Did you know?… Known as Mother Nature’s “nectar of the gods,” honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians. Drawing on the 21st century honey buzz, health author Cal Orey reveals enlightening honey home remedies, straight from the book The Healing Powers of Honey: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Remarkable Nectar!
7 common health ailments in kids from A to Z and amazing at-home honey cures.
These are tried-and-true folk remedies based on scientific studies, real-life stories, medical doctors, researchers, and beekeepers. But caution, consult your health-care practitioner before putting to work any honey cure.
1. ALLERGIES (Stop seasonal misery): Dealing with annoying sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing is no picnic, thanks to seasonal pollen. But honey may come to your rescue.
What Honey Cure to Use: Try eating a tablespoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me that your immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be within a 50-mile radius from where you live).
Why You’ll Bee Happy: By taking the honey cure, you may lose your allergy symptoms. It’s worth the effort and is less pricey than a visit to the doctor or an allergist. Honey may enhance the immune system to build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens—and help you breathe easier. Honeycomb may line the entire breathing tract.
2. COUGH (Outfox irritating hacking): A cough is another unwelcome visitor and can make you feel terrible. Let’s face it, cough medicine can be pricey, doesn’t taste good, and may or may not do its job.
What Honey Cure to Use: A teaspoon of buckwheat honey is recommended before bed. Or you can make syrup of 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Repeat each remedy as needed.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: A group of Penn State College of Medicine researchers discovered that honey may be the cure. The findings showed that buckwheat honey at bedtime was more powerful for curing a cough in children than a cough suppressant found in over-the-counter medications. It is believed that honey will act as a sedative to the nervous system.
3. ENERGY DRAIN (Beat low energy): Getting your cough under control is a good thing, but then what if your energy plummets? Liquid gold may be the answer again.
What Honey Cure to Use: Each morning include a teaspoon of bee pollen in your breakfast. Go ahead and take it solo. Or try The Honey Association’s Energy Drink recipe: ¼ pint orange juice, ¼ pint natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons clear honey. Place all the ingredients in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Serves two people.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: Honey is a source of natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body. That means, you’ll get a quick energy boost with long-lasting effects. Athletes include it in their daily diets. It was even used by runners at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
Thumbs-Down On Honey For Infants
From stinging honey bees to infant botulism caused by honey may sound like ideas for an anti-bee sci-fi film in the works. But in the real world, feeding honey to a human baby is really dangerous and should be avoided.
Sweet honey may contain not-so-sweet Clostridium botulinum spores. This scientific term means honey can cause infant botulism, because babies less than one year of age do not have the developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans.
4. HEADACHE (Bye-bye, pain): Fatigue and headaches are not to be taken with a grain of salt, because it can hurt oh, so bad. There are different types of headaches, and some kinds may benefit from the honey bee’s gift.
What Honey Cure to Use: One cup of tea with 1 teaspoon of honey (the darker the varietal the better) is the remedy. Repeat as needed. Also, drink plenty of water and relax.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: “The way honey might work for tension headaches,” says New York Headache Center’s Alex Mauskop, M.D., “is by treating hypoglcemia, which can cause tension and migraines.” He adds that some antioxidants can help prevent headaches, as can magnesium and vitamin B. So turning to antioxidant-rich honey may be a sweet remedy.
5. INSOMNIA (Find sweet dreams): Getting rid of a headache is a challenge, but not getting adequate shut-eye can have long-term effects, too.
What Honey Cure to Use: Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of your favorite honey, especially before going to bed. Try sipping a cup of 2 percent low-fat milk with a dash of cinnamon. The tryptophan in milk will help to calm you.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: It’s a magic trick, according to The Honey Revolution author Ron Fessenden, M.D., providing needed glycogen to the liver so the brain doesn’t go in search of extra fuel in the earl A.M. hours when you should be in Dreamland. “Consuming honey before bedtime also reduces the release of adrenaline, a catecholamine that raises blood pressure and heart rate,” adds the honey guru.
6. SORE THROAT (Take the sting away): Not sleeping is miserable, but a sore throat can drag you down, too, where don’t feel like walking or talking. Honey has been used as a home for centuries to help sooth one of the symptoms associated with a common cold—namely, a killer sore throat.
What Honey Cure to Use: For relief of symptoms, take a spoonful of your buckwheat honey, as often as you need, to relieve irritation. In between, sip a cup of tea with honey. Also, try pure honeycomb and honey sticks. Don’t forget all-natural honey-lemon lozenges, which also coat the throat for quick relief.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: One, honey will coat your sore throat, the symptom of the cause. Two, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will help heal the culprit causing your pain.
7. WOUNDS (Heal cuts and scrapes): Once you get a flat stomach, what do you do if you stub your toe or cut your finger? Honey is believed by scientists, such as Dr. Peter Molan to be one of nature’s most powerful wound dressings, which really works.
Gifts From The Hive
- Eating antioxidant-rich honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!—and increase longevity.
- Pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
- It’s chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—and only has 21 calories per teaspoon.
- Super “bee foods” (including nutrient-rich bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly) are used and touted for their healing powers by beekeepers and medical experts in the present-day.
- The honey bee pollinates about one-third of the food we consume (including nutritious fruits and nuts which are healthy for children).
What Honey Cure to Use: Try manuka honey, available in many forms. It’s available online in lotions, creams, and bandages. Apply as directed.
Why You’ll Bee Happy: Honey can numb pain. It is osmotic and attracts water. Since bacteria are mostly made of water, they are sucked dry in the presence of honey. Bacteria are further inhibited by honey because the golden liquid produces hydrogen peroxide and is acidic (like vinegar). Honey activates the immune response by providing glucose for the white blood cells. It speeds up the healing process.
So go ahead and use the type of honey advised or your own preference; all-natural, raw honey, dark varietals are recommended for best results. (Warning: To avoid infant botulism, do not fee honey to a baby who is younger than one year.)
— Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. “The Healing Powers of Coffee” and “Animal Attraction: A Collection of Tales & Tails” will be released this summer. Her website is www.calorey.com.