A tablespoon of honey has 64 calories, a piece of fact that chronic calorie-counters would be wary of.
And yet, despite all that we’ve been taught about calories, honey actually helps in weight loss (we’ll get to the science of that in a while).
There are a number of surprises lurking inside a docile-looking tablespoon of honey. The sweet and viscous ingredient is known in the ancient Greek religion as the food of Zeus and the twelve Gods of Olympus.
Surely, it must do more than just tasting like a more accomplished cousin of sugar.
In this article, we’ll uncover the uses of honey. Beginning with 3 key areas where a shift to honey can be life-changing, we’ll move on to more common uses and accompanying recipes.
Swap These with Honey Right Now
1. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks have been controversial since time immemorial. But why? Most medical websites you see will cite the “excessive amounts of caffeine” as a reason.
While that sounds like a reasonable argument, a deeper research showed that it’s not. There is double the amount of caffeine in a Starbucks coffee than there is in an energy drink.
Then why it is that only the energy drinks come under the radar? If you follow F1 motor racing, you’d know that even the drivers of Red Bull Racing do not actually drink Red Bull.
From what we know from the statements of bystanders, this is just water that they drink from Red Bull cans for the purpose of advertising. Why? You don’t see them doing this to coffee.
There is something suspicious in the way energy drinks are sidelined by the medical community, and on further probing we found what it was.
Energy drink cans are full of caffeine, dangerous amounts of sugar, and various additives and supplements that haven’t been famous for doing something nice.
An experiment done at McGovern Medical School showed that the subjects’ blood vessels constricted to nearly half their size, 90 minutes after drinking a 24-ounce energy drink.
Smaller blood vessels mean abnormal heart rhythms, aneurysms, and rarely, unexpected heart attacks.
So, what do we have as an alternative to energy drinks? A cup of coffee, a spoonful of natural honey, or both.
Honey acts as a natural energy booster and can get you feeling pumped in no time. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly, giving you an instant boost, and the fructose is absorbed slowly, giving you sustained energy for a long period of time.
Unlike coffee, the energy from honey doesn’t bring stress and jitteriness along with it either. That is a double yay! Check out some of the top natural honey brands in India you can buy.
Oh yes, what did you think, no one would come for your mouthwash? Well guess what, we are. Recent studies have shown some mind-boggling facts about mouthwash, and we are going to debunk them all right here.
So, here’s the deal. Mouthwash dates back 2000 years, to the mysterious and surprisingly-progressive Roman Empire. But don’t get too excited, you probably do not share your oral routine with the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra.
Because the Romans were using mouthwash to mask bad breath. Cut to now, we use mouthwash to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath in the first place.
Sounds like an innocent concept, but it isn’t.
In killing the bad bacteria, mouthwash also kills the good bacteria that we need. This can damage our ability to fight cavities, and spikes our blood sugar insanely.
What’s the alternative? Regular ol’ toothbrush, 5 ml of bee’s honey, or both. Honey shows promising antimicrobial effect on dental caries, plaque, and gingival scores.
If you dilute your honey with water and 5 grams of powdered cinnamon bark, it can act as an amazing mouthwash.
It will also keep your mouth’s natural pH balanced, so you won’t need to worry about your oral health at all.
3. Hangover Pills
When the billion-dollar question, “what about the hangover tomorrow?” is asked, every person in the group has his own version of what works.
Some swear by pickle juice, some by the trick of light-drinking through it, and yet some by hangover pills, patches, and powders.
But here’s the thing. Hangover pills are not regulated by the FDA, and in general there is no scientific evidence to prove that a hangover cure exists at all.
If you consult a doctor, he would probably ask you to wait it out and drink lots of water (and also to try better brands of alcohol next time).
So, do hangover pills actually work or do they seem to work because of the placebo effect? Well, the jury is still out on that. In the meantime, try honey.
While 15ml of bee’s honey before breakfast is a rule of thumb in all kinds of morning sickness, it is also known to have anti-hangover properties.
According to NYU Langone Medical Center, honey can “increase the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, thereby limiting intoxication and more rapidly reducing alcohol blood levels.”
Here’s a fructose-rich recipe from National Center for Biotechnology Information that you can try for curing hangover: Mix 10ml of bee’s honey with half a cup of orange juice and half a cup yogurt. Blend them together properly and drink.
Other Uses of Honey
- As a face wash: Squeeze some lemon into 5ml of bee’s honey and apply on the face before washing. You can also modify it into a face scrub by adding some sugar or 5g of almond seed powder. These will work as a natural exfoliator while honey’s antioxidant and ultra-moisturizing properties will allow for a fantastic skin.
- As a conditioner: Mix some olive oil with honey in the ratio 2:1 and apply it on your hair. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and wash it with water or shampoo.
- As an antiseptic: Apply bee’s honey directly on cuts, wounds, and burns. Its antiseptic properties will stop the growth of certain bacteria and keep the affected area free from infection.
- As a weight-loss treatment: Add your morning glass of warm water with 10ml of honey and 5ml of lemon juice. Honey not only reduces fat, but is known for helping you control your appetite.
- As a sleeping aid: 15ml of honey before bed will help you have a sound sleep.
About the author: Jagruti Jaiswal has a polyamorous relationship with natural foods. She loves to read about the various substances occurring naturally in the world, and make sense of their wondrous workings.