Cuddle season is upon us, and the rains are surely on their way. It’s funny how the weather seems to get gloomy as soon as midterm season hits. I’m not exactly the biggest fan of cold weather or rain, especially when I wake up sick with a case of the sniffles and a sore throat. Though I usually don’t mind taking some over-the-counter medicine to help me sleep through the night, there are times when I feel like I need something a little more soothing for my body. In times like these, I tend to reach into my kitchen cabinet to make myself a nice chamomile tea with a big spoonful of honey and a splash of lemon juice. Something about the warmth and the aroma seems to clear my nasal passages and soothe my irritated throat so that I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my homework.
Though growing up I had heard my grandma go on about using honey for some home remedies, aside from being a sweetener, I really had no idea whether honey really provided any health benefits. To my surprise, in addition to being delicious, honey has actually been linked to a variety of health benefits! Honey has been used for thousands of years to treat open wounds, burns, and even ulcers, all because of honey’s soothing properties. For one, honey has some amazing antibacterial properties thanks to its osmolarity and acidity levels. Traces of hydrogen peroxide have also been found, formed while honey is ripening. Honey has also been found to reduce inflammation, promote tissue regeneration, and promote wound healing. Other studies suggest that honey has some effective ulcer-preventing qualities as well. Though the body has a natural flora of bacteria found in the digestive system, honey can play a positive role in fighting potentially harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Helicobacter pylori (the organism that causes ulcers).
Aside from these surprising health benefits, what else can you get from honey? Well, you can take advantage of honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits by using it as a gentle face cleanser. To do this, remove any makeup you may have on, and simply take a tablespoon of honey in your hands and apply it to dry skin. Leave it on for five to thirty minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. You can also use honey to create a body scrub by mixing half a cup of honey with half a cup of sugar. Scrub your body with the honey-sugar mixture in the shower, and gently wash it off for newly moisturized skin.
Who knew honey was so versatile? I guess my grandma was right. Take advantage of some of honey’s great qualities and use it from head to toe! It’s definitely time for some pampering after midterms.
- Contribution of Honey in Nutrition and Human Health: A Review by Jose Miguel Alvarez-Suarez, et al. from the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism <http://www.springerlink.com/content/g1771u466wvr2h26/>
Article by Marilyn Cabrera
Feature Image Source: Cox’s Honey