Honey has a long medicinal history dating back to the wound-dressing of ancient Egyptians. Today, many people swarm to honey for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And holistic practitioners consider it one of nature’s best all-around remedies.
Here is what researchers are learning about honey’s health benefits:
Manuka honey is sometimes used to treat chronic leg ulcers and pressure sores. Manuka honey is made in New Zealand from the nectar of Leptospermum scoparium. It’s the basis of Medihoney, which the FDA approved in 2007 for use in treating wounds and skin ulcers. It works very well to stimulate healing. It is Manuka honey’s pH content, which leans toward acidic, that helps the healing process. It is soothing and feels good to the wound.
The Common Cold
Buckwheat honey-based syrup can be used to ease the early symptoms of a cold. It calms inflamed membranes and eases a cough — the latter claim supported by a few studies. In a study that involved 139 children, honey beat out dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) in easing nighttime cough in children and improving their sleep. Another study involving 105 children found that buckwheat honey trumped dextromethorphan in suppressing nighttime coughs.
If you’re suffering from a cold or something going on in the throat or upper airways, getting on board with honey syrup will help fight infection and soothe membranes. Buckwheat honey-based allergy medicine is also recommended for the same purpose.
Even if honey is natural, it is no better than ordinary white or brown sugar for dieters or people with diabetes. A tablespoon of honey, in fact, has more carbohydrates and calories than granulated white or brown sugar. ‘A sugar is a sugar’ when it comes to diabetes. I think it’s a widespread myth that honey is better for diabetes. Some patients don’t classify honey as a sugar.
Get your carbs from a cup of fresh berries or a carton of yogurt because they have about the same number of carbs as a tablespoon of honey — but less sugar. There are some minerals and vitamins and antioxidant properties in honey — the darker the honey, the higher the level of antioxidants — but with yogurt, you can also get those benefits. When you have diabetes, you have to be picky and choosy about carbs and calories.