Honey has an unusual chemical composition that makes it keep indefinitely without spoiling. It is uniquely low in moisture and extremely acidic, making it a forbidding environment for bacteria and microorganisms.
On top of that, bees add an enzyme, glucose oxidase, which creates hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct. According to the National Institute of Health, honey is hygroscopic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has remarkable debriding action.
1. Soothes coughs
A recent study found that buckwheat honey outperformed the over the counter cough suppressants in calming nighttime coughs and improving sleep.
2. Treats wounds
In numerous studies, honey has been found effective in treating wounds. It is known to kill all strains of bacteria in wounds once applied.
For the treatment of burns and wounds apply honey directly on wound or in a dressing, which should be changed every 24 to 48 hours. When used directly, 15 mL to 30 mL of honey should be applied every 12 to 48 hours and covered with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.
3. Provides nutrients
Honey has small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Using honey instead of sugar provides you with more nutrients per calories.
4. Potentially prevents low white blood cell count
The Mayo Clinic notes that honey may be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy. In a small trial, 40 percent of cancer patients who were known to be at risk of neutropenia (very low blood count) had no further episodes of the condition after taking two teaspoons daily of therapeutic honey during chemotherapy. More research is needed, but the remedy could hold great potential.
5. Kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria
In clinical studies, medical grade honey has been shown to kill food-borne illness pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
All of that said, there are two important things to remember about honey: One, just because it offers numerous health benefits doesn't mean it's not caloric; one tablespoon yields 64 calories.
It’s crucial to remember that honey is not appropriate for children younger than 12 months because it can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism.