It is much more than a sign of endearment, and while sweet it is quite the novelty item both for consumption as well for other practical purposes. While the lists of its wide ranging applications are numerous, it may need a “honey-do” list, to keep them all straight. That is the wonder of honey.
Honey is most commonly used as a food source. Not only is it sweet, but the benefits are truly “sweet”. Being that it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it has been used for centuries for its medicinal purposes. When combined with cinnamon, its healing properties are even more powerful.
While there are a myriad of uses out there for honey, I will be sharing with you my personal uses of honey with the asterisk that I am not a doctor nor do I profess to be. While I do use honey for medicinal purposes, I am distributing what works for me. The hope is that it may provide useful to you too.
Most of the honey I buy is made locally. This is for several reasons. The first is to support local business. To get into a little less known reason, I buy locally made honey because I know where it is coming from. I know this may come to a surprise to some of you, but the packaging of a product is not always consistent with its contents. For example, and in the case of honey, even though it may not be labeled as such a lot of honey is imported.
Have you ever seen honey at various chain stores versus locally bought honey? Have you noticed that they do not look at all alike? The honey sold in a lot of major stores is almost see through. Locally grown, and especially raw honey, is a different color and texture.
The drawback of buying honey that is not locally grown is that we really do not know where that honey originated. There have been some major issues with honey imported from China. The problem is that the labeling does not say that the honey is from China, or somewhere.
Of course you have heard of money laundering, but how about honey laundering? Within China, artificial honey has become an issue that has brought national attention. The honey that is made ranges from no actual honey content at all to being diluted. Those make their way into the United States containing ingredients that could be potentially hazardous. Also, the purity of the honey is often times severely lacking because of the addition of high-fructose corn syrup.
For my own personal use, there is one type of honey that I use that is imported and that is Manuka honey. Mankuka honey originates out of New Zealand. It is one that I came across in my search several years ago for various uses of honey outside of simply human consumption. This particular honey is noted for its medicinal qualities.
Whenever I have a small wound, I go straight for the honey. It seems that wounds heal faster when I do this and it something that has been used for centuries. As far back as the ancient Egyptians used honey for dressing wounds.
Manuka honey though is not cheap. But then again, the reason that the honey coming in from places like China is because it is so cheap. That translates to a really low price point on the shelves. The drawbacks, for me, far outweigh the cost savings of purchasing an inferior and potentially hazardous product.
Another use I have for locally grown honey is something experienced by a lot of people and that is a sore throat. The irritation of a sore throat is more than simply uncomfortable, especially when trying to sleep. While there is not the scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness as there is with treating wounds, I have found that my body reacts well to honey whenever I have the occasional sore throat. At the first onset of a sore throat, I take some honey before I go to sleep at night. By morning, more often than not, the soreness has completely dissipated.
There is often debate about the usefulness of one product, or substance, over another. To me, there is something beautiful about having something that is natural and can provide so many uses both internally as well as externally. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey make it quite an amazing gift. The more I learn, not only about honey, but about bees themselves; I am more and more in awe of it and them.
While the ever raging debates over issues relating to health, fitness, diet, nutrition and the like will most certainly continue in full force, for me, I have a very simple philosophy. If something has been proven effective for centuries, anything that can be both ingested as well as used topically, there is something to be said for its worthiness.
Whenever we can buy locally, it is the choice to support our local business and community. In relation to bees and honey, it also supports our local environment. So, if your significant other puts the purchasing of honey on your “honey-do” list hope this provides a little insight.
I would also like to hear from you. What uses for honey have you found to be effective that may be different and unique? Always love to hear new ideas, so feel free to share.