For people with a sweet tooth, honey is one of the best and healthiest alternatives to sugar. This naturally delicious treat is produced by hardworking honey bees by turning nectar from various flowers and turned into a sweet, viscous liquid through a careful process of regurgitation and evaporation.
Honey contains high levels of monosaccharides, glucose, and fructose, which gives it a sweet taste. Other ingredients that make up honey are water and certain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and more. It also has essential vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.
However, what most people do not know is that honey is more than just a natural sweetener. It just doesn’t give pancakes, tea, and other foods that boost in flavor, it also has a plethora of health benefits.
Why Makes Honey so Important?
The real significance of honey lies in its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It even has a place in modern medicine as an essential ingredient in chronic wound management. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, which helps eliminate free radicals.
Honey is also slightly acidic, as its pH level is somewhere between 3.2 and 4.5. This makes it very helpful in preventing bacteria from proliferating. As similar as they look honey’s chemical composition as well as its physical properties may vary depending on the flowers that the bees used to produce the liquid.
The powerful health benefits of this nutritious liquid dates back to as far as 384 BC, during the time of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It was also mentioned in several ancient Greek, Vedic, and Roman texts. Despite being in the limelight for thousands of years, many of the health benefits associated with honey still require large concrete evidence to verify the claims.
The Long List of Health Benefits
Here’s a list of all the reported uses of honey:
Acid Reflux – Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal value, honey is believed to help prevent Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) due to its extreme viscosity (125.9 times more viscous than drinking water), which helps coat the esophagus.
Gastroenteritis in Children – A study published in the British Medical Journal has found honey to shorten the duration of bacteria-causing diarrhea in children.
Wounds and Burns – In some cases, honey is used as an alternative to antibiotics. It can be applied topically, most especially by patients who are not responding to prescription antibiotics. It has been used to treat diabetic ulcer, cellulitis, and staph infections.
Allergies – Honey is also believed to minimize seasonal allergies, wherein people are reported to respond well to honey as compared to placebo treatment.
Cough and Sore Throat – Similar to treating GERD, honey helps coat the throat and help minimize the frequency of cough and relieve dry and scratchy throat.
Infections – There are specific types of honey, such as the Manuka honey that is reported to have the ability to kill bacteria and treat chronic wound infections.
Shopping for Honey
Honey can be sold in bulk or in individual containers. Some are sold pasteurized, while some offer raw honey. When buying this liquid, make sure to prioritize buying 100% pure and raw honey, as this is the safest and best choice and also the one with the highest nutritional quality.