Honey is full of health-enhancing plant compounds such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. For centuries, honey has been a staple among “food as medicine” remedies. It has been used to suppress coughing, ease sore throat pain, and support wound healing when applied to the skin.
Modern science has also identified the following health benefits of honey:
Antioxidants found in honey help the body fight off free radicals which destroy cells and raise inflammation (a process known as oxidative stress). The type and amount of antioxidants varies for different sources of honey. Darker varieties of honey tend to have more antioxidants than lighter ones.
Honey does not rapidly raise blood sugar (glucose) levels. This makes honey a perfect alternative to table sugar and it may even help regulate blood sugar levels. Even though it is a healthy sugar alternative, people with Type 2 diabetes should consult with their healthcare practitioner before regularly consuming.
Daily consumption of raw honey may have cardio-protective benefits. In addition to protecting the heart from oxidative stress, raw honey may improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels due to the propolis it contains. Propolis is a type of resin that bees produce from sap-producing trees and similar plants.
When buying honey, look for a local organic product when possible. Every variety is unique in color and flavor based on the plant nectar that bees draw upon. It’s easy to add honey to your diet. Swirl it into tea, yogurt, and oatmeal. Drizzle it across granola or toast. So sweet and so good for you!
Raw honey carries a risk of botulism-a toxic condition caused by bacteria found in improperly prepared, canned, or preserved raw foods. To learn more about how to use honey for its health benefits, check with your holistic healthcare provider.
- Khalil, I., et al. “Cardioprotective Effects of Tualang Honey: Amelioration of Cholesterol and Cardiac Enzymes Levels.” BioMed Research International 2015 (2015): 286051. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/286051
- Nitsche, M. P., and M. CarreÃ±o. “Is Honey an Effective Treatment for Acute Cough in Children?” Medwave 16 Suppl 2 (May 30, 2016): e6454. https://doi.org/10.5867/medwave.2016.6454
- Oduwole, O., et al. “Honey for Acute Cough in Children.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 4 (April 10, 2018): CD007094. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007094.pub5
- Alam, F. et al. “Honey: A Potential Therapeutic Agent for Managing Diabetic Wounds.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicineâ€¯: ECAM 2014 (2014): 169130. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/169130
- Jull, A. B., et al. “Honey as a Topical Treatment for Wounds.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 3 (March 6, 2015): CD005083. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005083.pub4