Honey

Honey
Honey is a viscous and a jelly like substance and is used as a natural sweetener. In Ayurveda, it is called as “Perfection of Sweet”. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It helps in weight management, nourishes skin, boosts immunity, relieve cough and has wound healing properties[1][2][9].

What are the synonyms of Honey?

Apis mellifera, Shehad, Madhu, Thenu, Jenu, Modhu, Mou, Tene, Shaath, Madh, Mohu, Tiga, Mee Peni

What is the source of Honey?

Animal Based

Benefits of Honey

What are the benefits of Honey for Cough?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey has mucolytic property. It might provide relief from chest congestion by loosening thick mucus and helping you to cough it out. [27].
Tip:
1. Take 1 teaspoon of Honey.
2. Add 2-3 drops of fresh ginger juice to it.
3. Have it twice a day for maximum relief.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps in balancing aggravated Kapha. As a result of which, it gives relief from chest congestion and cough.

What are the benefits of Honey for Diabetes?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey is good for diabetes because it is a natural sweetener and helps reduce blood glucose levels. Honey also has a low glycemic index, as a result of which it does not increase the blood sugar as rapidly as white sugar. Another study states that Honey helps in improving serum insulin levels as well as lowers the insulin resistance[22].
Tips:
1. Take 1/2 teaspoon of Honey and 1 tablespoon plain yogurt.
2. Mix both the ingredients and have it as the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
3. Continue this every day for a month for better results.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps to maintain normal blood sugar level as it improves the metabolism due to its Deepan (Appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.

What are the benefits of Honey for High cholesterol?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey might lower high cholesterol levels due to its antioxidant property. The polyphenols present in Honey controls the level of LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). It can also prevent the oxidation of LDL thus reducing the level of LDL in the blood[24].
Tips:
1. Take 2 tablespoon of Honey, add 3 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to it.
2. Mix well and take 1 teaspoon of the mixture twice a day after meals.
3. Repeat this for at least 1-2 months for better results.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps to control high cholesterol level by improving metabolism due to its Deepan (Appetizer) Pachan (digestive) properties.

What are the benefits of Honey for Diarrhoea?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey might be good in case of diarrhea due to its antibacterial property. A study states that Honey can inhibit the growth and activity of bacteria causing diarrhea such as S.aureua, C.albicans thus reducing the duration of bacterial diarrhea[25].
Tips
1. Take 1 teaspoon of Honey.
2. Add a pinch of crushed ginger to it.
3. Take it twice a day.

What are the benefits of Honey for Diabetic foot ulcers?

scientific
Scientific View
The antioxidants present in Honey might lower the risk of cell damage such as foot ulcers in case of diabetes. Studies state that Honey might also reduce inflammation at the wound site and aid in the healing process[26].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps in case of ulcer due to its healing property. It also prevents cell damage because of its Rasayana (Rejuvenating) nature.

What are the benefits of Honey for Infertility?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey might help improve fertility in both men and women by promoting a feeling of rejuvenation and youthful virility[28].
Tip:
Take 1-2 teaspoons of Honey with 1 glass of milk daily at night before going to bed.

What are the benefits of Honey for Hay fever?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey might reduce the symptoms of hay fever as a result of a process called immunotherapy. Studies state that local Honey contains traces of pollen grains and eating it regularly could make the person immune to pollen. This process of immunotherapy, in turn, would ease the symptoms of hay fever like the runny and itchy nose, itchy eyes etc[23].
Tips:
1. Take 2-3 teaspoon of local Honey.
2. You can either swallow it alone or mix it with your tea or a glass of warm water.
3. Repeat this twice a day for effective results.

How effective is Honey?

