Raw honey naturally contains nutrients and enzymes that have a variety of health benefits and medical uses. Perhaps that’s why it has been used as a folk remedy throughout history. Honey’s benefits go beyond sweetening up your favourite Greek yogurt or afternoon tea. Packed with a powerful punch of antiseptic, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, it’s one of the best ways to give your health and beauty routine a boost. Here are the top health and beauty benefits of raw honey:
ANTIBACTERIAL AND ANTIFUNGAL PROPERTIES
Raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Raw honey helps to fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacterial infection that’s become resistant to antibiotics. Raw honey can be either applied topically or taken internally to cure respiratory infections.
Honey is said to lighten skin, and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds help to decrease the appearances of scars and increase healing and tissue regeneration. The hydrating properties of honey and coconut oil or olive oil will also help revive skin cells, while regular, gentle massaging will increase circulation to aid skin recovery and cell turnover.
Tip: Mix one teaspoon raw honey with one teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil. Apply to the affected area, and massage with the tips of your fingers in a circular motion for one to two minutes. Place a hot washcloth over your skin, and let sit until cool. Repeat daily.
FILLED WITH POLYNUTRIENTS
Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from harm. Phytonutrients provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help you maintain good health. Because honey is made from plants, it also has phytonutrients. These valuable nutrients are unique to raw honey and disappear when honey is heavily processed.
Honey contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that thwart bacteria that can lead to breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties will calm redness and irritation.
Tip: Apply a dab of raw honey to affected areas, and sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Honey is sometimes used to treat digestive issues such as diarrhoea, though there isn’t much research to show that it works. However, it’s proven to be effective as a treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a common cause of peptic ulcers. (Peptic ulcers occur in the stomach or digestive system.)
Tip: Taking 1-2 teaspoons on an empty stomach is said to soothe pain and help with the healing process.
Raw honey is also used in medical settings to treat wounds because it’s an effective germ killer. Studies show that raw honey can boost healing time and reduce infections in wounds. However, the honey used in hospital settings is medical grade, meaning it’s safe and sterile. You shouldn’t expect to treat injuries with the honey you buy from a grocery store.
The enzymes and nutrients in raw honey give dull hair shine without weighing it down. It penetrates the hair shaft to condition and smooth the cuticle and give your strands the lustre you crave.
Tip: Mix one tablespoon raw honey with two tablespoons coconut oil. Apply thoroughly to the bottom two-thirds of damp hair, starting at the ends and working up. Let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse well.
The enzymes in raw honey clarify skin and keep pores clear and clean. Plus, the antibacterial properties of honey and jojoba or coconut oil also prevent bacterial buildup that can lead to skin imbalances and breakouts.
Tip: Stir one tablespoon raw honey with two tablespoons jojoba oil or coconut oil until the mixture is spreadable consistency. Apply to clean, dry skin, and massage gently in a circular motion, avoiding your eye area. Rinse with tepid water.