Honey is one of the most natural foods that strengthen the immune system. In fact, we can characterize honey as a valuable gift of nature, with many health benefits. The results of the researches conducted in many countries prove that honey has many positive effects on health.
Before I explain what honey is good for, I want to mention an important point. You must be sure about consuming genuine honey in order to benefit from its health benefits. Now, let’s talk about what honey is good for.
Honey has an antioxidative effect due to the substances it contains such as tocopherol, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, and other phenolic substances. Experts have found that honey covers the stomach, relieves spasms, and has a regulatory effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Honey, which is also used in the content of many cosmetic products, has a positive effect on the healing of scars due to its positive effects on the skin. Honey also relieves symptoms of cough, especially in children. Honey in syrup consistency forms a layer inside the mouth, so that irritated areas settle down, the spread of infection weakens. It is an indispensable assistant in the treatment of colds.
Conditions That Honey Is Good For
Since honey does not contain bacteria, it has a natural antibiotic feature, it is a very strong antioxidant. Due to this feature, it effectively fights free radicals. It allows microbes to die. It is known that honey provides healing of wounds quickly. It is good for cough, insomnia, asthma, and bronchitis diseases. It can easily eliminate infections occurring within the body and skin.
- Honey Energizes
Honey can increase energy levels in a very short time and effectively. For this, it contains abundant natural sugar, calories, and energy that the body needs. It fights fatigue. It is beneficial to consume a tablespoon of honey a day without worrying that it gains weight due to its sweet taste.
- Honey Relieves Muscle Fatigue
Athletes often take advantage of honey to keep their performance at a certain level. Honey can effectively relieve muscle fatigue. Thanks to its perfect combination, it increases the endurance of athletes and provides continuous energy.
- Honey Regulates Blood Sugar
Honey is a sweet source of food, but it does not seriously affect diabetics. It can help regulate blood sugar levels due to the combination of fructose and glucose contained in honey. Some types of honey have a low glycemic index. We can say that it is beneficial for those who do not have advanced diabetes to consume a sugar spoonful of honey daily.
- Honey is Good for Cough
Many studies have revealed that honey is very good for cough caused by different reasons. In addition, it relieves throat infections and reduces the severity of the cough. To combat the cough problem more effectively, you can add a few teaspoons of lemon to honey.
- Honey Quickly Heals Cuts and Scratches
Natural honey has antiseptic antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These properties help to clean wounds and heal cuts more quickly. Apart from that, honey can relieve the pain caused by wounds and cuts. To do this, apply a layer of honey on the wound and cut and wrap it with a bandage. Replace every 24 hours. This practice will help kill microbes in wounds and heal wounds faster.
- Honey Provides Rapid Healing of Burns
It can help small burns heal quickly. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey prevent bacterial growth and antimicrobial properties prevent infection. If the burn is small, you can apply honey to that area. Sometimes it can give a burning sensation, but then the pain stops and provides relief.
- Honey Eliminates Insomnia
Honey can be an excellent solution for those with sleep problems. For this, it may be useful to eat a tablespoon before bedtime. Alternatively, you can drink it by mixing honey in a glass of milk.
- Honey Helps to Lose Weight
Honey contains minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. All these substances help maintain weight and prevent obesity. In the morning, mix a sugar spoonful of honey and lemon in a glass of water on an empty stomach. This application will both help you lose weight and help start your day more quickly and energetically. In addition, this application also cleans the liver of toxins.
- Honey Is Beneficial for Digestive System Health
Honey is an effective antimicrobial agent for the entire digestive system. The enzyme (glucose oxidase) contained in honey can produce hydrogen peroxide which is beneficial in the treatment of gastritis.
- Honey Protects Hair Health
Honey can be a great solution for worn dry-looking hair. It can also save you from itching and flaking on the scalp and skin flaking in winter.
- Honey Is Good for Diabetes
The claims that honey is good for diabetics are often expressed. This is unlikely to be confirmed due to its high sugar content. However, as Katsilambros et al (1988) showed in a study, it is better than products made with sugarcane sugar. This work; revealed that insulin levels were lower compared to taking equal calorie values from other foods, but blood glucose levels were equal or higher than other compared products shortly after eating. In healthy individuals, honey consumption produced lower blood sugar values compared to the same amount of sucrose consumption.
