Honey Health and Beauty Benefits

honey for health and beauty

Glass can full of honey and wooden stick in it. Clipping paths.

Question:  My neighbor  has diabetes and she puts honey on her foot to heal  a cut.  How crazy is that?

Answer:  Given that  sugars like honey  should not be part of a diet for diabetics, the idea  of honey  wound treatment is bizarre, but here’s the shocker– its actually a good treatment option.  Honey is  a centuries old remedy for a wide  variety of skin problems. It  contains an astonishing number of beneficial ingredients including carbohydrates, different forms of vitamin B, minerals( eg calcium, zinc, and potassium) antioxidants, lactic acid , and powerful flavinoids.  These  components  give  honey powerful  antibacterial, antitumor, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  powers.

Some studies have shown that honey can heal burns, ulcers and wounds while other research  has indicated that it  stimulates the production of fibroblasts. These are the fibers that  go on to  become collagen and elastin. Seriously.

Not All Honey is Alike

Some honeys have more  healing properties than others. Darker honeys  like buckwhat    have higher levels of antioxidants.  From a health stand point, Manuka honey is considered  the most effective.  It  is made from bee hives where the buzzy inhabitants  dined on  the Manuka bush. Manuka honey is usually used  for medical grade honey.  To avoid contamination, honey used for skin care management is treated with radiation to kill stray bacteria and mold spores.  While this sounds   hyper technical, medical grade  Manuka honey is available  from Amazon.  Who knew?

Commercial  beauty products use honey primarily  for its  impressive moisturizing properties.  Well known brands that  use honey its  some of its formulations include Perlier, Guerlein and Fresh. Homemade honey  skin care products  are both popular and genuinely helpful. My favorite mask for dry skin  is a quick combo of  an egg yolk and a teaspoon of honey  Simply  mix these two kitchen staples together, spread on the face and  let  the mask dry and harden.  Leave it on for  about 30 minutes, and rinse of with lukewarm water.

A different  but equaly effective treatment comes from the National Honey Board.  To clean and exfoliate   normal/ oily skin, combine  one tablspoon  of honey with an equal amount of  cornmeal. Rub  gently into the face, then rinse off.

FYI I used instant polenta rather than regular cornmeal.  I then cooked  the  rest of the package of polenta  to make a creamy parmasan enriched dish  that I served under a meltingly rich osso bucco. Buts that’s  a topic for another time.

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