Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners known to mankind, providing us with a natural alternative to using processed sugar in cooking, baking, or just sweetening our tea. However, the benefits and uses of this golden bee nectar go far beyond its taste. Read on for 10 beneficial ways you can put that jar of honey in your cupboard to use.
- The innate antiseptic properties of honey make it an excellent treatment for minor burns. Did the curling iron get your forehead again? Try honey! Take a small amount and dab it directly on the burn. The honey will help to cool the burn and promote healing. Basically, bacteria cannot survive in honey, making it the perfect healing agent!
Antioxidant for Your Skin
- If your skin is looking like it needs a little pick-me-up, try a honey face mask! Cover clean skin with a layer of honey and leave it on for at least 10 minutes before washing off. Honey is an excellent source of antioxidants which work to eliminate destructive free radicals. As a face mask, it will rejuvenate your skin, leaving it softer and younger looking.
- Packing a whopping 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, honey makes a great fitness energy booster. Try mixing some into your bottle of water before hitting the gym to help you sustain energy and endurance through out your workout.
Bad Breath Neutralizer
- While you shouldn't go tossing out your toothbrush and floss any time soon, honey may be able to help with halitosis. The natural antibiotic found in bee honey (called propolis) can work to kill the bad, stinky bacteria in your mouth. Give a honey & cinnamon mouthwash a try! Mix 1 teaspoon of honey and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon in 1 cup of hot water and gargle.
- Another amazing property of honey is that it is a natural humectant meaning that it has the ability to attract and maintain water molecules. What does this mean for your hair? Honey can make an excellent conditioner for softer, healthier hair! Are visions of a sticky, hairy mess worrying you? Applying honey directly to your hair may not be the best idea. Instead, try mixing in a dollop of it with your normal conditioner and applying it to damp hair. Massage it in and let it sit for a while before rinsing. Doing this 2-3 times each week may just leave you with some of the best hair days you've ever seen.
- Honey has long been used to help with a variety of digestive and stomach issues, like nausea and diarrhea. Upset tummy? Try sipping some hot tea with lemon and lots of honey.
- For the same reasons that honey makes a great hair conditioner and antioxidant for your skin, it also works as a wonderful moisturizer. Try covering dry, rough areas (like your elbows and feet) with honey and letting it soak in for 30 minutes or so. Rinse off and enjoy smoother, softer skin.
Relieve Cough & Sore Throat
- While honey should never be given to children under the age of 1 (see below), it is an amazing alternative to pharmaceutical cough syrup. Give your child (or yourself) a teaspoon before bed to help relieve coughing. Not only is honey soothing on the throat, but the sweetness increases saliva production which can help ease the cough.
- Honey contains the sleep-inducing amino acid, tryptophan, which can aid in sending us off in to dreamland. So, if you are suffering in the sleep department, try adding a couple teaspoons of honey to a warm cup of decaf tea, water, or milk before bed. Drink up and let yourself relax.
Reduce Child Bedwetting
- Just as honey can act as a sleep aid, it can also help children who are frequent bed wetters lessen the chance of waking up with wet sheets. Honey aids in water retention and promotes relaxation, so try giving your bed wetter a spoonful of honey before sleepy time.