Different Uses For Honey
The Joy of Honey
Sometimes there is nothing better than a hot piece of toast with copious amounts of butter and a slathering of gooey, sticky honey to whet one's appetite and while I do love honey on toast, did you know there are many other ways we can utilise this sweet nectar?
What is Honey?
Honey is a sweet, sugary substance that has been made the same way by bees for over 150 million years, honey is made up of fructose, glucose, water, oil, and special enzymes. In particular, raw honey which isn't filtered, strained, or heated above natural hive temperatures, is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Honey is a natural antimicrobial meaning it discourages the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. History has shown that we have used honey in salves as an antiseptic to help treat minor wounds such as cuts, grazes and burns. When eaten honey can help reduce inflammation caused by common colds and sore throats.
Feeling a little stressed? Having trouble sleeping? Honey is known for being a natural sedative that contains components that can help increase your serotonin levels. Honey, when ingested before bed can help carry serotonin to the brain and aid in relaxing your body before sleep. Whether eaten or added into a hot bath, honey can also reduce inflammation and help to ease and relax sore muscles, relieve tension and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Most of us have experienced a hangover once or twice and we are always looking for the perfect hangover cure. Hangovers are caused by the alcohol syphoning nutrients from our bodies, depleting the bodies vitamin B and blood sugar levels causing headaches, nausea and the cravings of something fatty and sweet. Honey contains B vitamins and trace minerals that you need to help restore your body.
Honey is a great natural source of healthy carbohydrates that has vitamins, B, C, D and E. The sugar in honey is a great alternative to refined sugars making it an ideal substitute for diabetics. Honey can help combat fatigue why not try adding a couple of tablespoons of honey to your water before your workout to give your body a natural energy boost.
Honey is what's called a humectant, meaning it has the amazing ability to take in moisture from its surroundings, making it an awesome moisturiser for both the skin and hair without causing oiliness.
Antioxidants in honey help protect skin and hair from environmental irritants such as dryness, dust, UV rays, wind and air pollution.
Honey also has natural properties that help exfoliate and brighten skin tone and with regular use can help diminish the appearance of age spots. Honey is great for reducing oily skin and keeping pores clean, making it fabulous for helping reduce inflammation and acne.
Applying honey directly to the skin as a facial mask for 10 - 20 minutes can leave the skin, hydrated, bright, clear and radiant.
Honey's beneficial properties also make it perfect for improving dry, chemically, colour-treated, brittle hair. Making sure to use raw honey, apply honey directly onto dry hair and wash out after 30 minutes. This will help replenish your hair, making it feel nourished, hydrated and rejuvenated without leaving your hair oily.
Now while I try my best to grow plants I do sometimes struggle keeping them alive. So when I researched this next use for honey I was surprised. Honey can be used as a rooting hormone. Now if you're like me you read this and thought…. What?! Here is what it means, a rooting hormone is a substance that is used to help cuttings establish healthy roots.
While most plant cuttings will produce rooting hormones on their own after being placed into clean water, some plants are a little fussier and won’t grow roots this way. This is where applying a rooting hormone comes into play. Honey is a natural rooting hormone, the reason it works so well is because of the honeys natural antiseptic and antifungal properties. The honey protects the cuttings while allowing the plants natural rooting hormones take, well root.
To use Honey as a rooting hormone, simply dip the cutting into honey, then place the cutting into your preferred medium. While not as quick as synthetic hormones, using honey can see results in 7-14 days.
It's always best to buy local raw honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated or pasteurised, it still contains all the amazing natural vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants that make honey beneficial. It not only supports local honey farmers it also, unlike the pasteurised honey you get from the supermarket, still contains traces of local pollen which can help relieve symptoms of hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Win-win!
My two cents
While a spoonful of honey in your tea is, let's face it, amazing, it's the endless possibilities that make honey so versatile. From being consumed for general health and wellbeing, applied directly to the hair and skin for beauty and skin care treatments, to being used in the garden as a rooting hormone, honey is a truly versatile product.
And it's all thanks to the hard working bees.
If we don't start looking after these amazing insects, mankind will not survive. We can help encourage the bees to stick around by planting flowers rich in nectar, like lavender, honey myrtle and native rosemary to name just a few. We can also help to protect the bees by not using toxic pesticides in or around the home and garden.
More bees = More honey!!