- Honey Is Good for Eye Health
Perhaps this is the first time you have heard it. Ancient Egyptians and Indians used honey in eye health. In the case of daily application, it protects eye health and improves eyesight. It removes eye infections, redness, and itching. It may also be good for what is called dry eye syndrome.
You can do eye care with honey as follows:
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of warm water
Preparation: Melt the honey in warm water, apply it when it cools, like a lotion or eye bath. This is a great method for eye infection diseases.
Is Honey Good for Wounds and Burns?
Antibacterial properties of honey are used in the treatment of wounds and burns. Honey is an over-saturated sugar solution with acidic pH, high osmolarity and low water content, and other substances in its content prevent the growth of microorganisms. It has been determined that it plays an important role in healing wounds, burns, and necrotic tissues in skin infections. It is stated that manuka honey, which is suitable for medical use, is an effective antibacterial agent in removing bacteria that can cause infection in chronic wounds. Researchers emphasize that honey should have a sterile and antibacterial effect in order to be used for the treatment of wounds and burns.
There are few studies on the use of honey in the treatment of wounds and burns in pediatric patients. In a study conducted by Bangroo et al. With 64 burned patients younger than 12 years old, silver sulfadiazine was applied in half of the burned patients, while sterile honey was applied in half. It was found that the healing time of the group where sterile honey was applied to the burned area was shorter than the other group. Researchers suggest that honey can be used as a cost-effective alternative in burns for all these reasons, with its high viscosity, physical barrier formation, and enzyme catalyst role, it prevents bacteria from multiplying, accelerates epithelization and angiogenesis with high nutritional content. A study evaluating the researches indicates that the quality of the studies related to the use of honey is variable and in the results obtained, it is stated that honey can be used only in the treatment of low-to-moderate superficial and 2nd-degree burns and suggests further research in this area.
In pediatric cancer patients, the immune system is suppressed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy and the healing process is delayed. In a study evaluating the effectiveness of pure sterile honey in the treatment of oral mucositis in 100 children between the ages of 6-12 with oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy, routine stomatitis drug treatment was used in the control group while pure sterile honey was used in the treatment of oral mucositis in 50 children. There was a statistically significant difference in the healing time of stomatitis between the group using honey and the control group. Researchers recommend the use of honey in children who develop stomatitis due to chemotherapy, shortening the recovery time of honey, as it is cheap, natural, and effective in a short time.
In a study, it has been shown that oral care with honey applied to children receiving chemotherapy is effective in decreasing mucositis levels and mucositis formation rates, shortening mucositis recovery time, and increasing recovery rate. Researchers have suggested that honey, a natural nutrient, can be used safely in children receiving chemotherapy without diabetes and honey allergy, in addition to a routine medical oral care product. A systematic review examining the researches on the use of honey in the treatment of mucositis in oncology patients criticizes that the studies have small samples and are not randomized, on the other hand, it states that it is a suitable alternative treatment in wound care in patients with cancer.
Is Honey Good for Digestive System Problems?
Honey, thanks to its antimicrobial effect and anti-inflammatory effect against microorganisms, can be used in the treatment of helicobacter pylori, which causes diarrhea and stomach ulcers. It has been reported that it has a suppressive effect on the development of Helicobacter pylori, which is shown as the agent of stomach ulcers, and the regression of the disease is provided. In a randomized controlled study, 97 patients confirmed with endoscopy who had Helicobacter pylori infection were examined whether they could destroy this bacterium by using Zantac + amoxicillin + metronidazole in triple therapy and honey instead of metronidazole. Endoscopy and biopsy were performed and compared in the 1st and 6th months following the treatment.
In the elimination of Helicobacter pylori, it was found that there was no significant difference between the combination therapy and the group in which honey was applied instead of metronidazole. In this study, it is suggested that honey can be used as an effective treatment for helicobacter pylori infection. In another study, 15 children with Helicobacter pylori infection and an average age of 9 were used triple therapy as omeprazole, amoxicillin, bismuth, and honey. In the results evaluated after three to four weeks, the treatment efficiency of honey was found to be 80%. In the aforementioned study, it was reported that the use of honey with triple therapy was effective in eliminating helicobacter pylori.
