Mighty Ingredient: Honey

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Photo Credit: Estel Heitz

Photo Credit: Estel Heitz

 

Author: Holly J Coley

Many don’t realize the health benefits of honey but rest assured, this substance is more than a sweet add-on. For centuries its been used for a variety of things, from a fruit preservative by the Native Americans to a form of currency by the Ancient Egyptians. Today it can not only be found on dining tables but in face masks and beverages.

Honey contains vitamins and minerals, as well as 18 amino acids. It naturally produces a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and ranges in aromas and colors depending on the nectar source. The darker the honey the richer it is in antioxidants. All and all, it’s a pretty mighty ingredient. To learn about the medicinal powers of honey, check out these 3 Health Benefits:

 

1.FIGHTS BACTERIA

Honey has several properties that allows it to be effective at eradicating drug resistant germs. Its high sugar concentration pulls water from bacteria cells, drying them out and killing them. It’s high in flavonoids and polyphenols, such as phenolic acids, ellagic acid, p-coumaric acid, and caffeic acid; all antioxidants which according to one study, are antibacterial.

Manuka honey has been known to disrupt biofilms (bacteria communities) from forming and may even help delay toxins from being released. A study released in 2012 found that Streptococcus pyogenes biofilms, a bacteria associated with non-healing wounds, was destroyed by the substance. This finding remains of particular interest to the medical community, as Streptococcus can be resistance to antibiotics. More research is being done to see if honey can replace or be used in addition to medicine to treat drug resistant bugs. Experts are also looking at ways it can be used topically, in place of expensive creams.

2.COUGH SUPPRESSANT

Some of you may have had a grandmother who gave a spoonful of honey whenever you began to cough. Turns out, granny was on to something. According to a 2007 study, buckwheat honey did a better job at relieving cough symptoms in comparison to over the counter medicine.

The two night study involved 105 children, ages 2 to 18-years-0ld with night coughs. On the first night, children received no medicine or honey to treat their symptoms. On the second night they were given either buckwheat honey, an artificially honey flavored over the counter cough suppressant or nothing. Findings showed that the children who were administered honey fared more favorably than their counterparts in terms of rest.  Researchers believed that along with the antibacterial nature of honey, the thick soothing texture may coat sore throats, providing relief.

3. ALLERGY RELIEVER

While not all medical experts are in agreement, there is some research indicating that ingesting honey can provide relief for those who suffer from birch pollen allergies.

A study involving 44 patients with a birch pollen allergy found that a great number of the individuals experienced reduced symptoms when taking local honey. Researchers found that 70 percent reported a decrease in severe symptoms. Fifty percent were able to lower the amount of times they used antihistamines. The study was published in 2011.

 

What are your favorite ways to use honey? Let us know. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Instagram.

 

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  1. Pingback: 6 Natural Cold Remedies to Try | The Mighty Mite

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