Did you know that honey has been used both as food and medicine since prehistoric times? Evidence from paintings on the wall of a cave used during the Stone Age suggest that humans consumed honey as early as 8,000 years ago. While honey has long been employed by traditional healers throughout history, it has only been in the last few decades that its medicinal properties have been subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations. The results from these studies have led to some amazing discoveries and have helped establish an important role for honey in the field of modern medicine. The molecules that comprise honey have been linked with antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anticancer, and antimetastatic effects.
To begin with, honey is purported to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In laboratory tests, scientists have discovered that it actually has an inhibitory effect on over 60 species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This powerful antimicrobial ability means that you can use honey to treat minor burns and wounds at home. Not only can honey fight off infection, its humectant properties help nurture and support healing skin. It can also be used to help people with other skin conditions such as psoriasis and herpes lesions. Critically, honey is also used for more serious injuries including treating infected surgical scars, diabetic foot ulcers, and third-degree burns.
Furthermore, research suggests that honey can be used to control such conditions as diabetes mellitus, certain types of cancer, asthma, as well as cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. Honey’s potential therapeutic role in these conditions and diseases is due to a winning combination of phytochemical, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. At home, honey can be used effectively to suppress coughing in children with upper respiratory infections. For adults, consuming a healthy amount of honey on a regular basis may result in modest reductions in blood pressure and have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
So be sure to have a jar or two of honey in your kitchen pantry and a jar in your medicine cabinet for a healthier you and your family in 2020.