The Health Benefits of Honey

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of honey.  IMG_20140428_112128_952

The process of bees making honey has always fascinated me. Here are some facts and tidbits about honeybees that I found very interesting and thought I’d share them with you before we get to the health benefits of honey.

  • Each honeybee colony contains a queen, drones and workers.
  • The queen in the largest bee in the colony, responsible solely for reproduction.
  • A productive queen can lay 3000 eggs in a single day.
  • Drones are males that have no stingers and mate with the queen.
  • Bees communicate by smell, vibrations, physical interaction and other bees pheromones.
  • The walls of a honeycomb are only 2/1000 of an inch thick, but can support 25 times their own weight.
  • Honeybees make the comb by chewing thin flakes of wax their bodies create and shapes them into a hexagonal shape forming the comb.
  • One square foot of honeycomb is made of 3 ounces of wax , providing room for 90 ounces of honey.

Pretty amazing stuff huh?  Now for the health benefits of honey.  Thanks to the website Mother Nature Network for the information below.  It is always much appreciated.

1.  Honey can help soothe coughing.  A 2007 study from Penn State College of Medicine that involved 139 children, found that buckwheat honey outperformed the cough suppressant, dextromethrophan (DM), in calming nighttime coughs in children and improving their sleep.  Another study published in Pediatrics included 270 children aged one to five with nighttime coughs due to simple colds;  in this study children who received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed coughed less frequently, less severely and were less likely to lose sleep due to the cough when compared to those who didn’t get honey.

2.  Honey has been found effective in treating wounds.  For the treatment of burn and wounds, WebMD notes:  Honey is applied directly or in a dressing which is usually changed every 24 to 48 hours.  When used directly 15-30 milligrams of honey has been applied every 12 to 48 hours, and covered with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.

3.  According to the National Honey Board, honey contains “small amounts of wide variety of vitamins and minerals including, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.” Honey 2 Thus, using honey instead of sugar provides you with more nutrients for your calories.

5.  The Mayo Clinic notes that honey may be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy.  In one small trail, 40 percent of cancer patients who were known to be at risk of neutropenia (very low blood count) had no further episodes of the condition after taking two teaspoons daily of therapeutic honey during chemotherapy.  More research is needed, but the remedy could hold great potential.

6.  In a study involving patients with chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, the participants were asked to apply honey diluted with 10 percent warm water to their problem areas and leave it for three hours before rinsing with warm water.  In all of the patients, itching was relieved and scaling disappeared within one week.  Skin lesions were completely healed within two weeks, and patients showed subjective improvement in hair lossas well.  And when applied weekly thereafter for six months, patients showed no sign of relapse.

Now with all of that said about the health benefits.  There are a couple things to remember about honey.  1.  One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories so it should be eaten in moderation.  Although, when’s the last time you tried to eat a considerable amount of honey?  2.  Honey is not appropriate for children younger than 12 months because it can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism.

The next time you’re at the store pick up some honey.  Try to buy local if possible, which can also help with seasonal allergies.  Also note that the darker the color of the honey the stronger and richer it will be.  Now check out these recipes that contain honey and happy healthy eating.

Honey Dip, to cut calories use low fat or fat free cream cheese in this recipe.  Looks like a great dip for apples and pears.

Honey Grilled Shrimp

Honey Peanut Granola

Honey Glazed Chicken

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