Know about the healing powers of honey – an ancient medicine to treat stomach ailments, fever, cold and digestion.
Since the Stone Age, humans have reaped health benefits from using honey as medicine and flavour. Honey is made by the bees collecting sugar from the nectar of flowers mainly sugar-rich flowers resulting in honey. The flavour, colour and quality of honey depends on the kind of flower. Hence some honey will be potent than the others.
As a child, you were probably handed a concussion of lemon and honey to sooth your throat and relieve cold symptoms. Honey isn’t just a placebo, a recent study showed the wide array of health benefits offered by honey.
A trio of researchers at Oxford University has found that honey is a better treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) than traditional remedies. In their paper published in BMJ Evidence-based Medicine, HibatullahAbuelgasim,Charlotte Albury, and Joseph Lee describe their study of the results of multiple clinical trials that involved testing of treatments for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and what they learned from the data.
In all, the team looked at data from 14 clinical trials involving 1,761 patients. They found that honey proved to be the best therapy among all of those tested. In addition to proving more effective in treating coughing (36 percent better at reducing the amount of coughing and 44 percent better at reducing coughing severity),it also led to a reduction in average duration of infection by two days.
The researchers note that the reason honey works as a treatment for URTIs is because it contains hydrogen peroxide – a known bacteria killer which also makes it useful as a topical treatment for cuts and scrapes.
Here are five health benefits of honey
1. Rich in Antioxidants
High quality honey is rich in antioxidant properties. It contains a number of antioxidants including phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Flavonoids protect body against everyday toxins and stressors and help your body function efficiently.
2. Improves Cholesterol
Honey reduces LDL – bad cholesterol while it significantly boosts HDL – good cholesterol. One study showed natural honey reduces the risk of heart diseases and also helps in weight loss. In this study 55 overweight/obese participants were randomly divided into two groups of 17 participants and 38 participants. The study compared honey to table sugar and found that honey caused 5.8percent reduction in LDL and a 3.3percent increase in HDL.
3. Natural cough suppressant
Honey has various antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is viscous in nature that coats the throat and eases discomfort. Warm water lemon and honey is one of the natural remedies to soothe sore throat and cough.
4. Antibacterial and antifungal properties
A variety of honey such as manuka and tualang honey possesses alternative therapeutic potential agent. It includes would healing properties and antimicrobial activity. This variety of honey heals wounds, cuts, skin allergies and eczema.
5. Potent prebiotic/probiotic properties
Honey is good for your gut. Prebiotics are foods that are not digested by human enzymes but it a food source for good bacteria in the large intestines. It makes an excellent non-dairy probiotic for lactose intolerant people.
Honey can be enjoyed a variety of ways – in tea, warm water, a spoonful of honey, honey lozenges. A slice of fresh ginger can also help to relieve a sore throat, and thyme and rosemary have antiviral properties. Another ayurvedic practice to consume honey is to have it in room temperature to avoid changing its chemical structure.