7 Healthy Uses for Honey

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7 Healthy Uses for Honey
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » 7 Healthy Uses for Honey

Once upon a time, we had a beehive in our backyard. I loved being an amateur beekeeper and we especially loved having a source of (really) local honey. Unfortunately, the kids didn’t love the occasional stings from stepping on a bee, and we had a devastating winter and wax moths took over the hive.

Health Uses for Honey

Our love of raw, local honey stuck around though, and while we don’t use it that often in cooking or eating (since we try to really limit sugar and fructose), I still have many daily uses for honey.

1. As a Natural Face Wash

Sound strange? I thought so too at first, but after trying it, I am a believer.

I usually use the oil cleansing method to cleanse my skin naturally, but if I wear makeup or need to wash my face more than once per day, I use honey.

Honey is naturally antibacterial and is a much gentler way to cleanse skin than harsh soaps and detergents. It doesn’t strip the skin’s natural oils but can hep soften skin and remove blackheads or whiteheads.

Here’s how to wash your face with honey.

2. To Speed Skin Recovery from Cuts and Burns

Cut with honey remedyThe same antibacterial properties that make honey excellent as a natural face wash make it wonderful for speeding recovery from cuts and burns.

Raw manuka honey is now being used in medical settings to help protect wounds (especially with burns) and speed recovery. I’ve seen it work several times in our family- once when my husband had a bad cut on his foot and once when I sliced through most of my finger with a spiral slicer. (The picture on the left is only four days after a really severe cut that bled for almost an hour and that opened back up twice the first night. The combination of topical honey with lavender essential oil and consuming a lot of gelatin helped it heal incredibly fast.)

There are some specific tips for using honey to speed recovery from cuts and burns in this post, but from that article:

“Regular raw/manuka honey can be used and I keep both of those on hand, but I also keep a specific medical-grade honey on hand since it has been verified to have a high concentration of manuka for additional antibacterial properties. I have the following three things at our house for burns and cuts:

  1. Medihoney Gel for burns and cuts
  2. Medihoney wound paste
  3. Medihoney wound dressings for big wounds

3. Honey as A Cough Remedy

In the rare event that someone in our family comes down with a cold or flu, I use honey to make a natural herbal remedy.

This is one of the most simple natural uses for honey. I combine herbs like Ginger, Cinnamon and Marshmallow Root with raw honey to create a natural cough suppressant that also boosts the immune system to help the body bounce back more quickly.

Here’s the recipe: Natural Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe

4. Herbal Cough Drops

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even make herbal cough drops with honey and herbs. I’ll warn you, it can be tricky to get just right and really frustrating if you lose a batch, but if you manage to get them just right, the resulting cough drop is really effective and free of the artificial flavors and dyes that most cough drops have.

Natural homemade cough drop recipe.

5. Honey Shampoo

Honey isn’t just food for the skin- it is good for hair as well. I usually use my homemade mud shampoo or my coconut milk shampoo, but sometimes, when I want my hair to be extra silky, I’ll wash or rinse with raw honey.

The method is simple: just massage a small amount of honey into the scalp and hair and rinse. It is like a shampoo and conditioner in one and it works really well.

I often follow this with my homemade sea spray if I want extra volume or just let my hair air dry for super-silky hair.

6. For DIY Marshmallows

Store bought marshmallows are a disgusting combination of corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, emulsifiers, and artificial flavors and colors. Traditional marshmallows (while still high in natural sugars) were a much better alternative of real food sweeteners and gelatin (which has many benefits itself).

We don’t make them often, but occasionally we make homemade probiotic marshmallows with real marshmallow root, raw honey, probiotics and gelatin. These are a great treat for the kids without the artificial ingredients.

Here’s the recipe.

7. Natural Sleep Aid

I don’t usually have trouble sleeping, but when I do, I have a simple go-to remedy that has never failed me. I simply scoop out a teaspoon or so of raw, organic honey and sprinkle it with about 1/2 tsp of salt. Instant sleep.

From my understanding (thanks to my wonderful doc), in a perfect world, we would have a natural cortisol spike in the morning, which would slowly decline through the day and reach a low at night. This isn’t happening in most cases (a topic for a post of its own) but many people have elevated cortisol at night.

Dr. Christianson talks about the importance of not consuming carbs in the morning and consuming them in the evening (from certain sources) since carbs naturally raise insulin and lower cortisol. You don’t want this in the morning, but when it is hard to fall asleep, this is exactly what you need.

It sounds crazy but it works wonders.

p.s. Honey isn’t the only wonderful thing bees make! Find out more about why I have bee pollen and bee propolis in my kitchen cabinet as well. (Although admittedly they are not as delicious!)

How have you used honey? Any other unusual uses I missed? Share them below in the comments! 🙂

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


57 responses to “7 Healthy Uses for Honey”

  1. Mandy Avatar

    I think I posted either on this thread or another where you talk about Medihoney already, telling of the NICUs my twins were in using it on them. We keep it on hand now for its wonderful healing properties and of course the fact that it’s not chemical laden is an added bonus. In the last 3 months, we’ve had several incidents in our busy home. Our 6 year old slipped and hit his chin and had one of those “if we go to the ER they’ll stitch it but it doesn’t really need stitches so it’ll be unnecessary pain” injuries. It was split open but barely bleeding, so my husband and I patched it with a piece of the Medihoney dressing and taped gauze over it. A few months later and there’s barely a scar left. My husband then had his drill slip off the screw as he was working on a home project and go through his finger. Cue the honey. Just last week I was bitten badly on the arm by a dog (mine, so I know he’s healthy) trying to break up a dog fight. Not wanting to spend a fortune on the doctor’s bills, I once again turned to Medihoney. My wounds have healed into barely there scabs from deep puncture wounds. I really vouch for the quality of this stuff!

