9 Natural Health Benefits You Can Get From Honey

Honey might add sweetness to your food, but it also keeps your body healthy and your skin glowing. Here's how.

Suppress coughs

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This natural sweetener has been found to be just as effective as a typical over-the-counter dosage of dextromethorphan in suppressing coughs, possibly because honey acts as a demulcent, forming a film in the throat to provide relief from the irritation that causes coughing. Take 2 teaspoons before bed to ease nighttime coughing and help you sleep.

Improve your cholesterol profile

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A Dubai study found that compared to participants who took a glucose solution, those consuming 250 milliliter of water with 75 grams of natural honey for 15 days lowered their total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Moisturize skin

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Honey acts as a natural moisturizer because the sugar molecules hold water in the skin, says dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD. Honey leaves a film on the skin to seal in water and increase moisture, adds dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, who recommends skin-care products containing honey extract, such as L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands & Body or Dial’s 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion with Yogurt Protein & Honey Extract.

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Treat acne

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Honey’s antimicrobial properties may reduce inflammation from acne, according to Joey Green, author of Joey Green’s Magic Health Remedies. For a perfect acne home remedy, mix equal parts honey and ground nutmeg, then leave on the pimple for 20 minutes before washing off.

Soothe sore throats

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In addition to quelling coughs, honey can act as a mild antibacterial that can benefit you if you have a sore throat. Pour 1/2 cup of water over 1 teaspoon grated ginger, then add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey. Gargle the mixture for relief.

Heal burns

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One classic study found that burns treated with honey healed faster and showed less inflammation than silver sulfadiazine, a common burn treatment.

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Raise low blood sugar

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Honey powder increased and maintained glucose levels more effectively than sucrose or maltodextrin, according to a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Large amounts of carbs and protein after exercise could cause hypoglycemia in some people, but the researchers concluded that honey could prevent such reactions. Patients with hypoglycemia can use honey’s high sugar content to give low blood glucose levels a boost.

Eliminate dandruff

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Using a honey hair wash can soothe your scalp and help fight dandruff. Researchers studied the use of honey on patients suffering from seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff and found that using a honey wash relieved itching and improved scaling. Even if you only have occasional dandruff, washing with honey can help. Honey has anti-fungal properties and moisturizes the scalp. Dilute honey with a bit of warm water and massage into scalp for 2-3 minutes.

Use as a body wash

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Used as a body wash in the shower, honey will moisturize dry skin and kill bacteria that can cause acne or body odor. To make the bodywash, combine two teaspoons of honey with a tablespoon of olive oil. To increase the spa experience, add essential oils such as lavender, almond oil, or vitamin E oil. These oils are soothing and provide a pleasant smell. If you'd like to turn your body wash into a scrub, combine with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Make sure that your body wash does not contain water--honey itself has a very long shelf life, but adding water can contribute to mold growth, spoiling the wash quickly.

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