Honey is a healthy natural sweetener that is enjoyed everyday by millions of people. But, honey is much more than a sweet treat. The wonderful uses for honey go far beyond eating it. It’s exceptional qualities make it beneficial for skin care, crafting and a multitude of uses around the home.
Perhaps, you already know a lot about this amazing product from bees. But, it can play a larger role in our everyday lives than you may think. Prepare to be enlightened at the numerous things you can do with honey.
Practical Ways to Use Honey
There are so many ways to use this give from bees – it is hard to know where to begin. So, let’s start at the beginning with a quick look at what it really is and where it comes from.
According to the dictionary, “Honey is a sweet liquid substance that is made by bees mainly from the nectar of plants.” Honey is made from nectar but it is a sugar – glucose, fructose, sucrose etc.
Enjoy Eating Raw Honey
While it is a popular ingredient in many honey recipes, you can enjoy eating a tablespoon of honey straight from the jar. This natural sugar source is a nice energy boost when you need a little afternoon boost.
Pair with Cheese
There are many interesting ways to enjoy eating honeycomb with other foods – cheese is a favorite. Place small pieces of comb on a platter with slices of cheeses like brie, goat cheese, or gorgonzola.
Create Flavored Honey Infusions
You can adjust the “heat” in the recipe by the number of peppers used. But, don’t blame me if you burn your tongue!
Sweeten Your Drinks
Well, after all – it is a natural sugar and one of the oldest known ways to sweeten food. Use honey in tea to add sweetness and flavor. This also adds the vitamins and minerals found in honey.
If you want to get truly creative, why not create this Honey bee Latte with espresso. It is a nice treat to help you get through a long afternoon at work. On a hot day, try a bit of honey-sweeten lemonade.
Use Honey in Marinades
I enjoy making this recipe for homemade honey teriyaki but you can incorporate honey into many marinades for meats or tofu.
It helps to tenderize meat and adds sweetness with new flavors for your favorite recipes.Discover new flavor dimensions for your favorite recipes
The baking industry is very involved with honey as an ingredient. When honey is used in baking, it not only provides flavor but helps baked goods remain moist.
Relieve Allergy Symptoms
Many people firmly believe that a tablespoon of local raw honey a day helps protect you from the severity of seasonal allergies.
Though researchers are yet to support this claim – don’t try to tell that to the thousands of folks that believe local raw honey helps their allergy symptoms.
Cough and Cold Relief
If you feel that next cold or cough coming on, you may already have something in the pantry to help ease the discomfort.
This tasty homemade remedy for cough relief won’t cure you but it will ease your symptoms. Another good idea during cold season is to pair it with lemon juice.
If you enjoy making natural products – try making homemade cough drops. They provide some symptom relief and you can pronounce every ingredient in the recipe.
When a really nasty sore throat arrives, try this – infuse honey with lemon and ginger. It has helped me through many a sore throat.
Help Relieve Anxiety
The use of honey in herbal tea (such as chamomile) with a bit of lemon juice added is believe to be very relaxing.
It may help soothe those of us who suffer from nervousness and anxiety (per Dr. Oz). Start with a tablespoon per cup and adjust as needed.
Gastrointestinal Benefits of Honey
Honey is primarily glucose and fructose but it also contains enzymes that can aid in the human digestive processes. It is considered a prebiotic and may be beneficial for some suffers of stomach discomfort.
A teaspoon of honey per day may provide relief to those suffering from acid reflux or other minor digestive issues.
Of course, your doctor is the best one to advise you on stomach issues. It is not appropriate for everyone. While some diabetics can tolerate honey, it is still a sugar – necessary precautions must be taken to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
Also, infants (under 1 year old) should never be given raw honey due to the small risk of botulism. (A risk present in most raw foods.)
Honey as a Sleep Aid
If you are one of the millions of people that have a bit of trouble falling asleep at night, give this recipe a try. Mix a little honey with warm milk or herbal tea before bedtime. You may benefit from the calming and sleep-inducing properties of honey.
Use Honey for Skin Care
You find many attributes in honey to promote healthy skin. It is antibacterial, antifungal and an antioxidant powerhouse. It is also a humectant that seals in moisture.
Beeswax is very good for skin care too. You will often find honey and beeswax used together as a mixture with other oils and butters (olive oil, coconut oil etc.) to promote skin healing.
Use in Lip Balm
Honey is soothing to the sensitive skin of our lips. This makes it a popular ingredient in chapstick and lip balms.
Make your own lip balm and include a little honey. It must be mixed well though to prevent separation from the waxes and oils in homemade products.
A common ingredient in salves and creams, honey for wound treatment has a long history. It promotes healing and helps reduce inflammation.
It kills bad bacteria and cuts down on infections even when applied straight from the jar. Just spread a bit of honey on the scrape and bandage.
Condition Your Hair
Using beeswax for hair care (especially braiding) is well-known but honey can be a part of your hair care regime too.
A common method is to mix honey with a bit of melted coconut oil. Apply to hair and scalp, let sit for a few minutes and then rinse well.
Honey is a sugar but it does not raise blood sugar levels as fast as normal sugar. Its GI index is lower making it a better choice for some people.
Bees bring nectar back to the hive, in a special organ -called a “honey stomach” or crop.
This has lead to some misconceptions and the rumor that honey is bee vomit? It is certainly not bee vomit as no real digestion takes place in the crop.
Honey is a humectant that helps lock in natural moisture. It also is an exfoliant and helps smooth the skin surface.
Honey will not go bad as long as you store it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid to protect it from moisture.
When it comes straight from the hive – unheated with no additives or intense filtration, it is considered raw. Regular honey can be raw but that is not always the case. It likely still maintains some healthful properties.
Honey is a natural sugar. It does have carbs and calories so don’t overindulge. A very few people may be allergic to honey (or the bee pollen in it) but this is not common.
Honeybees are the only insects that make food directly consumed by humans. And boy, did they do a good job. Using nectar from millions of flowers, bees produce many different types of honey. Each with its unique honey color and flavor.
This gift from the bees can be used in so many ways in the kitchen and beyond. Don’t confine that jar of sweetness to food recipes only, there are many uses for honey.
Disclaimer – Honey is a wonderful food but it should not be given to infants under the age of 1 due to the risk of infant botulism. Their immature immune system is not ready for raw foods like this.