  2. Jeanette Flint Avatar
    Jeanette Flint

    I would sometimes get contact dermatitis on the backs of my hands and insides of my wrists. I never tried pharmaceuticals but I did try natural hand creams, silver and apple cider vinegar, but none of them worked like raw natural organic honey. I would put it on at night time and then place my hands in socks to sleep in to protect everything from the stickiness. In the morning I would rinse off the honey and there was a visible improvement every day until finally it disappeared. Nothing else worked like honey and it is so easy and natural. Now if I see the start of a rash on my hands I put honey on it straight away and its gone within about 2-3 days. Brilliant!

  3. Leslie Avatar

    What kind of salt do you use? Hopefully you don’t recommend regular iodized table salt.

  4. Erika Baber Avatar
    Erika Baber

    Have any of you used bee pollen? There are a lot of mixed reviews online about it’s safety and effectiveness.

  5. Damali Avatar

    I am in my first trimester and I was wondering if you could utilize the salt and honey tip while pregnant. Have you ever utilized the salt and honey while pregnant?

  6. Marisa Avatar

    I just had a question regarding raw honey? Is it safe? I’ve always felt very cautious of any animal by-product being raw. I know it’s supposed to be amazing for allergies but are there any potential dangers?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      It is considered completely safe for children over 1 year. Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it does not carry the same concerns as meat and dairy would

    2. Lisa Avatar

      I got some raw honey. I noticed it gave me a rash! Manuka honey does not. Very strange

  7. Mike Avatar

    Good evening,

    I have naturally clear skin except for the odd spots appearing on my t zone every few months.
    After having read your website, I’ve realised its more to do with over production of oil trickling my forehead and settling there, thats causing them.

    Here’s what I previously used to do everyday (be ready to gasp in horror):

    1. Exfoliate my face everyday in the shower
    2. Shampoo my head everyday before and after shaving it (by noon, I could literally see the spots of oil my head was producing to compensate for the drying chemicals used)
    3. Exfoliate my body everyday with a natural loofah

    All my life, its been drummed into me by family and society that you need chemicals to cleanse and maintan your skin (suds anyone?), turns out they were wrong!

    After stumbling across this site, I’ve thrown out all those chemical laden products and ordered raw, unrefined oils, Honey and jars to make my own products.

    Thank you so much for all this amazing information, its already helping my skin and Eczema.

    I’ve bookmarked this site and have shared with my wife, family and friends.

    I am officially a fanboy:)

    Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this message

  8. Ana Le Pluart Avatar
    Ana Le Pluart

    Hiya! I really want to try honey as a shampoo AND conditioner instead of simply doing the traditional honey hair mask, but i have big, dark, curls and if i mess up the balance of oils in my hair in either direction it REALLY shows. Will the honey just leave my hair greasy if i don’t use this method regularly? Also, are you planning on posting a recipe for sugar waxing? Please do! I’ve found a few but none seem to work quite well enough and you always seem to have magic solutions. thanks a million xx

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Hair reacts really differently so it is hard to say, but I have friends with curly hair that really like to use honey. One of them leaves it in her hair like gel. One hates it and can’t use it at all for fear of frizz. You may have to experiment a little to see what works for you (I know, fun! *rolls eyes*)

  9. Liz Avatar

    My husband swears by a remedy his grandma used: baking soda and honey. He uses it for everything from a sore throat to the flu. I use it with much less success than he does, so I have to wonder if it’s a placebo effect for him or if my body doesn’t take to it like his. Interesting either way. 🙂

  10. kristen Avatar

    Last night I had done a face mask that had honey and cinnamon. It was 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. I left it on my face for about 2-4 minutes and used a damp cloth to wipe it off. The mask actually helped my acne and made my face feel WONDERFUL!!

  11. christi Avatar

    after way too much sun exposure out on the lake (i know, i know, but the lake was so much fun i wasn’t thinking about how much time i had spent and the intesity of the sun reflecting off of the water) i wanted something that would gently exfoliate yet sooth the peeling and sun damaged skin. after some research i made a facial scrub with honey, brown sugar, and mango butter (i considered shea, but i have those two as well as cocoa butter and seem to use the mango butter the least so i had the most of it). i still use it now that its cold and i’m feeling dry and flaky. it works wonders and makes me look like i’m glowing.

  12. Nic Boyd Avatar

    Love your blog Katie, thank you for the time & effort you put into it. Some years back I saw a special on the ABC where scientist put Golden staph into petri dishes and put an antibiotic in one and Manuka honey in the other & left them over night. The petri with the antibiotic in it was still covered in Golden staph but the one with Manuka honey was almost clear! I was sold from that day forward, as I know how difficult staph is to get rid of! So two years ago I had to have a caesarean, and my wound opened back up. It was weepy and red around the scar line & the doctor said it looked infected & prescribed antibiotics (pfft as if, I was breastfeeding!) I went home and started applying Manuka honey and within days it was so much better. I went back to my doctor just to get his all clear and he said infection had gone but of course didn’t believe that it could be the honey! BTW honey never goes bad! Its mandatory to put a use by date on food products but the honey they found in the ancient pyramids was NOT bad!!!

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