Diarrhea affects five million children worldwide and 1.5-2.5 million children die annually. Oral rehydration solution, which is given free of charge in all family health centers in the treatment of acute diarrhea, is recommended for its safe use by all health authorities such as the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although honey has been used in digestive system diseases since ancient times, there is little research on the use of honey in diarrhea. In one study, 169 children were placed in one of two treatment groups. While one group was given standard routine treatment for diarrhea, the other group was prepared with an oral rehydration solution with 50 ml of the pure honey formula for 1 liter instead of glucose. The duration of diarrhea due to bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, and E.Coli has decreased in the honey group.
As a result of other researches with similar features, the frequency of vomiting and diarrhea in the honey group decreased compared to the other group and the healing process accelerated even after the honey intake. Limited studies suggest that pure honey can be used in addition to the oral rehydration solution for the rapid recovery of vomiting and diarrhea in children and the body’s water balance, while further studies are needed with a larger sample.
Is Honey Good For Bacterial Diseases?
The fact that honey is an antibacterial nutrient is due to its chemical content. Honey is an 84% saturated sugar solution whose osmotic effect is important, and which consists of fructose and glucose. 15-20% of its weight consists of water, and the strong internal reaction between sugar molecules and water molecules reduces the rate of free water in honey. The measured free water value (a w) of honey is between 0.56-062. The water activity value they need for the development of many diseases and disruptive bacteria is 0.94-0.99 a w. However, yeasts grow in honey with high water content, causing unwanted fermentations. Honey is an acidic food and its pH is 3.2-4.5. Generally, the optimal reproductive pH of pathogenic bacteria is 7.2-7.4. Ph values that some of these bacteria can reproduce; E.coli, 4.3; Salmonella sp., 4.0; Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 4.4; Streptococcus pyogenes is 4.5.
Therefore, the acidity of pure honey is an important antibacterial factor. However, when the honey is diluted by body fluids, its acidic effect is not enough. Its main antibacterial feature forms hydrogen peroxide (H2O 2), which is released in the honey with an enzymatic effect. It is released by the reaction of acidity and hydrogen peroxide (glucose + H 2 O + O 2 glucose oxidase gluconic acid + H 2 O) and protects the honey. It shows the antibacterial effect without damaging the tissues with the effect of H 2 O and many factors in honey content. In addition, apart from hydrogen peroxide in honey, antibacterial action is also caused by other substances such as pinocembrin, benzyl alcohol, 3,5dimethoxy-4 hydroxybenzoic acid, 2 hydroxy-3 phenyl propionic acid, 2 hydroxybenzoic-acid, methyl 3,5 – dimethoxy-4 hydroxybenzoate, 3,4,5 –trimetoxybenzoic acid and 1, 4 dihydroxybenzenes.
The effect of honey on many bacteria has also been proven in laboratory conditions. In one study, the inhibitory effect of honey with a concentration of 1.8-10.8% (v / v) on E.coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella Typhimurium, Serratia Marcessens, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes is detected. In another study, honey in concentrations of 1-10% (v / v) is effective on some bacteria isolated as mastitis agents in dairy animals (Actinomyces Pyogenes, Klebsiella pneumonia) has been identified.
In a study related to the sensitivity of Helicobacter pylori bacteria isolated to honey in peptic ulcer patients, it was found in laboratory conditions that the minimum effective honey concentration on bacteria was 5% (v / v). In trials using different honey types on Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton that cause fungal infections in humans, the effective honey concentration range is stated to be 2.5-55% (v / v). Naturally, it is very common to use bee products with proven antibacterial efficacy to protect human health. It is used in postoperative wounds, burns, stomach ulcers in order to benefit from the topical antibiotic effect. In addition to fructose and glucose, many vitamins (Thiamine, vit.B6, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid), minerals (Copper, Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc) and amino acids provide fast and high energy with its rich nutrient content. As well as preventing body fatigue, it provides high athletic performance.
Is Honey Good For Skin Problems?