Likely effective
Diabetes
Insufficient evidence
Asthma, Athletic performance, Cough, Diabetic foot ulcers, Diarrhoea, Fournier’s gangrene, Hay fever, High cholesterol, Infections, Infertility, Nutritional deficiencies, Stomach ulcers

Precautions when using Honey

Advice from Experts
scientific
Scientific View
Honey contains excess amount of fructose which may lead to incomplete fructose absorption associated with abdominal pain and diarrhea[9].
scientific
Scientific View
Due to its acidic nature, Honey may erode the dental enamel if kept in the mouth for a prolonged period of time[9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Due to its Guru (heavy) nature, a high dose of Honey can lead to nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
Breastfeeding
scientific
Scientific View
Honey may contain contaminants like C.botulinum and grayanotoxins that might be harmful to the breastfeeding woman. Therefore, Honey should be avoided or taken under medical supervision during breastfeeding[8][9].
Other Interaction
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey and ghee should not be taken together in an equal amount as it imbalances the Vatta, Kapha and Pitta Doshas.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey, when boiled, causes harmful chemical changes. Do not boil or mix Honey with boiling hot water or milk
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey should be not be used with radish(mooli) because this combination can cause of toxicity in the body.
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Scientific View
Honey is known to lower blood glucose level. But it itself contains sugars like glucose and fructose that can increase the blood sugar levels if consumed in higher doses. So it is generally advised to monitor the the blood glucose level in patients with diabetes or people taking other drugs or supplements that lower blood sugar[9].
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Scientific View
Honey may lower blood pressure. So it is generally advised to monitor the the blood pressure regularly while taking Honey along with other anti-hypertensive drugs[9].
Pregnancy
scientific
Scientific View
Honey may contain contaminants like C.botulinum and grayanotoxins that might be harmful to the pregnant woman and the growing fetus. Therefore, Honey should be avoided or taken under medical supervision during pregnancy[8][9].

Recommended Dosage of Honey

  • Honey Gel - 2-3 teaspoons twice a day or as per your taste.

How to use Honey

1. Honey in Milk
a. Take one glass of lukewarm milk.
b. Add Honey 1-2 teaspoons of Honey.
c. Drink it preferably at night for good health.

2. Honey in Luke Warm Water
a. Take 1 glass of lukewarm water.
b. Add 1-2 teaspoon of Honey and mix well.
c. Drink it preferably empty stomach in the morning to aid better digestion.

3. Honey in Ginger Juice
a. Take 1 teaspoon of ginger juice.
b. Add 1-2 teaspoon of Honey to it.
c. Take it twice a day before lunch and dinner to get rid of a sore throat and cough related problems[5].

4. Honey-Lemon Water
a. Take 1 glass of lukewarm water.
b. Squeeze ½ lemon to it.
c. Now add 1-2 teaspoons of Honey and mix well.
d.Drink it preferable empty stomach in the morning to rejuvenate skin, speed up the metabolism and aid weight loss[12].

Benefits of Honey

What are the benefits of Honey for Burns?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey, when applied on minor burns, might accelerate the healing process due to its antioxidant property. Honey has an antibacterial property which helps in reducing the risk of infection at the site of burn. Honey is also hygroscopic in nature and provides a moist environment required for rapid burn healing[2][14].
Tips:
1. Apply very gently on the affected area and do not rub.
2. Keep it as it is and do not rinse it with water.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey balances Pitta and Kapha and promotes quick healing in case of a minor burn. It also gives a soothing effect due to its Sita (cold) property.

What are the benefits of Honey for Piles?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey reduces the pain associated with hemorrhoid. Honey has anti-inflammatory property and reduces the effect of pain mediators at the site of application. Honey also has antibacterial property and inhibits bacterial growth. This reduces the risk of infections from hemorrhoid[17].
Tip:
1. Take 1 teaspoon Honey, olive oil and beeswax in 1:1:1 ratio.
2. Mix well and apply it directly on the area to get relief from hemorrhoid.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps in lowering pain and swelling in hemorrhoid due to its Sita (cold) and healing properties.

