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5 Uses for Honey Everyone Should Know

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I'm lucky enough to be able to purchase raw honey in bulk from a local apiary, so we always have it stocked. The many uses of honey make it one of my first “go to” home remedies, and a delicious addition to many recipes. Below I list some of our favorite honey uses that are too good not to share.

5 Uses for Honey Everyone Should Know - Find out why honey is a "must have" in your pantry and medicine cabinet.

Uses for Honey #1 – Canning and Preserving

Honey has an amazing shelf life – they've found containers of it in the pyramids that were still edible. It's also great for helping you to preserve other foods.

To make honey syrups for canning fresh fruits or dipping fruits before dehydrating, use:

  • 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water for Light (less sweet) syrup
  • 2 cups honey to 4 cups water for Medium (moderately sweet) syrup

Remember, honey may darken fruits a little, and will give a different flavor than processed sugars. Choose a lighter honey for a less pronounced flavor difference. Fruits dipped in honey syrup before dehydrating will be more like candy, with a sticky surface. You can use these syrups for preserving fruits, such as canned peaches. Many of our low sugar jams, jellies and spreads also substitute honey for sugar.

Uses for Honey #2 – Wound Care

The Book of Honey explains how honey heals:

Honey promotes healing in a variety of ways. The high sugar and low moisture levels create an osmotic effect, drawing liquid out of anything that comes into contact with it. If this is a bacterium, it is desiccated and dies.

The same hygroscopic effect (ability to absorb and hold moisture) means that excess fluids are drawn from the wound site, which helps to reduce edema (build up of fluid in tissues) and inflammation.

Added to this, honey is acidic, which creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

Finally, honey is a source of hydrogen peroxide, which is a well-known antiseptic. Dilute the honey (by moisture from a wound, for instance) and the enzyme kicks in again, giving the antibacterial activity in the honey a boost.

The honey carries on working efficiently, even though the hydrogen peroxide is much less concentrated than a standard 3 percent antiseptic solution. The honey is gentler and will not harm tissues.

I managed to tear a small hole on the side of one of my fingers this week while working in the garden, and the embedded dirt just wouldn't wash out. I put on a honey bandage overnight, and by the next day the wound was clear of debris and the swelling was greatly reduced. Even though I managed to tear the hole open again the next day while canning (I don't like to wear bandages when I'm sticking my hands in water all the time), it closed up quickly and is showing no signs of infection.

You can read more about how to use honey for healing in the post “Honey as Medicine – Prevent Infection, Kill Bacteria and Promote Healing“.

Uses for Honey #3 – Cough Remedy

My younger son was a preemie (one month early), and when he was a little peanut he would always get stuck with coughing and sinus drainage during cold and flu season. Nighttime was the worst, because a random coughing fit could end with him throwing up all over his bed.

We tried over the counter cough medicine once. It came right up again.

Enter frantic internet search, and the realization that the remedy we needed was right in the cupboard. Thankfully he grew out of throwing up in the middle of the night, and has grown into a strapping teenager, but if one of us starts to get a tickle in the back of the throat, we reach for a spoonful of honey.

If we need a general immune booster along with cough care, we'll try homemade elderberry syrup. (It's easy to make, and doesn't have all the additives like most store brands.)  If we need some heavy duty help, I turn to these Cold and Cough Care remedies.

Uses for Honey #4 – Seasonal Allergy Treatment

Raw local honey contains all the flowery, polleny goodness from the area where it was gathered. Regular doses of this honey often help with seasonal allergies. Depending on the severity of the allergies (and your sweet tolerance), you may try anywhere from one to three doses per day with 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per dose.

Eating bee pollen or chewing on a honeycomb are also commonly recommended. For more seasonal allergy remedies, visit “15 Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies“.

Uses for Honey #5 – Skincare

From exfoliating to lip balm, honey cleans and protects, leaving skin smooth and soft. You can use honey “as is” for a simple facial mask. Wash with warm water to open pores, and smooth the honey over your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 15-30 minutes. Wash off with a soft cloth. For a more substantial mask, try the following recipe.

Honey Oatmeal Mask

Adapted from The Book of Honey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater or distilled water

Directions

Blend the oatmeal and honey. Add rosewater or water. Mix until well blended. Wash face and apply as directed for basic honey mask.

This simple honey lip balm protects and heals dry, chapped lips.

Honey Lip Balm

Adapted from The Book of Honey

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • 4 drops lemon or peppermint essential oil
  • Vitamin E Capsule

Directions

Place oil, honey and beeswax together in a double boiler or bowl placed in a pot of warm water. (Don't let the water get in the oil/wax mix.)  Heat gently until wax is completely melted. Add essential oil and contents of vitamin E capsule (to help preserve the lip balm). Mix well. Pour into jar or lip balm tube and allow to cool and set.

5 Uses for Honey Everyone Should Know - Find out why honey is a "must have" in your pantry and medicine cabinet.

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35 Comments

  1. Ms. Laurie , Honey can help to loose weight. I have lost about thirty pounds this past year. The only real thing I changed in my diet was switching Honey to replace sugar in baking and preserving. I try to eat two tablespoons of Honey each morning. I don’t have any cravings for sweets throughout the day.

