When you go to the grocery store, you probably see an entire shelf or several shelves dedicated to various types of honey. When we're talking about honey as a healing remedy, though, it's important that raw honey is used. Raw honey has not been "sterilized" with high heat, and it has not has anything added to it.
Raw honey varies quite a bit, too. There's wildflower honey, tupelo honey, organic honey, and clover honey. A good middle road is raw wildflower honey. It tends to contain the medicinal qualities of a variety of wildflowers, and when you're trying to kill germs, the more germ-fighting constituents, the better.
How Is Honey Used?
One of the great things about honey is how good is tastes. Children (over 1 year of age) respond well to honey as a treatment. Here are some of honey's healing uses.
- Burns - Honey has been shown in various studies to be an extremely effective burn treatment. It has various antibacterial compounds that have yet to result in bacterial resistance, and its moist nature helps keep burned skin supple and reduces moisture loss. If you use honey to treat minor burns, simply spread honey over the burn and cover lightly with gauze. Honey does not need to be refrigerated, but it feels good on a burn if it's chilled.
- Coughs and colds - Studies have shown that regularly eating raw honey helps prevent colds. It also helps soothe coughs and sore throats. Its viscous texture coats the throat, and has a cough-suppressing effect. Its antibacterial properties help fight throat infections and upper respiratory infections. By gently heating raw honey and mixing in healing herbs such as sliced ginger, steeping for a few hours, and straining out the herbs, you can create a healing cough syrup.
- Cosmetics - Honey is good for dry skin due to its high moisture content, and its antibacterial qualities may help with skin infections like acne. Plain yogurt mixed with honey makes a soothing cleanser or facial mask. Sugar mixed with raw honey and sweet almond oil makes a moisturizing exfoliant.
- Allergies - Interestingly enough, regularly eating raw honey may prevent allergic symptoms, particularly those of hay fever. Because raw honey contains residual pollen and other plant components, the theory is that the low levels of exposure - such as occurs with allergy shots - may reduce sensitivity to common allergens.
- Wound healing - Some interesting studies have shown that honey is a remarkable wound healer, especially for diabetics who have trouble with minor wounds developing into ulcers. It may even reduce scarring and tends to be less painful than conventional antiseptics.