Jump Start Your Day With EnergeiaHoney is an interesting food item. It takes about 600,000 bees visiting over 2 million flowers to gather enough nectar to turn into one pound of honey. The process of turning nectar into honey takes several repeated steps of storing honey in the bees’ stomachs where it mixes with other enzymes and passing it into another bee’s mouth. It is only stored in the honeycomb once the nectar has become partially digested.

But what makes honey a truly fascinating food staple are its nutritional and medicinal purposes. For years, it has served not just as a natural sweetener but as a substance used to heal one’s health. Raw honey, which is the unpasteurized variety, provides several health benefits and these include the following:

1. Alleviates symptoms of allergy

If you’ve been suffering from seasonal allergies, then you may benefit from using honey. Raw honey has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help get rid of allergy symptoms like cough. It is capable of doing so because of its pollen content.

When the body is constantly exposed to allergens like pollens, it triggers an immune response that makes the body less sensitive to it. Hence, consumption of honey may require less histamine for subsequent exposure to pollen.

2. Natural source of energy

The cells of the body need energy to carry their functions. We provide that energy by eating carbohydrate-rich foods. But the problem with most carb sources we have right now is that they are processed. Processed carbs can raise the sugar level too abruptly, that it can also cause a sudden decline of it which leads to a phenomenon called sugar crash. It’s the fatigue that comes after large consumption of carbohydrates.

Raw honey, which also provides the body with energy, is different. Unlike table sugar from processed carbs, honey doesn’t cause a sudden surge in blood glucose level; rather, it causes a steady rise of glucose, which provides the body with energy without causing the dreaded sugar crash.

3. Prevents memory loss

The health benefits of honey are attributed to its carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants content. And it is these antioxidants that make raw honey a natural remedy for preventing memory loss. In a 2011 study, it showed that Malaysian honey, when taken on a daily basis for 16 weeks, can help improve memory. The study suggests that honey can be a promising alternative therapy for hormone-related memory loss.

4. Suppresses cough

7 Amazing Benefits Of Honey For Your HealthThe journal Pediatrics published a study showing that honey can be an alternative therapy for children suffering from cold-triggered cough. This can be due to honey’s thick consistency and sweet taste that triggers the nerve endings to protect the throat from constant coughing. The effect of honey can be likened to the effect of dextromethorphan, a common ingredient among cough suppressant medicines.

Special precautions must be observed when giving honey to your kids. It should only be given to older children and not to infants as honey, especially the raw one, is prone to contamination from the spores of Clostridium botulinum. It is a strain of bacteria that causes infant botulism, a condition that causes muscle weakness and breathing problems.

5. Promotes sleep

Honey can benefit those who have been having problems with sleep as it contains amino acids like tryptophan. Its steady effect on insulin can cause the tryptophan to enter the brain where it is then turned into serotonin and melatonin. The hormone melatonin is responsible for sleep and wake cycles. It plays a special role in regulating both the length and quality of sleep.

6. Relieves signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis

In a study published by the European Journal of Medical Research, it showed that leaving diluted honey on the scalp for 3 hours can help relieve signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis such as dandruff and itchiness. This can only work though if this is done for a week.

On the same study, it showed that subjects who have used honey to alleviate the signs and symptoms of seborrhea have also shown improvement in hair loss and are seen to have less skin lesions. These subjects also did not suffer from relapse even after 6 months of use.

Honey is an effective remedy for dandruff and scalp itchiness as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Seborrheic dermatitis is attributed to an overgrowth of fungus. Hence,those who are suffering from it can benefit from using honey.

7. Disinfects wounds and burns

Before antibiotics were introduced, there was honey. Its antibacterial properties make it an effective solution for treating and disinfecting wounds and burns. It doesn’t just disinfect wound but it also eradicates strains of bacteria including the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

In a 2005 study published by the British Journal of Surgery,it showed that subjects who used honey as a topical application for wounds have shown dramatic improvements on their leg ulcers. Honey does it by replacing sloughed off tissues with granulation tissue and promoting rapid epithelialization.

We may have faced dramatic changes and improvements in health and science but what remains the same is the fact that some of the best health solutions can still be found in nature itself. Honey is a living testament to that.

Sources:
http://www.academia.edu/3228620/Improvement_in_immediate_memory_after_16_weeks_of_tualang_honey_Agro_Mas_supplement_in_healthy_postmenopausal_women
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/08/01/peds.2011-3075
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11485891
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bjs.1800750718/abstract;jsessionid=077C0B2BED2669DF574495DD180F3274.f03t02