For my 100th post, I wanted to celebrate a natural creation of one of the namesakes of this blog – honey! Honey has been known since ancient times to be full of both health and beauty benefits. Of course, I do not mean the honey you may find in grocery stores that has been highly processed and heated, thereby stripping it of its vital microbial properties. When you do shop for honey, look for the terms ‘raw,’ ‘local’ and ‘unfiltered’ to make sure you’re getting something true. Allow me to espouse just a few of the ways that make honey such a miracle.
By some miracle, honey bees distill the essence of the sun, flowers and rain into a golden substance called honey. Because the sun fuels the flowers, and therefore the bees who then transform nectar into honey, honey is quite literally liquid sunshine.
Topical Wound Healer
Ancient Egyptians and soldiers documented throughout the ages, kept honey near for the topical treatment of wounds. Honey is naturally antibacterial, which is why it has an indefinite shelf life, and would be applied to wounds long before the advent of antibiotics.
Honey is moisturizing and full of nutrients, and your skin can reap these benefits when it’s applied. I like to coat the backs of my hands with honey and wear gloves as a special treatment.
Raw, lightly-filtered honeys contain pollen, which if consumed over time, can help you build immunity against the local pollens which cause allergies.
Honey is clinically proven to work as well or better than dextromethorphan contained in cough medicine.
Face Wash and Mask
When applied to the sensitive skin on your face, while sticky, honey cleanses beautifully dissolving makeup without stripping your skin of moisture. Honey is naturally antiseptic so it is a true cleanser. When left to sit on your face for a few extra minutes, it makes a wonderful mask that when removed with a steaming hot towel, leaves your skin feeling fresh, delicately moisturized and firm all at once.
Again, with its antibacterial, as well as antifungal properties, when applied to burns, honey can help promote healing.
Called the nectar of the gods for good reason, it was once thought to be essential for a trip to the after-life and found in the tombs of pharaohs. As it turns out, it’s vital for life, not only sustaining bees through the winter, but as an excellent, low-glycemic index source of sugar.
There may be no better additive to a cup of tea, or enjoyed by itself on a spoon as a treat, than a dose of honey. Each batch unique unto itself for the mélange of floral nectar from which it derives, it lends a whole new dimension of flavor that cannot be replicated synthetically.
Specialty Pantry Ingredient
Not just good for sweetening tea, honey makes a wonderful ingredient in salad dressings, as a marinade, in sauces, mixed with vegetables and roasted, or simply as a finishing drizzle over your completed dish.