Honey has been considered both food and medicine in many cultures throughout history. It has been revered around the world since ancient times, and still is by many people.

Honey is made by honeybees from the flower nectar they collect and is rich in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. It is a sweet liquid with nutrients, unlike refined sugar which consists of empty calories.

Here are 5 therapeutic properties of honey:

Eases Sore Throats and Suppresses Coughs When cold and flu season rolls in, many people start a preventative ritual of sipping tea laced with honey and lemon. This offers soothing relief for a sore throat and can stifle a pesky cough. If a cold or flu has gotten a grip on you, a honey throat lozenge or a spoonful of honey can offer relief by soothing the throat and suppressing a cough, even in children over 1 year old.   

Offers Seasonal Allergy Relief The key is to buy honey made with local flowers, preferably within a 10-mile radius. The flower nectar collected by these bees to make their honey is from the same plants that may be causing your allergic symptoms. There is no exact recipe for how much honey to ingest for relief but usually swallowing a tablespoon of honey or adding honey to a cup of tea daily will suffice. True story: last spring a young man in Texas with extreme seasonal allergies guzzled down 8 ounces of local honey all in one go, due to sheer frustration with his allergies. We do not recommend anyone to do this, we are just sharing the story to demonstrate the potency that raw unfiltered local honey can hold. Within half an hour his symptoms disappeared and never returned for the rest of the spring allergy season. It will be interesting to see if his spring allergies return this year.

This 3:33-minute video shares 7 alternative wellness benefits of using honey in combination with other potent natural foods:

Antimicrobial, Antiviral, Antifungal, Antibacterial The potency of honey differs from place to place, depending on the flower substances found in it and whether it is unadulterated by syrup. Honey has a rich reputation with indigenous and ancient cultures as a wound healing salve. In ancient Egypt it was the oldest known antibiotic and protected their skin. Raw honey has a low pH level and also contains hydrogen peroxide, which is an antiseptic. This means it can kill bacteria and fungus, and not only will it kill the bacteria once the wound is covered with honey, it also helps the skin go through the healing process. The US National Honey Board indicates honey has antimicrobial properties that can help wound healing. Raw manuka honey from New Zealand is known to counteract strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. Honey also has an antifungal effect on Candida species. It can help ease internal infections as well, by consuming a spoonful or mixing it into herbal tea. Honey should never be given to babies under 1 year old.

Antioxidant Powerhouse Antioxidants like organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids support your heart. They help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and some types of cancer. Buckwheat honey has been found to increase the antioxidant value in your blood. Topical honey treatment is known to help skin recover from burns and wounds as well as psoriasis and herpes lesions. Honey improves diabetic foot ulcers. Some honey is used in skin grafts, as reported in a previous blog post where we shared how honey helped rebuild a man’s penis.

Lowers “Bad” LDL Cholesterol and Raises “Good” HDL Cholesterol High triglycerides are associated with insulin resistance. Studies show that inflammation and triglyceride levels can be lowered by honey consumption, especially when used as a sugar substitute. There is also evidence that the antioxidant compounds in honey help modestly lower blood pressure. Even though honey is a natural compound with nutritional value, diabetics should probably minimize all high-carb foods and skip sweeteners as much as possible. Caution should be used when purchasing honey to make sure it has not been mixed with syrup, since illegal honey adulteration is rampant in the marketplace. Go with higher quality or locally produced honey whenever possible. Verify that it is pure honey and contains no syrups.

These are just some of the many benefits we receive from having bees in our lives, directly or indirectly. Please do whatever you can to help Save The Bees.