What are the benefits of Honey for Inflammation of gums?

scientific
Scientific View
Gingivitis is a gum disease that occurs when bacteria starts building-up in the form of plaque on the teeth causing swelling in the gums. Study says that Honey has antibacterial property that controls the buildup of bacterial plaque on the teeth. Another study suggests that Honey has anti-inflammatory property which reduces inflammation of the gums and lowers the risk of gingivitis[15][16].
Tip:
1. Take 1 tablespoon of Honey.
2. Add it to 1 glass of warm water.
3. Gargle with this mixture twice a day.
4. Repeat twice a day for better results.

What are the benefits of Honey for Sunburn?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey might soothe and repair the skin in case of sunburn due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also helps in moisturizing the skin due to its hygroscopic property[2][19].
Tip:
1. Take the required amount of Honey.
2. Mix 1 tablespoon of Aloe vera gel.
3. Apply this paste on the affected area.
4. Repeat once daily to get better results.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey might give some relief from sunburn due to its cooling property.

What are the benefits of Honey for Herpes labialis?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey has antiviral property and may inhibit the activity of herpes simplex virus in cold sores. Honey also has anti-inflammatory property and reduces the effect of of pain mediators at the site of application[18].
Tip:
1. Take 1 teaspoon Honey and a pinch of turmeric powder.
2. Mix both and apply as a paste to the cold sore.
3. Repeat as often as necessary to get better results.

How effective is Honey?

Likely effective
Burns, Mouth sores
Likely ineffective
Skin infection due to Kala-azar
Insufficient evidence
Allergy symptoms, Cataract, Eye surgery, Herpes labialis, Inflammation of gums, Itching, Piles, Sunburn

Precautions when using Honey

Allergy
scientific
Scientific View
Apply a small quantity of Honey on the skin and check for any reaction. In case, the skin goes red or any rashes develop, do not apply Honey on your skin

Recommended Dosage of Honey

  • Honey Gel - 2-4 teaspoons or as per your requirement.

How to use Honey

1. Honey with Milk
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Honey.
b. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of milk to it and form a paste.
c. Apply this mixture on the skin for 5-7 mins then wash with tap water.
d. Use this remedy 2-3 times a week to get rid of dry skin.

2. Honey with Multani mitti
a. Take 2 teaspoons of Multani mitti.
b. Add 2 teaspoon of Honey and rose water to it.
c. Mix evenly to form a paste.
d. Apply on the face, neck, and hands and leave for 5-7 mins, then wash with tap water.
e. Use this remedy 2-3 times a week for acne free, soft and glowing skin[11].

3. Honey and Curd Conditioner
a. Take ½ cup of curd.
b. Add 3-4 teaspoons of Honey to it.
c. Apply on the hairs for 4-5 hours and then wash with tap water.
d. Use it once a week for smooth and shiny hairs.

4. Honey as Wound Healer
Apply Honey on the skin wounds for its quick healing and anti-inflammatory properties, one a day[2].

Frequently asked questions

Q. Which are the most popular brands of Honey available in India?

scientific
Scientific View
The most popular brands of Honey available in India are:
1. Patanjali
2. Forever
3. Himalaya
4. Hitkari
5. Amway
6. Dabur

Q. What are the side effects of lemon Honey mixture?

scientific
Scientific View
Although not enough evidences are there but it is said that excess consumption of Honey and lemon mixture may cause tooth decay due to the presence of citric acid in lemon. Prolonged use may also cause erosion of the outer layer of tooth known as enamel.

Q. What is Manuka Honey and what are its benefits?

scientific
Scientific View
Manuka Honey is the purest form of Honey and it help in:
1. Reducing high cholesterol
2. Reducing systemic inflammation
3. Managing diabetes
4. Treating eye, ear and sinus infections
5. Treating gastrointestinal problems
6. Treating minor wounds and burns

Q. What is the price of Honey in India?

scientific
Scientific View
Since Honey is marketed by different brands and have their own values and also depend on the quantity required but usually it ranges from (Rs 50-70) for 100 gm pack.

