While September is National Honey Month, it has so many uses, you may want to devote an entire year, or even a lifetime to this bee-made product. Americans are said to consume 1.5 pounds of honey per person each year, and there are more than 300 types in the U.S. available alone. But, unfortunately, most people use the processed stuff which does more harm than good. In order to reap honey’s many benefits, it’s best to choose a local source in its raw form. Research has found that the majority of supermarket and drugstore jars, contain no pollen whatsoever, which means that they were so highly processed and filtered, that the honey really isn’t actually honey. When you look for your next jar, you’ll want to be sure that it’s the real thing.
The chances of getting real honey that contains pollen is greater by purchasing certified organic honey, though buying real, local honey is the best way to reap its benefits and to protect the health of your family.
Some local producers process their own, so that’s a good way to know that you’re getting a genuine product. Not only is it worth the little extra you’ll pay just for the peace of mind knowing that it’s actually honey and doesn’t contain artificial junk or has been contaminated, you’ll enjoy the greatest amount of medicinal properties with honey that’s loaded with pollen and contains valuable enzymes along with antioxidants.
Once you’ve got the real McCoy, here are seven surprising uses it.
Cleaning wounds. Honey offers natural antimicrobial properties – that’s why it lasts so long. So long, in fact, that it’s even been found unspoiled in ancient tombs in Egypt. You can dab it onto a minor burn or cut, lightly covering the wound like an antibiotic ointment. If you think that sounds far-fetched, consider that scientists are actually using honey as a potential future source of antibacterial proteins, according to research published in the FASEB Journal which explained how honey kills off bacteria.
Hair conditioner. Honey makes for a great natural conditioner. Just mix together one-half cup of honey with one-quarter cup olive oil. You can warm the mixture slightly if you’d like. Apply it to your hair and then allow it to soak in by wrapping your hair in a towel and then rinse, preferably with cool water.
Natural cough syrup. You can make a very effective, tasty natural cough syrup using the following ingredients: 1 quarter of filtered water, ¼ cup fresh ginger root, ¼ cup marshmallow root, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 1 cup honey. Pour the water into a saucepan and add the dried herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the volume is reduced by about half. Pour through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove herbs. While the liquid is still warm, but not boiling, mix in the lemon juice and honey. Stir well and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Sweet lip balm. A natural lip balm made from honey not only tastes sweet, it helps to heal cracked lips. Mix one part of warm, recently-melted beeswax to three parts olive oil. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture. Once the mixture has set, it’s ready to use.
A soothing bath. The same qualities that make honey good for your hair also makes it good for your skin. It’s a great way to keep your skin naturally soft and clean. Just add 2 tablespoons of honey to a cup of hot water and let it dissolve. Add 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil, and then pour the mixture into your bath.
Relieve a hangover. Honey is acclaimed by science for its ability to help the body quickly break down the alcohol you consumed, and are probably regretting the next morning. Because of its antioxidant properties, honey is said to neutralize the toxins created by consuming alcohol. The fructose in honey is thought to be the essential compound that helps the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products.
Clearing your complexion. Honey diluted with water can help to clear your complexion by using it as a facewash. It’s also well-known for treating acne and other skin conditions. Stubborn acne can even be cleared just by dabbing on a small bit of honey. The best way to eliminate it is to dab honey onto a pimple and then place a band-aid over that. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before removing. With so many uses, you might even want to store a gallon of raw honey in your family’s emergency supplies!