Honey is a wonderful tool for healing the body, both inside and out. It is moisturizing, exfoliating, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory: all boons for our skin. Plus it soothes throats, relieves upset tummies and even fights off hangovers. But keep in mind that not all honey can be trusted; for buying tips, read "Bee Aware."
1. Wow wash: For a moisturizing face wash, cleanse your face with honey. It’s very simple. Wet your face, scoop out a little bit of honey and smooth it over your face. It will spread easily. Massage into the skin, then rinse with cold water.
2. Pimple power: Banish unsightly pimples by dabbing just a bit of honey on the blemish. The natural antibodies in honey should help heal the pimple without harsh acne medicine.
3. Hair helper: Make a simple moisturizing hair mask with honey. Smooth honey over the ends of wet hair and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Then simply wash your hair as you normally would.
4. Hair rinse: This highly diluted hair rinse technique can help smooth fly-aways and increase shine. Combine 1 teaspoon honey with 4 cups warm water and pour over hair. Do not rinse out.
5. Bathe in honey: Add 1 tablespoon honey and 10 drops lavender essential oil to your bath. The honey will help moisturize your skin and the antispasmodic properties of lavender will help ease tense muscles.
6. Burn balm: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, honey can help heal burns. For a minor burn, apply a cold compress, immerse the burn in cold water, dry the area, apply honey and cover with gauze, refreshing daily.
7. First aid: A natural antibiotic, honey can help heal wounds. Dab honey on a clean wound before applying a bandage.
8. Sore throat soother: Help ease the pain of a sore throat by swallowing a tablespoon of honey.
9. Steel your stomach: Honey may help coat and comfort an upset stomach. Soothe a nervous tummy by adding honey to lemon and ginger tea.
10. Workout booster: Supercharge your next workout by taking a spoonful of honey beforehand. The blend of fructose and glucose may give you an energy boost for endurance activities, plus you’ll reap the benefits of the antioxidants and vitamins in honey.
11. Be fruitful: For a special fruit bowl, drizzle herb-infused honey on berries and toss. It makes a great breakfast or a sparkling dessert.
12. Sleep tight: If you need a sleep aid, try a teaspoon of honey. Honey may help the body absorb the compound tryptophan, making us sleepy.
13. Hangover help: The readily absorbed simple sugars (fructose and glucose) in honey go straight into the bloodstream and help you bounce back if you were overserved.
14. Say cheese: Fancy up your cheese plate by drizzling honey over goat cheese or blue cheese.
15. Cough suppressant: Studies have shown honey may be more effective than the commonly used cough suppressant dextromethorphan, found in most over-the-counter cough medicines. Take a spoonful to help quell coughing. Note: Do not give honey to babies younger than 2 years old, due to a risk of botulism.
Allison Martin is managing editor at Mother Earth Living. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with her fiancé, two dogs and two cats.