Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person per year. And while most think of the substance as nothing more than a sweet treat, there are actually a surprising number of health benefits of honey that many people overlook. Here are just a few reasons to consider adding honey to your winter healthcare regimen.
It’s no secret that winter weather often comes with an unavoidable and imminent risk of slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or driveway. Fortunately, the healing powers of honey can work to help you recover from any cuts or scrapes you may have after a fall or other minor injury. While it’s not a miracle cure, it’s antimicrobial properties can help keep wounds clean and heal them faster.
How exactly can you use honey to treat a wound? It’s easier than you think.
“After cleaning the wound, put honey on one side of gauze or a clean cloth, and lay it onto the wound. Or pour a thin film of honey directly onto the wound and put the gauze over that. Either way, seal the honey in with surgical or duct tape on the edges of the bandage. Clean and repeat twice a day,” explains Commonsensehome.com.
Can Improve Oral Health
Many people may be shocked to hear that despite honey’s sugar content, it still has positive oral health benefits. That’s right — the honey present in sugar does not harm your teeth — that is, as long as it’s 100% raw honey. Anything less is almost certain to be mixed with high fructose corn syrup, which is known to cause cavities like other sweeteners.
Raw honey, however, can be used as a form of tooth decay prevention in addition to treating gum disease. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, but it’s undoubtedly medically important as well. And fortunately, certain types of honey are known for their cavity prevention abilities as a result of their microbial properties.
Furthermore, if you have an infection or inflamed area in your mouth, honey can work its antibacterial magic to ease pain and discomfort associated with the infection and help to flush out the bad bacteria that caused it.
Unfortunately, not all honey is created equal. The key to reaping these fantastic health benefits of honey is investing in the right type of honey. As mentioned earlier, it has to be completely raw honey with no fillers such as high fructose corn syrup. Ultra-filtrated honey should also be avoided, since the process of refining it removes many of its healing properties.
Finally, it’s ideal to know exactly where your honey comes from. Always try to buy locally to ensure that your honey is not being altered or processed in any way.
According to current data, the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet our healthcare needs, and even though honey isn’t necessarily a miracle cure, you never know if it could save you a trip to a healthcare professional this season. Of course, for more severe injuries and health issues, it’s always best to consult a doctor before attempting any DIY treatments.