Honey has been around for years. It’s a sweet viscous substance produced by bees, and since the dawn of time (okay, not that long but still) we’ve often used it as a sweetener. Some of us delve further into the honey world by using it as a hydrating face mask or to soothe a sore throat, but there’s so much more. Read on to find out SPUD’s top 3 surprising uses for honey.
3 Surprising Uses For Honey
1. It Promotes Sleep
If honey is consumed on its own, it can promote sleep. How does it do this? At night, your brain uses up a chemical called liver glycogen. Honey replenishes this supply. It essentially feeds your brain during sleep (because all living things need food!). However, for this to work, it needs to be raw, not commercial. That mass-produced plastic bear stuff won’t do anything – it’s been heated, cooked, and pasteurized, which will likely keep you awake longer. To promote sleep, be sure to buy raw, local honey (this is unheated and only lightly strained).
To Use It: About 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed, take 1 tsp of raw, unpasteurized honey. Be sure to eat it without protein. Otherwise, nothing will happen and you’ll be left wondering why you just ate that random sweet spoonful.
2. It Helps Heals Wounds
Honey has been a traditional medicine since the dawn of mankind, especially for healing wounds. It’s effective because it’s a natural antibiotic. It also maintains a moist environment for the wound and keeps a protective barrier for the wound to heal. Lastly, it releases hydrogen peroxide, which eliminates all bad bacteria. All these qualities protect and heal your injured area, prevent the spread of bacteria elsewhere, and reduce scarring. You’ll heal up in no time.
I personally can attest to this. Many vets actually “prescribe” honey for animals post-surgery. My dog recently got surgery, and the vet gave us some honey to apply to the wound each day. We applied it twice a day, left it on for 15 minutes, then washed it off. Along with time, TLC and proper care, it worked like a charm! My dog’s tail is now perfectly healed.
Buy Raw – For this to work, you’ll need a certain type. Raw honey has excellent antibacterial properties compared to the commercial stuff, so buy raw people!
To Use It: To use this method, it depends on the size, cause, and severity of the wound. We’re not doctors, so we recommend talking to your GP before trying this.
3. Acts as a Natural Cough Syrup
Raw honey can also help relieve a cough. A number of studies found that it lessens the number and intensity of coughs. It does this by reducing mucus secretion. A 2007 study showed that it’s just as effective as an over-the-counter cough syrup! So, if you’re looking for an all-natural, low-cost cough syrup with no side effects, reach for the sweet stuff.
To Use It:
- Again, the commercial stuff won’t work. Choose a darker, raw/local variety: one study showed that this seemed to be more effective at fending off that pestering cough. Likely because they contain more antioxidants.
- Take 1-2 tsp right before bed. For kids, ½-1 tsp.
- Enjoy your cough-free sleep!
It’s important to acknowledge that bee populations are decreasing. This is due to pesticide use, not necessarily consumption of bee products! If you consume bee products, it’s best to shop from local and organic vendors that don’t use pesticides. We also recommend creating bee-friendly environments of your own. Check out SPUD’s suggestions on how to do so.