The Medicinal Uses of Honey

In honey's liquid gold, you can find the many medicinal uses of honey: a cache of antioxidants, digestive aids, detoxifiers and even soothing balms for wounds, all rolled into one delightful concoction.

| November/December 2003

  • Discover the many medicinal uses of honey.
    Discover the many medicinal uses of honey.
    By the Mother Earth Living staff

  • Discover the many medicinal uses of honey.

There are many medicinal uses of honey, it is not only a delicious sweetener but is full of antioxidants, digestive aids and detoxifiers.

The Medicinal Uses of Honey

One of my life’s purest pleasures is a crockery mug of steaming tea sweetened with golden honey. With that comfort in hand, I can tackle just about anything — or gratefully do absolutely nothing. But what really sweetens the pot is knowing the honey in my tea is at work even if I’m not. In this liquid gold, I find a cache of antioxidants, a digestive aid, a detoxifier and even a soothing balm for wounds, all rolled into one delightful concoction.

Honey is the ultimate in products derived from herbs. Fashioned through an ingenious alliance between animal and plant kingdoms, honey delivers a diverse array of phytochemicals in one package. This bounty arrives courtesy of the industrious honeybee, who visits some 2 million flowers to manufacture just one pound of honey.

The History of Honey

Since ancient times, people have used honey as medicine. Hippocrates recommended it for optimal health. The Egyptians, and many people since, used it as a wound treatment. Old texts heralded honey as a salve for eye ailments and a restorative in complaints of the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Today, honey with lemon is still a favorite for colds and sore throats.

Nowadays, we are uncovering much about the nature of honey and its actions. For instance, it really does help heal wounds. A randomized clinical study published in the journal Burns found honey salve healed superficial burns more effectively and quickly, and with less inflammation, than a standard treatment of silver sulfadiazine. Honey helps wounds in several ways. Its high viscosity deters infection; its sugar draws lymph out of the wound; it stimulates formation of new blood capillaries and connective tissues; and it’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. A recent study found that antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can infect wounds, succumb readily to honey.

Honey as an Antibacterial Ally

Most common honeys derive their antibacterial activity from hydrogen peroxide, produced by an enzyme naturally present in honey. But others — notably the Leptospermum species from New Zealand and Australia — battle bacteria with rather mysterious non-peroxide components. Leptospermum honeys are now approved as therapeutic honeys by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (equivalent to the Food and Drug Administration in the United States) and are marketed under such names as Medihoney and Active Manuka honey.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April 27-28 2019
Asheville, North Carolina

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds