5 great uses for honey
Honey is an incredible, natural substance with many amazing properties. It's obviously a delicious food, but in this blog we explore some of our other favourite uses for honey.
Honey for treating dry skin, dandruff, dry hair and general skin care
Honey is a brilliant natural product when it comes to skin care. Not only does it act as a gentle cleanser, removing dirt from clogged pores, it will also leave your skin smooth and silky soft due to its natural moisturising and skin nourishing abilities.
It can even help treat more serious skin conditions like eczema. An even mixture of honey and olive oil applied straight to the skin can work wonders in clearing up the affected areas. Regular use of honey can also prevent eczema from occurring or coming back.
For a natural exfoliation product honey can be mixed with rolled oats and massaged gently into the skin to remove dead skin cells, leaving skin soft and smooth.
Honey is also one of the best natural home remedies for dandruff. Dandruff is caused by dry skin on the scalp, which often occurs due to a reaction to harsh chemicals found in some shampoos. Try mixing 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and apply directly to the hair and scalp. This can not only cure dandruff but will leave your hair feeling soft, smooth and rejuvenated. Simply leave this 'hair & head mask' on for 15 minutes and then rinse out with a mild shampoo.
Because honey is a natural antiseptic it can be very effective for treating bruises, burns, small cuts and other minor wounds and infections. One of the more common uses relating to this is for the treatment of cracked lips during winter.
For using honey in facemasks and other general skin care tips please see our blog on honey facemasks!
Honey for treating coughs and colds
Honey is known to be one of the best natural products for treating the symptoms of common colds, especially coughs and sort throats. Honey has many medicinal benefits that can make quick work of tackling a sore throat. It's full of antioxidants and antibacterial qualities that help against fighting infections that are caused by viruses like the common cold, while soothing your sore and scratchy throat.
Our Just Bee Vitamin Honey can also play an important role in helping to boost your natural immune system. This can not only reduce the severity of a cold but can also prevent you catching future colds and other viruses. The usual reason for a cough is a common viral infection, and honey can provide excellent natural relief.
Depending on the type of symptoms you are experiencing there are a number of ways you can use honey to treat your cold. We've highlighted some of these in our blog on Honey Cold and Flu recipes, where you can find perfect natural remedies for drinking and gargling to help with many common cold and flu symptoms.
Honey as a brilliant natural energy drink!
Energy drinks have become a big business in the 21st century but most contain very large amounts of caffeine and sugar. Some have the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar in them and just how good they really are for you has been questioned by many. Thankfully honey is a really good source of natural energy. The unprocessed sugars in honey can give you an excellent boost of energy when you need one.
A very simple honey and water drink made by dissolving 2 teaspoons of honey into a sports bottle of water can be taken on a run or cycle and can provide both excellent hydration and a good energy boost without adding anything else. We've found it to be especially effective in longer endurance exercises.
A teaspoon of honey in the morning as part of your breakfast, or as a drink is still a great way to start the day!
Honey as a natural sleeping aid
For centuries people have used blends of milk and honey to help them get a good night's sleep, but it's not totally clear why this works! Scientists believe there are two main reasons why honey might improve your ability to get to sleep. Honey is rich in nutrients, like B vitamins and amino acids, both of which can promote relaxation and sleep. The other reason may be just that honey's natural sweetness combined with comforting warm milk is the perfect recipe to promote a calming and relaxing feeling before you head off to bed. Either way, we've had great success using honey as a way to get a good night's sleep.
You can take honey before bed in various ways all of which seem to be effective, so which you decide to use will be down to your own personal tastes and preferences. They range from simply eating a spoonful of honey to various drinks made from warm milk and honey and various herbal teas. Simply stir a spoonful or two into your warm milk or herbal tea, consume a short time before bed and you'll hopefully wake up feeling refreshed from a great night's sleep!
Honey as a replacement for processed sugar in cooking and baking
As you might have guessed from the regular recipes that we share on the Just Bee website, we are big fans of using honey in cooking and baking and there are very good reasons for that!
Honey is an excellent flavour enhancer, using honey in a recipe adds far more to the recipe than the simple sweetness of processed sugar. It's also a lot sweeter than regular white sugar, so you can add less to a recipe and still end up with a deliciously sweet cake or pudding. When baking cakes, muffins and pastries using honey also helps with moisture retention and adds to the overall richness and texture.
For roasted and baked foods honey can aid browning and crispness. A good example of this is our Honey Glazed Chilli Chicken Thighs that have a deliciously golden and crisp skin that is enhanced by the honey based glaze.
If we can totally replace refined sugars in our recipes and general day to day cooking with pure natural honey then we always will. We feel that honey adds to the flavour and is a better and healthier product to use in almost all cases.