Due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, honey is an essential ingredient for healthy and radiant skin. Apply to the spots on the skin before going to bed. This application will clean the skin from blemishes. Continue this practice for a week. When you get up in the morning, clean your face with warm water. After a week, you will have healthier and brighter skin. Honey can also be used to treat eczema, fungal, and psoriasis. It can also be used to reduce skin inflammation and remove dryness.
The fact that honey has an effective antioxidant and antimicrobial property causes it to be widely used in cosmetics and facial masks. Thanks to its ingredients, it protects the skin from harmful sunlight and keeps it moist. Many different face masks are prepared to benefit from the maximum benefit of honey for skin health. The use and preparation of some of these face masks are as follows.
Honey Face Mask Recipe-1
Required Ingredients: -1 teaspoon of honey (preferably natural honey), -1 teaspoon of olive oil, -One egg yolk
Preparation and Application: Mix the honey, olive oil, and egg yolk mentioned above and apply them to the face. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
This mask nourishes facial skin and cleans it from dead cells and oils.
Honey Face Mask Recipe-2
Required Ingredients: -1 teaspoon honey, -1 teaspoon clay, -1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preparation and Application: Mix well to get a dark paste. Apply to the skin and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water. It is especially useful for oily skin. It provides skin relief.
Facial Exfoliating Mask Recipe-3
This mask is used to remove dead cells on the skin. This mask can also fix blackhead issues. Exfoliation is also good for very oily skin. It should be done at least once a week.
Required Materials: – Honey, – Lemon, -Sugar,
Preparation and Application: Mix the aforementioned ingredients well and apply gently to the skin. After waiting for about 15-20 minutes, wash your face with warm water. Honey lemon juice brightens and cleanses the skin, and sugar also works as an excellent ‘exfoliator’ and helps skin cleansing.
Note: The masks described here can also be useful for fighting acne.
Is Honey Good for Kids: What Are the Restrictions?
In the Regulation on Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practices, the situations where apitherapy cannot be applied are as follows; Bee venom is not applied in those who are allergic to bees and bee products and in children. Other bee products under the age of 18 are not applied. If under the age of 1, apitherapy cannot be applied at all. As stated in the regulation, the use of honey before one year is not recommended. Botulism and allergic reactions are the reasons for honey use restrictions in the pediatric population. Botulism is seen as the most dangerous side effect of honey use in babies under one-year-old. Although botulism is a rare disease, Clostridium botulinum spores are a problem with infection and poisoning caused by toxin production in the digestive system after digestion.
The harmful effects of various microorganisms mixed with honey from soil and plants are prevented thanks to the antibacterial properties of honey. Bacterial spores can survive while inside the honey, but cannot form toxins. In infants, bacterial spores can form toxins in the intestine due to the absence of protective bacterial dressing in the digestive system and partly due to the low levels of bile acids that suppress Clostridium botulinum spores. Clostridium botulinum spores pose a danger to babies up to one year old due to the possibility of being found in honey. In botulism seen in infants, weak crying, weakness in muscles, drowsiness, hypersensitivity to warnings, decreased reflexes, a problem with oral feeding, decreased sucking and gagging reflex, difficulty swallowing, inability to control the head, facial paleness, dry mouth, and breathing difficulties can be seen. Symptoms such as decreased blood pressure and increased heart rate may occur as well.
According to the results of the research, there is a long-term history of honey usage for the purpose of relieving constipation in infants with a diagnosis of botulism. Since honey consumption is a familiar way for C.botulinum sports, it is the only risk factor that can be prevented for infant botulism. According to the research conducted by the Disease Control and Prevention Center, between 1976 and 2006, 524 botulism cases were found all over the world except for the USA, and 63 of these cases were directly caused by honey, while 418 did not specify the cause. In the USA, 2419 botulism cases were reported in 30 years between the same years. Although it is not known whether honey is responsible in cases of botulism, the cause of which is not specified, it is important not to give honey to babies under one year old because of this serious health problem. In many countries, the Ministry of Health does not recommend giving honey to babies under one year old. However, awareness of the potential dangers of honey use in infants is still not at the desired level.
In a study conducted with 270 mothers with babies in Italy, it was found that 25% of the mothers did not have any knowledge about how honey can cause infant botulism. It can be suggested to parents that “honey should not be used because of the possibility of causing botulism in babies under one year old, but because of the development of gastric acid levels and protective bacteria in the intestines after one year. Clostridium botulinum spores can also cause wound botulism if honey is used for regional treatment in the body. However, sterilized and standardized honey can be classified as medical materials and used for therapeutic purposes. It is suggested that honey can be used for therapeutic purposes in children by purifying it from microorganisms.
Another limitation of the use of honey in infants and children is honey poisoning. Food poisoning may occur as a result of taking honey orally. One of them is mad honey poisoning. Mad honey (Andromedotoxine) intake is associated with symptoms of poisoning, the symptoms vary according to age but can be generally terminated within 24 hours. Generally, symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting occur after ingestion of mad honey. Other symptoms include a drop in a life-threatening heartbeat, low blood pressure, and a change of consciousness. The amount of poisoning dose is unknown. Parents should be informed to keep their children away from this type of honey.
The absence of microorganisms and bacterial spores in the honey of medical quality enables its use in pediatric patients. The World Health Organization recommends that honey can be used safely in cough. Evidence of the effectiveness of the treatment of honey in other health problems is not sufficient. It is clear that the majority of limited studies have been conducted in developing countries, while more research is needed while highlighting honey as a natural, effective, and inexpensive alternative treatment method for these countries. All research on botulism emphasizes that honey should not be used in infants younger than one year because of the possibility of causing botulism.
Extra: What Honey Is Good for in Ayurvedic Medicine?
Traditional but well-studied medical systems, such as ayurvedic medicine in India, often use honey as a tool for faster swallowing of various medications, such as herbal extracts. Secondly, it is thought to support the treatment of a number of more specific ailments, especially respiratory diseases and infections, mouth sores, and cataracts. It also acts as a general tonic for newborns, teens and the elderly, people in recovery, and farmers working under harsh conditions (Nananiaya, 1992, personal communication).
In general, no distinction is made between honey obtained from Apis mellifera (Honey bee) A. Cerana (Eastern honey bee) or A. Dorsata (Giant honey bee) species. Honey has been known for many centuries in mythology, Ayurveda, and botanical science. It has been used both as a medicine and for religious purposes in history. One of the five ingredients (milk, curd, ghee, sugar, honey) used in the preparation of a sacred drink called Panchamrita is honey. While it is thought to be beneficial against all diseases, it is said to sweeten the person both internally and externally.
Medicinal Benefits of Pure Honey in Ayurveda
Fresh honey removes sputum and empties the intestines. One or two years of honey reduces fat and is good for digestion. Honey powers the intestines. Regular consumption of honey prevents the accumulation of poisonous substances in the intestines and kills the maggots. It is similarly beneficial for chronic diseases, chronic constipation, dysentery, and diarrhea. Honey removes sputum that accumulates in the lungs. It provides relief to asthma and cough sufferers. It is also useful in cases of tuberculosis. Keeps the mind fresh and healthy. It is useful for people who are busy with mental affairs. Consumption of honey strengthens sperm, adds physical strength, and gives the body a good shape. Put an almond in water, grind overnight, and put in a bowl. Add a spoonful of honey half an hour before bedtime and drink it with cold milk. This recipe is good for mental strength, masculinity, and physical form. It should be taken regularly for two months during the winter season.
You can improve the cough by mixing half a spoonful of honey and half a spoonful of ginger juice. You can also get rid of sputum by mixing equal amounts of onion juice and honey. Honey lick is good for mild colds. Honey also improves skin diseases and makes the skin healthy. It also kills the maggots and stops rotting. Honey improves vision. If there is Kashmiri honey made of water lily flower, it can be drawn to the eyes like a smear. This will be good for eye problems. Drink cold milk by adding a few drops of honey before bedtime. Do not add sugar. This reduces physical weakness. It should be drunk for two months and the teeth should be brushed after drinking. Drink two spoons of honey in 1 glass of water before going to the bathroom in the morning. This will gradually reduce the fat accumulated in the body. It should be drunk regularly for two months. It also provides shine to the skin. Honey takes on the properties of the ingredients that participate in it, so it is called “Yoghavi (the environment in which drugs are mixed)”.
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