Q. Organic Honey vs Raw Honey which is better?

scientific
Scientific View
Organic Honey is said to be better than raw Honey as it is meets the organic livestock standards:

1. Organic Honey: It is a type of Honey which is obtained from bees which collects nectar from the flowers on which no chemicals have been sprayed. Also the hives are present far away from any chemicals.

2. Raw Honey: A type of Honey collected directly from beehive. The Honey is obtained by extraction, settling and straining.

Q. How many calories are present in 1 tablespoon of Honey?

scientific
Scientific View
There are approximately 64 calories in 1 tablespoon of Honey.

Q. Can Honey cure cough?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Honey might help in reducing cough as it contains flavonoids and phenols which possess antimicrobial property. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties which loosens the thick mucus and helps in coughing it out[5].
Tip:
1. Take 2 tablespoons of Honey.
2. Add it to 1 glass of warm water.
3. Add few drops of lemon juice to it.
4. Mix well and drink it.
5. Repeat twice a day for better results.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps in balancing aggravated Kapha. As a result of which, it gives relief from chest congestion and cough.

Q. Can Honey helps in weight loss?

scientific
Scientific View
Although enough research has not been done, Honey might help in weight loss by lowering serum lipid levels and thus maintaining body weight[6].
Tip:
1. Take 1 teaspoon of Honey.
2. Extract the juice of half a lemon.
3. Add both to a glass of lukewarm water.
4. Mix well and drink as the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
5. Repeat this daily for at least 2-3 months for better results.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
An increase in weight might be due to an aggravated Kapha and accumulation of Ama (half-digested and unmetabolized food) in the body. Honey helps in balancing aggravated Kapha and reduces Ama by improving metabolism.

Q. Can Honey cause allergy?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Honey can cause allergy if you are allergic to pollen. During the collection of Honey, sometimes pollen grains might remain in the Honey which may cause allergic reactions[8].

Q. Can you eat too much Honey?

scientific
Scientific View
Although enough research has not been done, but Honey should be consumed in small quantities due to fructose content which can interfere with small intestine thereby decreasing the ability to absorb nutrients.

Q. Is Honey good for skin?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey is said to be good for skin due to its has antioxidant property. It prevents cell damage and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Honey is also hygroscopic in nature and helps in moisturizing the skin[2][3].
Tips:
1. Take 1 tablespoon of Honey and apply on a clean and dry skin
2. Leave it for 15-20 minutes.
3. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Or you can also choose one of the following masks:
1. Honey lemon mask
2. Banana Honey mask
3. Aloe vera and Honey mask
4. Milk and Honey mask
5. Yogurt and Honey mask
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey is good for the skin due to its rejuvenating property.

Q. Is Honey good for hair?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes Honey is good for hair due to its antioxidant property. It helps in scavenging free radicals and prevents damage of hair due to prolonged exposure to sun or any harsh chemicals. It also acts as a good nourishing conditioner due to its moisturizing property[20].
Tip:
1. Take 1 tablespoon of Honey.
2. Add it to 1 small bowl of curd.
3. Mix well and apply on the hair and roots.
4. Keep it for 1 hour and rinse well with a mild shampoo.
5. Repeat this once or twice a week for better results.
You can replace curd with egg or Aloe vera.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Honey helps in controlling hair fall and promote regrowth of new hair due to its rejuvenating property.

Q. Is Honey good for curing acne?

scientific
Scientific View
Honey is used in acne due to its antibacterial property. It reduces the growth and activity of acne-causing bacteria. Honey also has anti-inflammatory property and reduces the redness and pain around acne[11][21].
Tip:
1. Take 1 teaspoon of Honey.
2. Add 2-3 drops of rose water.
3. Mix well and dab this mixture on the acne (do not rub).
4. Keep it for 10-15 minutes.
5. Wash with cold water and pat dry.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Acne is caused due to an aggravated Pitta. Honey balances aggravated Pitta when applied on the skin and thus helps in controlling acne.

