Happy National Honey Month!
If you didn’t know, the month of September is dedicated to celebrating honey and promoting the important work of America’s beekeepers. Honey has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years, so it’s fitting that honey should get a month in the spotlight.
In honor of National Honey Month, we thought we would sing the praises of this versatile liquid by sharing nine unexpected uses for honey that don’t involve eating it. Let’s dive in!
One quick word before we get into the many amazing uses for honey.
Not all honey is created equal. Much of the honey you see in stores is not straight from the hive. In fact, most commercial honey is highly processed, unlike raw honey. According to the National Honey Board, raw honey is defined as “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.”
The pasteurization process adds heat to the honey, removing much of the beneficial probiotics and pollen. Some processed honey is even cut with unhealthy junk like corn syrup. To reap the full benefits of honey, opt for raw honey preferably from a local beekeeper.
9 Unexpected Uses for Honey
Skin and Hair
Repair split ends. Did you know that a lot of the hair products we use daily contain harsh chemicals that can dry out your hair? If you are battling dry, brittle hair and split ends, try making a conditioning treatment using honey and coconut or olive oil. Apply the mixture to your hair, leave on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse.
Condition your lips. Chapped lips can occur from dehydration, too much exposure to the elements or simply from a change in season. You can soothe dry lips by making a honey-based lip balm. There are tons of recipes available for free online, but most of them use some combination of honey, beeswax, cocoa butter and vitamin E.
Use as a face wash. Honey is naturally antibacterial, soothing and healing. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, you might benefit from skipping your store-bought face wash and using a honey wash instead. Squeeze some raw honey into your hand, add two tablespoons of warm water and apply to your face. Massage your skin in circular motions to remove all traces of dirt and makeup.
Dry skin relief. If you suffer from dry skin in the wintertime, skip the expensive creams and lotions and give honey a try. The moisturizing properties of honey have been shown to help soothe itchy skin. Studies have even shown that people with psoriasis have seen improvements in their skin after applying raw honey. If you’d like to try honey for dry skin, apply it directly to the dry patches and leave on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Medicine and Wellbeing
Energy boost. If you get in a mid-afternoon slump, skip the coffee and opt for honey instead. Honey contains natural sugars as well as other beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it a perfect, natural energy booster. Consider adding honey to tea or mix it into your favorite nut butter. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with squeezing it directly into your mouth either!
Suppress a cough. Raw honey has healing properties that make it ideal for soothing sore throats and calming nasty coughs. There are many DIY cough drop and cough syrup recipes on the Internet. Most of them only require a few ingredients and include things you probably have at home.
Heal your burns and cuts. Your first thought might be to reach for an over-the-counter remedy to help treat a minor burn or cut. But did you know that the antibacterial properties of honey can do the same thing in a much more natural way? The next time you or a loved one suffers a minor scrape, cut or burn, apply raw honey directly to the affected area to heal the skin and prevent infection. Reapply as needed.
Help with seasonal allergies. Are you one of millions of Americans that battle seasonal allergies? Raw honey could help reduce your symptoms. Raw, local honey contains pollen, and exposure to pollen can actually help you build up immunity to it, reducing your allergy symptoms.
Prepare for emergencies. Honey is one of the few foods that will never spoil. The natural sugars that it contains provide an energy boost. Plus, it has many vitamins and enzymes that humans need to stay healthy and strong. Include honey in your emergency kit so you can be confident that, even 20 years from now, you will still have a delicious and nutritious source of energy.
Honey is amazing, isn’t it?
Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about honey and its many amazing uses besides being a delicious sweetener. Used for thousands of years as both medicine and food, honey is truly one of the most amazing substances in the world.