Not only does honey taste great and sweeten our food, but it has some incredible medicinal* qualities, too. Read on for how honey can be used as a home remedy for an array of ailments.
Minor Wounds and Burns
One widely considered medicinal use for honey is as an antibacterial salve on minor wounds and burns. First, clean the wound or run cool water over burns, then coat the area with raw honey and cover with a bandage. This has been shown to speed and improve healing better than conventional treatments. There’s mounting evidence for these healing properties of honey, so next time the kids or I get a scratch or paper cut or singe a finger on a hot pan, I think I’ll head for the pantry rather than the medicine cabinet.
As we enter cold and flu season, you or your kids might develop a cough that makes it tough to sleep at night. Try 2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey at bedtime for kids (not for infants under 1 year of age). This is as effective as over-the-counter cough meds for relieving nighttime coughing and getting better sleep (for the kids and the parents!). For adults, try 1 tablespoon of raw honey to tame coughs during the day and at night.
Combine honey with another popular natural remedy, apple cider vinegar, and you get a healthful elixir to help with an assortment of conditions, such as indigestion, constipation, hypertension, and memory problems.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) on its own is highly acidic, potent, and rather unpleasant. However, it has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. In 1958, Dr. Jarvis gathered folk medicine knowledge used for generations in Vermont and wrote a book advocating a drink of honey and apple cider vinegar. He suggested that two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of regular or decaffeinated tea daily would help with allergies, colds, flu symptoms, headaches, insomnia, arthritis and more.
Various amounts of honey and ACV are advocated. I found that 1 tablespoon of each in 12 ounces of warm water was okay. The ACV was still quite strong and very acidic. So I tried 1 teaspoon of each in 8 ounces of warm water and was pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted. I tried our Meadow Wildflower and our Buckwheat honey. Both were excellent. The buckwheat honey is strong and really balanced the acidity and flavor of the ACV. Go ahead and add up to 1 tablespoon of ACV if you can handle the taste.
If you try out these home remedies, stop in the shop and let us know how they work for you. Watch for more tips on using honey for your health!
· * Remember: These are potential health benefits of home remedies. They are not intended to substitute for advice from your doctor.
References: Honey: The Gourmet Medicine by Joe Traynor, Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by Dr. D. C. Jarvis, 1958.
By Amber D. Stoner