References

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  3. Ahmed S, Sulaiman SA, Baig AA.Honey as a potential natural antioxidant medicine: an insight into its molecular mechanisms of action.Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.2018;2018:19.
  4. Oskouei ET, Najafi M. Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: A review.Iran J Basic Med Sci.2013;16(6):731–742.
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  7. Ladas SD, Haritos DN, Raptis SA.Honey may have a laxative effect on normal subjects because of incomplete fructose absorption.Am J Clin Nutr.1995;62(6):1212-5.
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-738/honey
  9. Ulbricht CE.Natural Standard:Herb and Supplement Guide, An Evidence Based Reference.Elsevier;2010.
  10. Koenig T, Cramer Roh JL.Healing wounds with honey.URJHS 2016;15:1-2.
  11. Eady EA, Layton AM, Cove JH.A honey trap for the treatment of acne: manipulating the follicular microenvironment to control Propionibacterium acnes.Biomed Res Int.2013; 2013:679680.
  12. Shetty P, Mooventhan A, Nagendra HR.Does short-term lemon honey juice fasting have effect on lipid profile and body composition in healthy individuals?J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2016:7(1):11–13.
  13. Bahrami M,Ataie-Jafari A, Hosseini S.Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial.Int J Food Sci Nutr.2009;60(7):618-626.
  14. Subrahmanyam M.Topical application of honey for burn wound treatment - An overview.Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2007;20(3): 137–139.
  15. Atwa AD, AbuShahba RY, Mostafa M.Effect of honey in preventing gingivitis and dental caries in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.Saudi Dent J. 2014; 26(3): 108–114.
  16. Singhal R, Siddibhavi M, Sankeshwari R.Effectiveness of three mouthwashes – manuka honey, raw honey, and chlorhexidine on plaque and gingival scores of 12–15-year-old school children: a randomized controlled field trial.J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2018;22(1): 34–39.
  17. Al-Waili NS, Saloom KS, Al-Waili TN, et al.The safety and efficacy of a mixture of honey, olive oil, and beeswax for the management of hemorrhoids and anal fissure: A pilot study.The Scientific World Journal.2006;6:1998–2005.
  18. Al-Waili NS.Topical honey application vs. acyclovir for the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex lesions. Med Sci Monit.2004;10(8):94-98.
  19. Sirisinghe RG, Halim AS, Ravichandran M, et al.Honey and medicine: Past, present and future.Malays J Med Sci.2007;14(1):101–127.
  20. Al-Waili NS.Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.Eur J Med Res. 2001.30;6(7):306-8.
  21. McLoone P, Oluwadun A,Warnock M.Honey: A therapeutic agent for disorders of the skin.Cent Asian J Glob Health.2016;5(1):241.
  22. Erejuwa OO, Sulaiman SA, Wahab MSA.Honey - A novel antidiabetic agent.Int J Biol Sci. 2012;8(6):913–934.
  23. Asha'ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Jihan WS.Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: Evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia.Ann Saudi Med.201;33(5):469-75.
  24. Münstedt K, Hoffmann S, Hauenschild A.Effect of honey on serum cholesterol and lipid values.J Med Food.2009;12(3):624-8.
  25. Honey: Its antibacterial action in the treatment of gastroenteritis.Glimpse. 1985;7(6):1-8
  26. Alam F, Islam MA, Gan SH.Honey: A potential therapeutic agent for managing diabetic wounds.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2014:169130.
  27. Goldman RD.Honey for treatment of cough in children.Can Fam Physician. 2014 Dec; 60(12): 1107–1110.
  28. Bakhru HK.Foods That Heal:The Natural Way To Good Health.Orient Paperbacks.2014
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.