5 Creative Ways to Use Honey in Your Daily Health Routine

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 5 minutes

Forget heavily perfumed lotions and health drinks with more ingredients than a bag of Doritos: Trends these days point to people turning more and more towards beauty, food and health products that are sourced straight from the Earth. One such product that’s receiving a ton of buzz is raw honey. Otherwise known as liquid gold, over 300 varietals of honey exist throughout the world, with each type boasting its own unique flavor and aroma. Blueberries, almonds, apples—all rely on the industrious bee, rendering this organic marvel as vital to the planet as it is fabulous for the palate.

Yellow Mug of Tea Beside Jar of Raw Honey with :Lemon & Ginger | Vitacost.com/blog

Despite its ubiquity, many of us associate the benefits of honey only with culinary pleasures. (Is there anything more mouthwatering than a honey-coated ham roasting in the oven?) But honey is far more than a chief ingredient in the nation’s nuttiest cereal and a staple for tea drinkers. Composed of over 600 compounds, it’s jam-packed with flavonoids, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes and other nutrients. In other words, honey might just be the sweetest jewel in Mother Nature’s chest of treasures.

But just as sea salt differs from table salt, filtered honey and raw honey are two totally different players in the game of treats. Filtered honey—which is frequently found in supermarkets and single-serving packages—goes through a process that eliminates fine particles. Raw honey, on the other hand, is honey as it exists in nature, and thus retains the choice organic compounds that make it so healthful. Indeed, from naturally supporting shinier hair to promoting relief from rashes, raw honey is a versatile and mighty-effective gem. Celebrate its myriad benefits with these 5 creative and health honey uses:

1. Naturally enhance digestion

From birthday cake to Taco Tuesdays, indulging every now and then is an inevitable—even essential—part of existence. But as delicious as that red velvet or carne asada mélange might be, indigestion occasionally arrives with those special eats.

Honey organically supports relief from richer meals, thanks to its antiseptic properties, which may help neutralize acid, gas and bloating. Additionally, honey contains natural probiotics, which organically promote the growth of good bacteria in your intestine.

Take preventative measures by helping yourself to a tablespoon of honey before a decadent meal (or on a daily basis). Damage already done? Sip a mug of hot water, lemon and honey, which can encourage digestion. And if you’re feeling nauseous, reach for that pot of natural nectar: Combined with ginger and lemon, honey can potentially alleviate the ickiness that can arrive with over-imbibing.

2. Support better sleep

True, true: Sugar binges before bedtime can lead to sleeplessness and a whole lot of tossing and turning—not to mention a less-than-dazzling complexion in the morning.

Raw honey, however, isn’t put through the potentially damaging processes to which refined sugar is subjected. Quite the contrary, in fact: Raw honey naturally promotes sounder slumber through its ratio of fructose and glucose, which supports the function of your ever-active liver. To put it simply, honey keeps this essential organ properly fueled so that you don’t wake up with hunger pangs. What’s more, honey also contributes to the release of melatonin—a naturally produced hormone that’s crucial to restful snoozing. Try a teaspoon or two in a mug of warm milk and get some bee-zzzzzs (sorry, had to do it!).

3. Promote prettier skin

Your grandmother might have slathered her skin in petroleum jelly, but you know the power of going green in your skincare regime.

However, the surge of interest in organic skincare has also rendered a trip to the beauty aisle something of a challenge. What’s effective, what’s hype, and what’s as-chemical-as-can-be marauding as au naturel?

Save yourself the headache and opt for honey instead. Manuka honey—a cost-effective New Zealand staple that’s rich in antioxidants—naturally supports clearer, suppler skin when used as a gentle cleanser. Measure out half a teaspoon, warm it between your hands, spread on your face, let it soak in for fifteen minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. Prone to eczema? Seek potential relief in a combo of honey and cinnamon—a traditional Chinese home remedy in which cinnamon’s essential oils and honey’s enzymes work together to naturally encourage a reduction in itchiness and inflammation. And to glow head to toe, consider using honey as a moisturizer. A spoonful of raw honey mixed with olive oil and lemon organically supports softer skin, while two cups of honey tossed into a bath promotes the same. Pro tip: Use an exfoliating brush to find your radiance within.

4. Help score some serious Shine

Think honey and hair only mesh well when it comes to highlights? Think again. Honey acts as a natural humectant, which promotes locking in moisture to potentially give you more lustrous strands.

Try this DIY hair rinse: Mix a teaspoon of honey with 3 cups of warm water and 1 cup of brewed chamomile tea, and pour over wet hair. Rinse thoroughly, let air dry, and style as usual. Best part yet? You’ll smell as refreshed as spring.

6. Find comfort for a sore throat

October might be synonymous with foliage, fireplaces, and all that’s awesome about autumn, but it’s also a precursor to winter—and the colds the holiday months often spawn.

Rather than reach for over-the-counter painkillers and cough syrup—both of which are often laden with chemicals—go for the liquid gold instead. Honey naturally offers relief for dry, scratchy throats, in part because it operates as a hypertonic osmotic; that is, it has the facility to pull water out of inflamed tissue, which in turn may organically support the diminishment of discomfort and swelling. Simply mix raw honey with lemon and/or peppermint essential oil, stir into a cup of herbal tea, or search for it as a leading ingredient in an organic throat lozenge. To top it all off, raw honey can naturally boost your energy through its first rate blend of natural sugars and organic compounds. And if that’s not something worth celebrating, what is?