I recently woke up and looked at the clock on the bedside table; it read 3:00am. The itching on my calf was keeping me awake and all I could think about was my 8:00am yoga session. Oh, the agony of the itching! I scratched so much in my sleep that I had broken the skin, causing the itch to sting. If I could only get my hands on the insect culprit that did this to me; it would no doubt have a run in with a Kleenex and my toilet bowl!
I quickly headed to the kitchen for what I knew would bring me relief from the itching and help me avoid any possible infection. “The kitchen?” you ask. Yes, there is no medicine cabinet in my house because all of my remedies come from the kitchen cabinet. The one thing I knew would help my current ailment was sticky, sweet, and had never let me down—Honey!
A dollop of raw organic honey applied to the bite with a piece of gauze always relieves the itch of insect bites, and its antibacterial components help to pull the “poison” out of the skin and heal the bite. Aahh, sweet relief. This process of placing raw honey on wounds comes highly recommended by Stefan Stangaciu, M.D., who says to place raw honey on and around the wound, clean the wound at least two times a day, and continue to apply until the wound is healed.
The History of Honey as a Healer
This form of “bee medicine,” known as apitherapy, dates back thousands of years and was commonly used in ancient Greece and other countries around the world. The benefits of raw honey are endless! Honey has been proven effective in treating and healing cuts, burns, insect bites, and a plethora of skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, as well as fungal infections. The use of honey as a natural remedy also applies to internal ailments such as nasal congestion, fatigue, soar throats, building the immune system, fighting the flu and colds, osteoporosis (honey aids in calcium absorption), and much more. A tablespoon or two of unfiltered, unheated honey can actually increase your energy when taken daily, and according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemisty, it may help prevent against the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol. Believe it or not, animal studies even suggest that this rich antioxidant source may prevent cancer!
It is important to remember that these benefits come from raw organic honey—before it is pasteurized and refined from its organic state. You will see the difference, as raw honey is darker than the refined alternative—this is because of the natural state of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that have not yet been refined. You can find this kind of honey in your local natural and whole foods markets, or search online to have it shipped to you.
Honey: The Ultimate Sweetener
Before refined sugar came along, honey was the source for sweetness. We can thank the brilliant invention of the refining process of sugar cane and beets for the consistent rise in obesity every year, as well as a host of other ailments. Coupled with the manmade creation of high fructose corn syrup that made sweetening processed foods and drinks of all kinds so cheap and accessible, it’s no wonder there is such an epidemic of diabetes in both adults and now a growing number of young children. It’s time to steer clear of the white sugar and high fructose corn syrup and become Queen Bee Diva; using honey in our tea, coffee, on cereal, with mixed nuts and grains, in homemade salad dressings and smoothies, and don’t forget to use it for its topical benefits in a homemade facial mask!
So spread the buzz about raw organic honey and try to incorporate it into your diet and beauty regimen…it’s all about the sweet life.
Article Written By: Megan Helgeson is a freelance writer on health and wellness, a yoga instructor, and a personal lifestyle trainer--helping you get the most out of life with home organization, time management, nutrition, positive intention, and goal setting. Contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org**Don’t forget to ask about Diva Yoga Parties in Orange County.