What is Honey? Benefits, Uses, and Properties
If we define honey in one line, it will be a sweet, viscous substance manufactured by honey bees and stored in their beehives. But it is more than a sweet treat—it’s packed with valuable properties that have been the foundation of medicine and healing since ancient times.
This blog post will cover honey’s benefits, uses, and properties to help you get the most out of its robust nutritional profile. So read on to learn more about honey and how to incorporate it into your diet!
Medical Uses for Honey You Never Knew
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You’ve heard about the fantastic health benefits of honey, especially in recent years. But you should find out how many uses honey can benefit your body, mind, spirit, and sweet tooth. So keep reading to discover excellent medical uses for honey that most people have never heard of before.
Honey is an excellent wound-healing agent. The role of honey in wound care since ancient times has been significant. When it was used as a treatment for open wounds, burns, and ulcers because of its antimicrobial properties, its antimicrobial properties are due to the hydrogen peroxide produced when glucose oxidizes. Hydrogen peroxide destroys the cell walls of bacteria and fungi that can cause wound infection.
Sore Throat Relief
If you’ve ever had a sore throat, chances are that you’ve reached for the local pharmacy’s over-the-counter remedy. But did you know that many of these remedies can be as effective, if not more so when combined with honey?
Honey is a natural cough suppressant that helps ease irritation in the back of your throat. It also relieves coughs by coating soft tissues in the throat. But the benefits don’t stop there! Honey has long been used to help heal sores, wounds, burns, and even skin disorders such as eczema. If all this isn’t enough to convince you to stock up on some raw unprocessed honey, then its ability to ward off allergies will do it!
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Honey has been used since ancient times. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help relieve pain in people with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It also has antioxidant properties, which means that it can protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. This helps to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, which are often caused by oxidative stress.
Research suggests that the antioxidant properties of honey may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Let us further explain it.
Blood Sugar Control
Honey has been found to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The study found that when participants ate two tablespoons of pure honey daily, their blood sugar dropped by about 25% on average. Scientists believe that the natural sugars in honey increase insulin sensitivity and improve the cells’ glucose uptake from the bloodstream. Honey also contains other sugars, such as glucose and fructose, which are known to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Honey is a great treatment for intestinal health. One tablespoon of raw honey with the first bite of food can stop diarrhea in its tracks. It also can help soothe ulcers and ease occasional heartburn. And while it may not be a cure-all, studies have shown that honey is an effective antibiotic for wounds.
Honey and skin care are in a close relationship. This is because honey is anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and swelling from skin allergies and irritations. Honey also contains beta-hydroxy acid, a natural chemical in certain fruits that can help with acne, keratosis, pilaris (chicken skin), and wrinkles.
The best way to apply honey to your skin is by using a washcloth or toner cloth to soak the cloth in warm water and then add two tablespoons of raw organic honey. Then massage the wet washcloth over your face like any other facial cleanser. Let it sit on your face for 10 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
Is Honey Sustainable?
Yes, and Here’s Why.
Although honey seems like it should be a sustainable food, its production process can sometimes be more friendly. Yet, this can be different; many sustainable ways to produce sustainable honey don’t endanger the bees or their habitats.
To show you how to do this, let’s look at three different kinds of honey from three different parts of the world and examine their sustainability factors in detail. [get into it]
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. When it comes to the environment, this means maintaining natural resources for future generations. Maintaining sustainability is a top priority for companies such as Clorox. The company has made sustainability an integral part of its strategic focus, vision, and values statements, which guide decisions about what to do and not do to ensure long-term success. Clorox believes that caring for people means caring for the planet where they live.
What are the Three Pillars of Sustainability?
The three pillars of sustainability are environmental, economic, and social. Environmental sustainability ensures that the earth’s natural resources are safe for future generations. Economic sustainability ensures that society has enough money to sustain itself. Finally, social sustainability ensures that the people in a society have enough access to food, water, healthcare, and other essentials. Now let us explain how all that leads to the sustainability of honey.
How is Honey Sustainable?
