Raw honey has been used for thousand of years as a form of traditional medicine. It is a sweet, thick golden liquid produced by honeybees. Raw honey usually comes straight from honeycomb where honeybees store their produced honey. Unrefined honey naturally does not contain fiber, fat and protein, it contains little amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
- vitamin B3
- vitamin B2
- vitamin B5
- Honey contains sugar including fructose, maltose, glucose and sucrose,fructose. Honey has an average glycemic index making it a better substitute for processed sugar.
Below are reasons why you should take honey
1. Rich source of antioxidants
Honey contains a rich source of antioxidants.Antioxidants helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body by mopping up free radicals, free radicals are associated with cellular damage. Oxidative stress have been linked to a range of health conditions, including cancers, heart diseases. Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it due to its content of polyphenols an antioxidant. Studies in both rats and humans have shown moderate lowering of blood pressure from consumption of honey.
2. Antibacterial and Antifungal properties
Research has shown that honey contains hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase and has a low pH level, which gives it its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It can kill harmful bacteria and fungi. Due to the unique chemical composition of honey it does not support the growth of yeast or bacteria.
Manuka honey a special type of raw honey gotten in New Zealand has been proved by research to kill common pathogens including: Escherichia coli or E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Honey can bring temporary relief to the scalp by targeting dandruff. A 2001 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found application of honey diluted with 10 percent warm water to problem areas and leaving it on for three hours before rinsing relieved itching and scaling within seven days. Skin lesions healed within two weeks and patients even showed an improvement in hair loss. The dandruff did not relapse even after six months of use.
3. It aids wound healing
Various studies have suggested that honey works well as a wound healing dressing. A study confirms that honey is useful in wound healing because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Wounds can be infected by Staphylococcus aureus which can be killed by honey due to its antibacterial properties. Also, honey is acidic, this helps the release of oxygen from wound and promote healing.
4. Relieves sleeplessness
Honey can act as an aid to sleeplessness at night. It cause a rise in insulin and release serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and happiness. Also,honey also contains variuos amino acids, including tryptophan. Steady rise in insulin caused by honey causes the tryptophan in honey to enter the brain, where it’s then converted into serotonin and then into melatonin, which is a sleep aid. This hormone, melatonin is responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles.
5. Brain health
Honey is loaded in antioxidants that may help prevent cellular damage and loss that occurs within the brain. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, a study showed that raw honey may contain ingredients that help fight inflammation in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is involved in memory. Honey has the ability to help the body absorb calcium which helps to aid brain health. The brain needs calcium in order to process thought and make decisions.
6. Cough suppressant
Honey has been found to be an effective cough suppressant in children.Coughing is a popular problem for children with upper respiratory infections.These infections usually affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents. Study has shown honey to reduce cough symptoms and improve sleep.
Honey can be very dangerous to infants,it should not be given to infants less than one year due to the risk of having botulism. Spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria — found in dirt and dust, which can contaminate honey — may lead to infant botulism.Symptoms of botulism poisoning in infants may include:constipation, shortness of breath, sagging eyelids, absence of gagging, loss of head control, paralysis that spreads downward, anorexia, fatigue.
In adults, symptoms can include an initial short period of diarrhea and vomiting, accompanied by constipation and more severe symptoms, such as blurred vision and muscle weakness. Report to a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after eating raw honey.