9 Natural Health Benefits of Honey

Updated: Feb. 24, 2021

Honey might add sweetness to your food, but it also keeps your body healthy and your skin glowing. Don't miss these benefits of honey.

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Suppress coughs

One of the top benefits of honey? It can help you out in a pinch. This natural sweetener has been found to be just as effective as a typical over-the-counter dosage of dextromethorphan in suppressing coughs, possibly because honey acts as a demulcent, forming a film in the throat to provide relief from the irritation that causes coughing. Take 2 teaspoons before bed to ease nighttime coughing and help you sleep. Here are more natural cough remedies to try.

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Improve your cholesterol profile

A Dubai study found that compared to participants who took a glucose solution, those consuming 250 milliliters of water with 75 grams of natural honey for 15 days lowered their total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol while raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Check out more drug-free ways to lower your cholesterol.

Female hands in honey
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Moisturize skin

Honey acts as a natural moisturizer because the sugar molecules hold water in the skin, says dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD. Honey leaves a film on the skin to seal in water and increase moisture, adds dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, who recommends skin-care products containing honey extract, such as L’Occitane Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands & Body or Dial’s 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion with Yogurt Protein & Honey Extract. If your budget’s tight, you can also make these dry skin remedies at home.

Honey close-up
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Treat acne

Honey’s antimicrobial properties may reduce inflammation from acne, according to Joey Green, author of Joey Green’s Magic Health Remedies. For a perfect acne home remedy, mix equal parts honey and ground nutmeg, then leave on the pimple for 20 minutes before washing off. Don’t forget these home remedies for acne, too.

Spoon for honey with female hands

Soothe sore throats

In addition to quelling coughs, honey can act as a mild antibacterial that can benefit you if you have a sore throat. Pour 1/2 cup of water over 1 teaspoon grated ginger, then add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey. Gargle the mixture for relief. That’s not the only natural gargle that can soothe a sore throat.

Close up photo of golden colored acacia honey
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Heal burns

One classic study found that burns treated with honey healed faster and showed less inflammation than silver sulfadiazine, a common burn treatment. Here are more surprising home remedies for burns.

Healthy drink golden turmeric latte in glass cup.Gold milk with turmeric,ginger root,cinnamon sticks,turmeric powder and honey on black background.Detox turmeric tea and ingredients.Top view flat-lay.

Raise low blood sugar

Honey powder increased and maintained glucose levels more effectively than sucrose or maltodextrin, according to a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Large amounts of carbs and protein after exercise could cause hypoglycemia in some people, but the researchers concluded that honey could prevent such reactions. Patients with hypoglycemia can use honey’s high sugar content to give low blood glucose levels a boost. You should also know these tricks to treat low blood sugar.

Golden Organic Honey against a back ground
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Eliminate dandruff

Using a honey hair wash can soothe your scalp and help fight dandruff. (It’s just one of the scalp conditions you should never ignore.) Researchers studied the use of honey on patients suffering from seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff and found that using a honey wash relieved itching and improved scaling. Even if you only have occasional dandruff, washing with honey can help. Honey has anti-fungal properties and moisturizes the scalp. Dilute honey with a bit of warm water and massage into scalp for 2-3 minutes. These natural treatments can help you get rid of dandruff, too.

Honeycomb filled with honey isolated on white

Use as a body wash

Used as a body wash in the shower, honey will moisturize dry skin and kill bacteria that can cause acne or body odor. To make the body wash, combine two teaspoons of honey with a tablespoon of olive oil. To increase the spa experience, add essential oils such as lavender, almond oil, or vitamin E oil. These oils are soothing and provide a pleasant smell. If you’d like to turn your body wash into a scrub, combine with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
Make sure that your body wash does not contain water—honey itself has a very long shelf life, but adding water can contribute to mold growth, spoiling the wash quickly.

Excerpted from the book Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal.