Honey is one of nature’s most wonderful gifts. People across the world cherish the taste of the golden syrupy liquid made by bees. But the benefits of raw honey go much deeper than its sweetness.
For thousands of years, raw honey has been a staple in home remedies. And there’s a reason why. Honey is one of the best natural healers on the planet. In fact, here are eight amazing health benefits you can get from raw honey!
A Great Source for Antioxidants
One of the main benefits of raw honey is its richness in antioxidants. Honey contains chemical compounds including phytochemicals, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. All these compounds contribute to the overall antioxidant properties of raw honey.
These antioxidants work to alleviate oxidative stress in the body. Research shows that oxidative stress contributes to many chronic diseases, including cancer. Therefore, eating raw honey can reduce your risk for contracting a chronic disease.
Honey Helps Fight Bacteria
In addition to antioxidant compounds, raw honey also contains chemicals that help kill bacteria. The hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase within honey actively fights off harmful bacteria. In addition, raw honey inhibits bacterial growth to prevent infections before they even start.
Studies show that one type of raw honey, known as manuka honey, fights a variety of common bacterial infections. Specifically, manuka honey works well as a healing agent to fight E. coli, Staphylococcus, and H. pylori.
Using Honey as First Aid on Cuts
Eating honey isn’t the only way to take advantage of its antibacterial properties either. Honey also significantly helps heal minor cuts and burns. By applying raw honey directly to minor wounds, you can prevent dangerous bacterial infections.
Another property of raw honey that makes it great to treat small wounds is its acidic composition. The acidic compounds in honey release oxygen from the wound and promote recovery. Studies also suggest that topical honey treatment is particularly effective for people suffering from diabetes-related foot ulcers.
Nature’s Cough Medicine
Another great health benefit of raw honey is its ability to ease coughs. Specifically, studies suggest that raw honey can be more effective than most over-the-counter cough medications for children. In fact, a 2.5-ml dose of honey works even better for children with coughs than Benadryl.
Raw honey’s anti-inflammatory properties also help with sore throats. In addition, its thick consistency coats the throat and produces a soothing effect. The best part is that raw honey doesn’t have any of the side effects associated with most cold medicines, making it a great natural alternative.
Brain Boosting Properties
Studies also show that honey’s antioxidant properties can help protect your brain. Raw honey contains a chemical known as pinocembrin. In one animal study, researchers tested the effects of honey’s pinocembrin. They found that the rats who consumed honey were better protected against brain damage caused by lead exposure.
Another brain-boosting benefit of raw honey is the ability to improve memory. Raw honey’s anti-inflammatory compounds fight swelling in the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in memory. In fact, raw honey even helps in treating dementia and other neuroinflammatory illnesses.
A Better Alternative to Regular Sugar
One of the most recognizable qualities of honey is its sweetness. That’s because at its core, honey is pure sugar. However, unlike refined sugar, raw honey contains ingredients that protect against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Raw honey can also increase adiponectin levels in the body. Adiponectin is the hormone responsible for reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar regulation. As a result, raw honey is a great alternative to refined sugar, particularly in managing blood sugar levels.
Provides a Variety of Nutrients
Aside from sugar, honey also contains a variety of important nutrients. Although the exact amounts of each nutrient vary across honey samples, all raw honey contains healthy compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Natural honey contains small amounts of important nutrients like calcium, potassium, and zinc.
Raw honey is also rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that help promote health. In addition, raw honey has an abundant amount of other plant-based phytonutrients. Along with fighting bacterial and fungal infections, phytonutrients also provide protection against ultraviolet radiation.
Greatly Improves Digestion
Raw honey is also very helpful improving digestive health. Although it contains compounds that fight harmful bacteria, it also does well at nurturing the positive bacteria involved in digestion. As a result, raw honey acts as a great remedy for indigestion and ulcers.
The soothing effect on digestion additionally helps treating symptoms of diarrhea. In fact, a study of 150 children with acute gastroenteritis showed that patients who received honey in their treatment recovered from diarrhea significantly faster than those who didn’t.
Overall, raw honey provides several fantastic health benefits that make it a great addition to your diet. From fighting bacterial infections to improving digestion, honey is truly one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity.