Raw honey has been used as a folk remedy in cultures around the world for millennia. It has been prescribed informally as a cure for smallpox, baldness, eye diseases, and indigestion. It’s even been used as a contraceptive. It turns out that honey’s properties make it a surprisingly effective cure-all. Or, let’s say, cure-much.
Warning: Honey that you find in the grocery store has probably been treated, making it easier to flow, but less effective as a home remedy.
Honey stunts bacterial growth
Honey’s positive effects stem primarily from its antimicrobial properties. Most bacteria and other microorganisms cannot grow or reproduce in honey. Honey contains around 40% fructose and 30% glucose—among other sugars—making it seemingly a great treat for microbes. However, honey is also somewhat acidic, and acids prevent the growth of some bacteria. More importantly, honey does not provide the water and oxygen needed to support bacterial growth. Although honey contains a fair amount of water, it’s supersaturated with sugar—meaning the water is not available to the microorganisms.
Use honey for any skin wound. Honey can keep your wound clean, kill bacteria, prevent scarring, and help your body heal itself. While supermarket honey can spread some healing, unprocessed honeys – like you find at natural food stores, work better. The very best, we are told, is Active Manuka Honey from New Zealand. You can buy it over the internet.
Honey as an antiseptic
So what happens when you dilute honey with water? Amazingly enough, diluted honey supports the growth of bacteria that are helpful to humans while killing off dangerous strains. Some microorganisms do indeed flourish in a dilute solution of honey—such as the yeast used to ferment it into mead. Also, certain types of beneficial bacteria that live in the human intestines and aid digestion do well in a mixture of honey and water. But honey also contains a substance called glucose oxidase. When combined with water and oxygen, glucose oxidase forms gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide—the very same stuff you probably have in your medicine cabinet right now. This means that diluted honey can serve as an excellent antiseptic, while being far less likely than ordinary hydrogen peroxide to harm already-damaged tissue.
Honey for skin blemishes
Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. It should work overnight.
Honey oatmeal facial
Put 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup honey in a blender and mix until it becomes a paste. To use, massage 2 tablespoons of the mixture on your face. Let the mixture sit on your face for a few minutes, then rinse well. It helps remove dead skin and leaves your face feeling refreshed and clean. Store in a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate. Microwave for 10 seconds before using the refrigerated mixture.
Younger looking skin with honey
To get rid of feeling that your face looks older than your age, try indulging yourself by applying honey to your face. Let it stand for an hour and then wash with unscented facial soap.
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