Health benefits of honey

Remember your grandma’s ginger and honey recipe for that irritating cough? Remember how it had a smoothing effect on your throat?

Honey is a very nutritious food product which helps to keep good health. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which make it a wonderful medicinal product.

What are the benefits of honey?

1. Helps combat allergies:

Honey is used to treat many forms of allergies. Are you worried about your child’s sore throat and cough that seems to wake him up from his sleep? Try giving him a spoonful of honey!Honey

A single dose of honey taken before bedtime can relieve cough in children as well as in adults. In fact, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommend the use of honey as a natural cough remedy.

Honey also works against dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and anal fissure.

2. Relieves acid reflux:

A report published in the British Medical Journal says that honey may help prevent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), commonly called heartburn.  As it is 125.9 times more viscous than distilled water at room temperature, honey forms a coating on the food pipe and prevents symptoms of acid reflux.

3. Shortens the duration of bacterial diarrhea in infants:

Try adding honey in the oral rehydration solution for infants and children with gastroenteritis or infantile diarrhea. Researchers have found that honey shortens the duration of bacterial diarrheal. It may not have any effect on the duration of viral diarrhea but can be safely used as a substitute for glucose in oral rehydration solution containing electrolytes.

4. Promotes wound healing:

Almost all type of wounds seem to respond well to honey therapy. Honey has a cleansing effect on wounds. Honey can be used to heal burns, bed sores, minor abrasions, and even surgical wounds.

5. Helps in reducing weight:

Use of honey can substantially help in reducing weight. It is also found to lower cholesterol levels as well.

6. Works as an anticancer product:

It’s no wonder that this valuable liquid has anticancer properties as well. Honey is being considered as a complementary treatment modality for blood cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer.

7. Relieves pain due to radiation therapy in cancer patients:

Honey significantly reduces the pain caused by radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients.  The radiation therapy leads to the swelling and a painful condition of the mouth known as mucositis and stomatitis. Application of honey on the mouth of such patients helps reduce the pain, keeping them away from heavy doses of pain killers.

8. Helps in maintaining healthy and youthful skin:

Regular application of honey on skin keeps the skin hydrated, reduces wrinkles and maintains the skin pH.  No wonder why honey is widely used in cosmetic products.

How to add honey to your diet

  • Use honey as a bread spread.
  • Use honey to sweeten your dessert.
  • Stir honey into your cup of coffee or tea.
  • Drizzle honey on pancakes, parathas etc.
  • Instead of sugar, mix honey to your yogurt, cereal, or cornflakes.
  • Try delicious recipes like honey-glazed potatoes, grilled fruits with honey.

Do you have some innovative ideas of how you could add honey to your diet? Share your ideas with us.

Sources:

1. F. R. Khan; Z. Ul. Abadin; N. Rauf. Honey: Nutritional and Medicinal Value. Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(10):1705-1707. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/565913_5

2. Ran D. Goldman, MD FRCPC. Honey for treatment of cough in children. Can Fam Physicianv.60 (12); 2014 Dec. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264806/

3. Burlando B1, Cornara L. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013 Dec; 12(4):306-13. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24305429

4. Math MV, Balasubramanium P. Oesophagus: Heart Burn and Honey. BMJ 2001;323:736. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/28/oesophagus-heartburn-and-honey

5. Hafejee IE and Moosa A. Honey in the treatment of infantile gastroenteritis. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1985 Jun 22; 290(6485): 1866–1867. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1416773/

6. Jull AB, Rodgers A, Walker N. Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2015 Feb-Apr; 23(2): 259–266. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458999/

7. Whitfield P1, Parry-Strong A, Walsh E, Weatherall M, Krebs JD. The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium- and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss and lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomised controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2015 May 19.Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25986159

8. Nik Man NM, Hassan R, Ang CY, Abdullah AD, Mohd Radzi MA, Sulaiman SA. Antileukemic Effect of Tualang Honey on Acute and Chronic Leukemia Cell Lines. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:307094. Available at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/307094/

9. Saurabh Samdariya, Shirley Lewis, Heena Kauser,Iqbal Ahmed, and Dewesh Kumar. A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Role of Honey in Reducing Pain Due to Radiation Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Journal ListIndian J Palliat Carev.21(3); Sep-Dec 2015. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4617032/

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