(Some of) The Many Benefits of Bees and Honey

Last week we talked about gardens and pollinators, butterflies and bees. It had me thinking a lot about the bees and their honey. Bees have been around for millions of years and, for much of the time we (humans) have been around, we have benefited from bees. We use their honey for food and medicine. We use their wax for sealant and candles and we take advantage of their agricultural service (the pollinating of plants). These tiny wonders make our world great and I wanted to solute all (some- they really do way too much for me to write about all of it) they do for us. Since they do so much, this is going to be a multi-part series. Today, I am going to focus on honey and some of the benefits that we, as humans, gain from the honey that is provided to us by the bees.

Honey for First Aid

Honey can be an effective topical aid for wounds and burns. When used as a dressing it can help keep or make the affected area sterile and can help prevent bacterial growth. It provides a moist environment for the area to heal without the troublesome side effects that can come along with antibiotics. A bandage done up with honey won’t stick to the covered area so there tends to be less pain when it comes time to tend to the wound.

(Bonus: Honey has been known to reduce the pain and inflammation of the injury when used as a first aid measure!)

Honey for Digestion

Acid Reflux got you feeling a bit out of sorts? Gobble down a teaspoon of honey before each major meal and you’ll be sitting pretty! When you consume the honey before your meal it lines your esophagus, calming any inflammation or damage and allowing your food to gently digest as you eat. It is also suggested that honey contains certain enzymes that help boost your digestive system!

(Bonus #2: Add some honey to hot water or chamomile tea at bed time. Not only will this aid in your digestion as you sleep but the sweetness of the honey will assist your body in the releasing of serotonin, which then converts to melatonin- the chemical that helps your body sleep! A win-win!)

Treat Your Skin

Honey is a skin lifesaver! Problems with eczema (guilty!)? Apply honey to the area several times per day to help moisturize. Acne? Apply honey to the area, let sit for 30 minutes and rinse. Dandruff? Apply a diluted solution of honey and water to your scalp and let sit for a few hours, then rinse. Honey is a wonderful solution to many of our everyday skin problems. Just remember, give it time, these solutions may not work right away!

Honey and Hangovers

Your head is pounding, the room is spinning and you’ll do anything to make it stop! Last night was a blast but you’re paying for it this morning. Honey may just be the cure you’re looking for. Hangovers are caused by your liver’s inability to process the toxins you so quickly consumed last night (worth it!). Honey helps speed up the oxidation of the alcohol, allowing your liver to process what you did last night and get all that bad stuff out of your system faster- thanks honey!

I hope you enjoyed this post, learned something and took some time to appreciate that all these benefits come from a single resource, honey, provided to us by a single creature, bees. Please keep in mind that we need to acknowledge and act upon the problem that is the declining bee population. Act today by visiting The Honey Bee Conservatory to learn more or to donate. It’s a wonderful cause! Tune in for more on Sustainable Living and the bees!!

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