Honey: What it Takes
Since ancient times, honey has been a prized treat for everyone from royalty to the commoner. It was given as gifts, delicious beverages were made from it, and it has been found in tombs, still edible, after thousands of years. But what does it take to make honey? It can be a little astounding! On average, it takes about 66,000 bees, traveling 55,000 miles to make a single pound. During their trek, they will visit nearly 2 million flowers. It’s amazing that these little workers get so much done! What’s also amazing is how healthy honey can be for you! It’s the perfect sweetener, completely natural, and it has a ton of other benefits too!
Honey has been shown to be a great cough “medicine” that soothes sore throats and coats the lining of the throat to prevent irritation that causes coughing. When I’m getting sick, I love to make “tea” from fresh, peeled and sliced ginger, lemon slices, and a tablespoon of honey in hot water.
Honey has long been used to treat pollen-related allergies. Eating a teaspoon of local honey (gathered from within about 2 miles of where you spend the most of your time) per day has been shown to reduce the effects of allergies. If you want to try this method, start eating it at least two months before your primary allergy season for the best results.
Honey diluted in warm water and used as a scalp rinse has been shown to reduce the itching and flaking of dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis.
Honey was used for a very long time as treatment for wounds. When spread over a wound, it releases a mild form of hydrogen peroxide that minimizes bacteria growth and allows for healing. If you get a scratch, burn, or other small wound, try spreading a thin layer of honey over it to allow for healing.
Honey is a fabulous moisturizer. Are your lips chapped? Rub some honey on them! Need to condition your hair? Mix ½ C honey with ¼ C olive oil and rub into your hair. Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes, then shampoo and rinse for lustrous hair.
Natural Memory Booster:
Preliminary studies show that consuming a teaspoon of honey every day may boost your memory.
Honey has Vitamins and Minerals:
A single teaspoon of honey a day can boost your intake of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium riboflavin, and zinc. Plain old sugar can’t hold up to that!
Aids in Weight Loss:
Some studies are now showing that using honey in place of sugar can aid in weight loss. Stirring a teaspoon into a glass of warm water can increase your metabolism and in turn, help you lose weight.
Great for Athletes:
Swapping out sugar in your sports drinks for honey and some lemon can really boost your performance! Sugary sports drinks are just that, sugary (and overly salty), especially if you are just working out at the gym or taking a walk. Try adding a teaspoon of honey and some slices of lemon to water. Add a pinch of salt, preferably Himalayan Pink salt, to a sports bottle of water. Give it a good shake and use for hydration.
Better All Around Sweetener:
Honey is a great sweetener that provides a host of benefits for you. A natural sweetener, it’s not processed like other sweeteners, and when you buy organic, you know it’s chemical free.
Making Sure You’re Buying Real Honey
There are a lot of honey imitators out there, all with the “honey” label. Some of them are sugar syrup with honey flavoring. Others were honey, but have had all the pollen removed, making them, by definition, not honey anymore. And some is even imported from other countries that are unregulated, like China. Be sure you are getting what you pay for and look for local honey producers. They might be slightly higher in price, but it is well worth it!