Honey has been an essential part of human history for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest food products known to man. But unfortunately, in recent decades, there have been many misconceptions about honey and its sustainability.
The following examples will take a closer look at what makes honey sustainable, and why it is known as a sustainable sweetener option. Above all, how you can switch to more sustainable sweeteners like honey too!
Examples of sustainable honey production:
- The beekeeping industry is a small-scale agricultural activity that does not need chemical pesticides or herbicides.
- Bees pollinate over 100 crops in the United States alone, making honey a crop worth protecting for its ability to increase the yield of other crops.
- Honeybees are a natural way to help control pests such as aphids and mites on plants while reducing pesticide use on produce grown in greenhouses or fields.
Which Properties of Honey Make it Unique?
The chemical and physical properties of honey make it unique. If you want to learn more about chemical properties, read on. However, if you show interest in its physical properties, jump down to the next section.
Honey is a complex substance that can break down into many parts depending on its constitution. That means that honey will contain different sugars, minerals, protein, hydrogen peroxide, water, pollen, and trace nutrients such as enzymes and acids.
The most common type of sugar in honey is glucose, which makes up around 50% of the mixture, with fructose accounting for 40%. The rest consists mainly or exclusively of sucrose or maltose.
There’s more to honey than the simple sugars in fruits and other sugary treats. What makes honey unique from other sweeteners isn’t its taste—its chemical and physical properties are anything but simple. The following characteristics will explore how this sticky substance is more than sugar. So if you’re not quite sure why honey is such a desirable sweetener, read on to learn what makes honey unique!
The Chemical Composition of Honey
As is evident from the above-detailed discussion, honey is a food that has been consumed for centuries because it has many important physical and chemical properties. In general, honey comprises about 18% water, 38% fructose, 32% glucose, 9% maltose, 2% sucrose, and trace amounts of other sugars. Besides, the pH ranges from 3.2-4.5.
All that means it’s acidic enough to kill bacteria but not acidic enough to cause corrosion in metal containers or pipes. It also contains antioxidants like caffeic acid, phenylacetic acid, and quercetin. Honey can vary in composition depending on the type (i.e., clover vs. buckwheat) and the floral source (i.e., orange blossom vs. wildflower).
The Physical Properties of Honey
Physically, it is a viscous liquid with high sugar content. In terms of solids, honey contains about 16-17% sugar, though the amount varies depending on the type, with some containing as much as 40% sugar.
The sugar in honey consists of fructose (about 42%), glucose (about 31%), maltose (about 9%), and sucrose. This mixture of sugars creates a taste described as honey-like or sweetly mellow by different people. These are the physical properties of honey.
The Disadvantages of Honey
As seen above, honey has many health benefits but also some disadvantages. Here are some of the most common disadvantages of honey to remember when deciding whether to add it to your diet.
Honey has a long history of being used to treat ailments and diseases and as a sweetener, but you should be aware of some disadvantages to using honey. Here’s what you need to know about the disadvantages of honey so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to sweeten your tea or coffee or use it in your favorite recipes.
- Although honey contains some nutrients, it has sugar. That means it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike if you consume too much of it.
- If you are trying to lose weight or control your blood sugar levels, you should limit your intake of honey.
- Some people are allergic to honey or the pollen used to make it. If you are allergic to bees or bee stings, you should avoid consuming honey as it may cause a severe reaction.
- Honey can sometimes contain toxins that can be harmful to your health. These toxins can come from the bees’ environment or the hive itself. That is why buying honey from a reputable source ensures their hives are free from toxins is essential.
- Although honey can help to fight against bacteria, it can also increase your risk of cavities if you consume too much of it.
- This is because honey is high in sugar, which feeds the bacteria in your mouth and leads to tooth decay.
You should speak to your doctor before consuming honey if you take any medications. It may interact with the medication and cause side effects.
The above-detailed overview of honey shows that it is a natural sweetener. that is just like a gift from the lap of nature. It has numerous benefits, both chemically and physically. You can even use it without your doctor’s consultation in most cases. However, the disadvantages at the end of this article would undoubtedly add to your knowledge about honey and its constituents.