Honey could literally save your life - yep, Manuka honey could soon be used to fight infections in hospitals, according to new research. But did you know it could also help you beat spots, lose weight and perfect your pout? Looks like Winnie the Pooh was onto something.
Read on to find out how you can reap the benefits at home. Our top tip? Go for raw, organic varieties - heat and processing can strip honey of its health and beauty-giving enzymes and nutrients.
1. It heals (virtually) all ills.
Thanks to its antibacterial properties, honey can be used to treat minor wounds, burns and bug bites. As well as fighting infection, it forms a protective barrier and helps to reduce inflammation. It also soothes sore throats. For optimum benefits, choose Manuka honey with a UMF value of at least 10+.
2. It sorts out gnarly feet.
[photo: National Honey Board]
Honey helps to treat and prevent fungal infections. It’ll also leave your trotters softer and smoother while it’s at it, thanks to its moisturising properties. For a quick and easy fix, dissolve 2 tbsp honey and a couple of drops of tea tree oil in a bowl of warm water and soak feet for 10 minutes. Feeling inspired? Whip up your own honey foot treat. Not into DIY? Try Dr. Organic’s Manuka Honey Foot Scrub and Foot and Heel Cream.
3. It strengthens nails.
Condition cuticles and beat brittle nails by massaging a mixture of 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp olive oil into your nails. Leave for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Up the ante by gently warming the mixture before applying, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to see off stains.
4. It tackles problem skin.
[photo: Natural Beauty Tips]
Yep, not only has honey been hailed a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser in one, it could help you beat breakouts too, thanks to its antimicrobial super powers. Gently massage a teaspoon of high quality raw honey into your face as a weekly treat, allowing it to sit on the skin for 5 minutes to reap maximum benefits. But why stop at your jawline? Stir a couple of tablespoons of honey into your bath and let those reparative and protective antioxidants get to work on the rest of you…
5. It gives you lustrous locks.
Not only will it boost shine without adding weight to dull, limp locks, but honey is said to strengthen follicles, encouraging hair growth - simply mix a teaspoon in with a squeeze of your usual shampoo. For an intensive conditioning treatment, combine 1 tbsp raw honey with 1 tbsp coconut oil and apply to ends, leaving in for up to 20 minutes before rinsing out.
6. It softens lips.
[photo: Get Inspired Everyday]
Honey’s humectant properties will protect your pout from chapping (if you can refrain from licking it all off, of course). This DIY lipgloss, which combines honey with beeswax, coconut oil and your choice of essential oils, will keep you kissable all winter long…
7. It helps you lose weight (without sacrificing chocolate…)
[photo: All Recipes]
OK, so far so good. But should you actually [gasp] eat it? It sometimes gets a bad rap on account of its sugar content, but, eaten in moderation, evidence indicates that honey could help you lose weight and give your health a boost. Packed with nutrients, raw honey not only lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol and increases ‘good’ cholesterol, but may help you to absorb other nutrients and even mobilise stored fats.
Swap refined sugar for honey and your blood sugar will benefit - fact. Can’t face giving up chocolate? Try this genius paleo-friendly recipe for honey-sweetened homemade melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate.