Honey Works as Good as Cough Syrup:
Four Beneficial Uses of Honey
Beekeepers have been raising bees to produce honey since at least 700 BC. Back then, this sweet, natural sweetener was a rarity used in religious ceremonies and for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
Did you know that honeybees are disappearing at alarming rates in the United States? Find out what this could mean for the honey supply and, more importantly, the entire food supply.
Typically, the only people who could afford honey for eating were the very wealthy.
Nowadays, you can find honey in a variety of colors, flavors and textures (not to mention qualities) in just about every supermarket.
What Exactly IS Honey?
Everyone knows the sticky, sweet honey that kids of all ages love to lick from their fingers. But do you know how it's actually created?
Bees use honey as food, and they make it by collecting nectar from flowers. This nectar mixes with their saliva, which is full of just the right enzymes to create honey. The nectar-saliva mixture is then brought back to their beehive, where their wings fan it into just the right consistency.
The flavor and texture of honey varies depending on the type of flower from which the nectar came.
A small amount of honey at bedtime may soothe your child's cough without any of the side effects of over-the-counter cough medications.
Honey is More Than Yummy ... It's Healthy
As though you needed another excuse to add some honey to your life, it turns out that honey is good for you in many ways. Honey ...
1. Soothes a Cough Better Than Cough Syrup
With all of the concerns surrounding over-the-counter cough and cold medications for kids (the FDA has issued a public health advisory because they may not be effective, and they can cause side effects), here's some welcome news.
A small amount of honey works just as well.
A study by researchers from Penn State College of Medicine involved over 100 children with coughs between the ages of 2 and 18. Before bed, the children were given honey-flavored cough syrup, honey or nothing at all.
Parents of children who received the honey rated their children's sleep and symptoms as better, and noted improvements in their own sleep as well.
The researchers noted that the type of honey may be important. The children in the study were given dark-colored buckwheat honey, and it's known that darker honeys have more antioxidants than lighter honeys.
Note: Pediatricians do not recommend giving honey to children under 1 year of age because of the risk of botulism spores.
2. Helps Heal Wounds
Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, and all of these properties make it ideal for healing wounds. It also dries out wounds effectively because of its low water content while its high Sugar
content keeps microorganisms from growing. Honey also contains an enzyme that produces the disinfectant hydrogen peroxide when it touches a damp surface like a wound.
In fact, it has been used to treat burns, ulcers and other wounds for centuries.
Numerous studies show that honey heals wounds quickly, often better than Antibiotics
. For instance, a 2003 study in the European Journal of Medical Research found that infected wounds after caesarean sections healed 85 percent of the time with honey, and only 50 percent of the time with conventional treatments.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dressings made of Manuka honey (which has a unique antimicrobial ingredient) for wound and burn treatment, making it the first honey-based medical product in the country.
3. Increases Your Antioxidants
Your body needs antioxidants to protect your cells from damaging free radicals. And consuming buckwheat honey daily has been found to raise your blood levels of beneficial antioxidants.
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4. May Lower Your Cholesterol
In a study of eight healthy people who were given solutions of sugar, artificial honey or natural honey, the natural honey was beneficial.
Whereas the Sugar
and artificial honey either caused negative reactions or very small beneficial ones, the natural honey reduced:
Total cholesterol by 7 percent
Triglycerides by 2 percent
C-reactive protein by 7 percent
Homocysteine (a risk factor for heart disease) by 6 percent
by 6 percent
It also increased good HDL cholesterol by 2 percent.
All Honey is Not the Same
Much of the honey sold at supermarkets may contain additives
and is pasteurized, clarified and filtered, which may negate some of the beneficial properties.
Your best choice for healthy, high-quality honey is to look for 100 percent pure, RAW honey. This honey has not been heated or processed, so it still contains all of its beneficial enzymes and nutrients.