is chock-full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and ancient healing powers.

Lemon, Ginger and Turmeric Tea

This turmeric tea with ginger and lemon is a perfect drink for warming your bones when the weather changes from warm to cold. Ginger and Turmeric are a wonderful pair and together they are an aromatic delight.

Check out this recipe

When we are feeling a little under-the-weather we look to ginger, honey, and lemon. We call this Dr. Feelgood Tea and drink it just before bed.

Ginger Lemon and Honey Tea with tea cup, lemon and jar of honey on table

Ginger Lemon and Honey Tea Dr. Feelgood Tea

We developed Dr. Feelgood Tea to make the world a better, healthier place. For centuries ginger, lemon and honey have been used in homeopathic remedies to combat cold and flu.

Check out this recipe

There is nothing more soothing to the skin and the spirit than this oatmeal bath with your favorite bedtime tea blend of tea. Your skin feels like silk after this bath.

ingredients for making an oat bath with milk and honey bath on table

Oatmeal Bath Recipe

Your skin is in for a real treat with this simple yet effective Oatmeal Bath Recipe

Check out this recipe

How sweet is it knowing that by trying a few of these home remedies you can improve your daily health? Discover how to use honey to cure what ails you! Honey is a safe, natural health solution with no side effects. Many health experts are recommending it as part of diet regimens due to its excellent medicinal and health benefits.

* Irradiation destroys the living aspects of Manuka Honey sold in the USA

Sources:
The Honey Prescription by Nathaniel Altman
Honey Helps the Body Heal Itself

About the Author

kara

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learned and continues to learn about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more.

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3 thoughts on “The Amazing Power of Honey as Medicine

  1. Originally three separate blog posts, written at three different moments in time, by three different writers, this is now ONE comprehensive blog that explains how honey is medicine!

  2. I like that honey can be used in tea to combat cold and flu. I also like the idea of honey used in natural bath and body products.

    1. Thanks for writing in holly! It always soothes a dry throat and in my opinion, honey makes people happy. Happy helps when you aren’t feeling well also! ;)

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