Honey is an excellent home-remedy and has been used for thousands of years to treat open wounds, burns, ulcers, sore throats, and dry skin. There is evidence that honey was used medicinally by ancient Egyptians and Greeks, Native Americans, and many other people all over the world. Aristotle spoke of honey as a salve for wounds. Midwives have long used honey to aid in the healing of tears after childbirth.
Honey is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and a natural antiseptic. It contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase which produces hydrogen peroxide, when combined with water or body fluids. Honey helps keep the skin moist, encouraging the growth if new tissues and may reduce scarring. Honey dressings are easy to remove and don’t stick to the skin.
Honey soothes a sore throat. Taking a spoonful of honey can help suppress a cough, soothe a sore throat, and help fight infection. Not only is honey antibacterial, it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Children can tolerate honey and you will likely have an easier time administering a spoonful of honey than spoonful of over the counter cough syrup. Note: NEVER give honey to infants, as there is a high risk of botulism.
Honey has been said to induce sleep, and it -really- works for me, so that’s another reason to try administering a spoonful of honey to a sick child at bedtime. It will soothe their throat, relieve coughs and help them sleep.
Raw honey is best, because it hasn’t been heated and filtered like the commercial honey you find in the grocery store. Heating honey destroys the enzymes and lessens the medicinal properties. However, the honey I buy is produced in my area, and is heated but not high enough to be pasteurized. I know I’m losing some of the beneficial properties this way but I’m supporting a local business and I’m happy with the results of this lower priced option. I’ve read that regularly taking local honey over a long period of time helps build up a resistance to local pollens and reduces seasonal allergies. I’ll be sure to report on that once I’ve been at it long enough.