The healing powers of honey

We’re all familiar with this scenario: Summer days get a little shorter, the air gets a little colder and, before you know it, you’re picking up a prescription for flu medication at your local pharmacy. As the season changes our immune systems need all the help they can get to keep our bodies fit and healthy, especially during a pandemic where even the smallest throat tickle can be a cause for alarm.

Research shows that honey has been used for medicinal purposes that dates back over 5,000 years ago, including being used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine – an Indian system of medicine  that “aims to preserve health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance and preventing disease rather than treating it.” So what makes golden liquid so much more than just a food substance that satisfies our sweet tooth?

Honey is high in antioxidants

Honey contains a number of antioxidants (including phenolic compounds like flavonoids) that help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals. Did you know that some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables?

Honey contains nutrients

Even though it is not in excessive amounts, honey contains iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium. Iron is particularly important to help support your immune system.

Honey has soothing qualities

The soothing qualities of honey, which researchers believe is due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, have been used to heal wounds – a treatment that dates back to ancient Egypt. These soothing qualities also help for sore throats.

There are many more medicinal properties and benefits of honey, but as the colder months approach, here are some suggestions for frequent uses for honey:

  • For sore throats (or just a delicious drink) – consume it as a warm drink by adding it to a herbal tea, or concoct your own recipe by combining warm water, honey, ginger and lemon.
  • For an upset stomach – many home remedies include consuming apple cider vinegar with warm water. Adding honey will help sweeten the drink and its soothing properties can help with indigestion.
  • For dry skin or lips – you can create your own exfoliator by combining honey with sugar. Once combined, use it immediately so that the sugar does not liquidise.
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