  2. i love honey on a spoon, in my jams and jellies as syrup for fruit, and did i say i love honey on a spoon? many years ago we treated bed sores with sugar and heat lamps, sometimes honey. it really worked back then. don’t have a clue why it still isn’t in practice

  3. I truly believe that God and the bees got it right with the creation of honey! It is a perfect food and I am always sad if if the honey jar is empty in my pantry LOL

  4. I started using honey instead of sugar about 3 or 4 years ago… since then I have decreased my meds by 75%… lost weight…have much more energy….feel better…and look better! Living life again!!!

  5. Love Honey, never have tried the Cox brand… last Honey we bought was about 6 gal.. from a friend of my husbands at work, . working on the last gal soon..
    worked good to put on my son’s Mosquito bites…

  6. I don’t have a Facebook acct. don’t want one! I Pinterest! Does it seem unfair that people not on Facebook only get one entry?

    1. I suppose it would be fairest if we simply never gave anything away at all. Given that there are over 400,000 entries, statistically speaking the percentile difference between one and multiple entries is relatively small. The reason we only have facebook entries for this particular giveaway is that facebook will no longer allow facebook Likes as an entry option after November 3rd, so we’re using the option while it’s still available.

    1. It is generally recommended that raw honey not be given to infants under 2 years of age. However, on the CDC website, it states:

      “Most infant botulism cases cannot be prevented because the bacteria that causes this disease is in soil and dust. The bacteria can be found inside homes on floors, carpet, and countertops even after cleaning.”

      In their list of recent botulism cases, none were linked to raw honey.

        1. Reality: There are many hazards in life. Some are statistically higher than others. We do what we can to mitigate the hazards such as seat belts, infant car seats, bicycle helmets, and so forth. But very few of us spend all of our time hiding under the bed just because life is hazardous. Why take a chance? We take chances EVERYDAY. If the probabilities are very low, then don’t sweat it. The alternative is to live in constant fear.

          Now I have a question: have you ever driven anywhere with your precious little one in the car (or even your precious bigger ones) and used a cell phone? Does not matter if it was texting, hands-on talking, or hands-free talking. That behaviour blows the lid off of the risk scale when compared to most other everyday hazards of life. Yes, even the hands-free cell phone use while driving is about as hazardous as getting into the car and driving while drunk. Why take that chance? The car you run into could have my precious little one inside!

          1. When I drive, alone, or with my kids, my cell phone is turned off and put in the glove box. You assume too much.

          2. Perhaps I did. I’m so glad that you do not drive with cell phone distraction. Unfortunately the chances of you or your loved ones getting hurt or killed because of cell phone distraction is still very high due to the thoughtless actions of other drivers.

  7. My whole family loves honey and eat it or cook with it in just about everything. This would be a huge budget saver! Thanks for the chance to win this.

  8. Thanks so much for the chance to win! We love honey in our household! We could sure use this, as we are pretty much on a fixed income.

    1. I went back and double checked the original recipe, and strangely enough their description says it uses honey and beeswax, but the recipe itself does not list the honey. Based on other similar recipes I’ve seen, 3/4 teaspoon of honey should work well without unbalancing the mix.

  9. No one has mentioned one of the best uses of honey: chronic bedwetting!
    About 25 years ago, we saw that hint in a letter to Mother Earth News. Our grade school son had been dealing with this problem. A couple of our older children had previously suffered from this, so my husband and I were used to it, accepted it as a fact of life that would eventually correct itself. But our 9 y.o. son, anxious to participate in sleepovers and camp-outs with friends (this was before Pull-Ups came out) was anxious to try anything.
    Following the directions, we gave him a tablespoon of local raw honey before bed. That night he slept dry. So we continued with the honey, and the dry nights continued as well. When the night came that we forgot the honey, he was dry that night too. He never had another issue with this.
    The explanation I found was related to the density of molecules in honey, which draws fluid to itself. Whatever the mechanism, we were pleased, and our son was overjoyed!

    1. That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of that. Another mechanism by which that might work is that the honey keeps the blood sugar from dropping in the middle of the night. I know many adults wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom because when your blood sugar drops, your body flushes out urine in an attempt to stabilize blood sugar levels. No blood sugar drop, no need to pee when you’d rather be sleeping.

  10. I was very interested in Laurie Nevermans comment about honey helping one sleep through the night. I have horrible insomnia, even taking Trazadone I still wake up around 3:30 every morning! I started drinking Golden Milk before bedtime ! Warm on the stove (NOT microwave, and NOT hot) . Remove from stove, pour into a mug, add 1/2 tsp. EACH of Turmeric ( a spice found in the grocery store /health food store ) , cinnamon, and black pepper. Stir in 1-2 tsp honey depending on how sweet you like it. Drink warm. It took about a week before i started sleeping through the night .Google “Golden Milk ” for the amazing benefits of Turmeric and honey too ! I haven’t slept this well in 20 years !

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