Honey is universally known as a natural sweetener and is composed of natural sugars. Pure honey, in its raw form, is also used as a remedy for various illnesses and conditions. Read on to learn about the origins of honey, its benefits, and uses.

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The Different Origins of Honey

Honey can be described as a sweet, gluey substance produced or made by bees. You know that already, what you probably don’t know is that bees are not the sole producers of honey! Yes, other than the regular bee, there are various other insects known to make honey.

To begin with, we have honeypot ants. These ants are mostly found in dry, cool woodlands, but can also be found in hot desert areas. Their honey is very sweet and they too (the honeypot ants themselves) are edible.

The Mexican honey wasp is yet another insect that produces honey. This wasp species is found in North and South America. Its honey is edible and is comparable to bee mesquite honey, one of the most expensive honey types on the market today, in terms of fructose and glucose content. The wasp itself is also edible and is considered a delicacy in some parts of Mexico.

Aphids too are known to produce a sweet, sticky substance known as honeydew. This substance is usually consumed by birds and insects, however, it is also collected by bees and some wasp species, which they process into a substance called honeydew honey. Honeydew honey is reputed for its medicinal value and is a prized possession in Asia and parts of Europe.

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Honey as a Superfood

Honey, particularly the raw, unprocessed type, is considered a superfood. A superfood can be described as a food or plant substance with nutrients known to be extremely beneficial for health and general wellbeing.

So, what makes raw, unprocessed honey a superfood? Let’s find out. Raw honey has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties that are believed to boost immunity and fight sicknesses. It also contains antioxidants, which may help reduce serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

Raw honey also boasts of a broad range of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, all of which can help the body fight and ward off common infections and illnesses, including the cold and flu. It is also believed to harbor antiseptic properties and has successfully been used for centuries to treat burns, wounds, sores, and skin ulcers.

Different Ways to Use Honey

We all know honey as a natural sweetener, a healthy alternative to processed sugar and probably artificial sweeteners too. We use it to sweeten our teas, coffees, cakes, muffins, etc. In fact, we love this rich, sticky substance called honey so much that some of us have actually risked our lives to “steal” it from wild bees.

However, did you know that honey is much more than a natural sweetener? Thanks, in part, to its moisturizing and soothing properties, honey can be used in a variety of ways. To learn about some of the more unconventional ways to use honey continue reading on below.

1. Hair Conditioner
Honey has the qualities to condition hair and, thus, make it smoother, shinier, and more manageable. To create a natural conditioner out of honey, simply add a teaspoon of pure, raw honey to ½ a cup of warm milk. Mix thoroughly and massage it all over your hair, beginning with the roots all the way to the tips. Rinse it with shampoo after 5 minutes of massaging or longer.

2. Skin Conditioner
In addition to being a hair conditioner, raw honey is a natural skin conditioner too. You may apply slightly diluted raw honey directly to your skin and rinse it off after a while, but for best results, add 3 tablespoons of pure, raw honey to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend well and add the mixture to your bath water. You may substitute the olive oil with whole milk.

3. Lip Scrub and Exfoliate
To make a natural lip scrub and exfoliate, add ½ a teaspoon of brown sugar to ½ a teaspoon of raw honey. Mix well, and use it to scrub your lips gently but firmly for about 5 minutes.

Next, rinse with warm water and add ¼ a teaspoon of honey to ¼ a teaspoon of plain yogurt. Mix well and apply the mixture on your lips. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes then rinse and pat dry with a clean paper towel or face cloth. Finally, apply some Vaseline or lip balm of your choice.

4. Acne Remedy
Due to its anti-microbial properties, raw honey can be used as an effective remedy for acne. Just dab some raw honey on a pimple and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse it off and repeat this procedure once daily until you get the results you are looking for.

5. Insomnia Remedy
Should you ever have trouble falling asleep, using raw honey can be a great way to sooth or reset the stress hormones that may be depriving you of your sleep. Simply mix a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey, and ½ a cup of warm water or milk. Drink the mixture and you’ll be able to catch some sleep.

Raw Honey Precautions
Raw honey may contain a kind of bacteria that may negatively affect infants. This is because their immune systems are not strong enough to handle the bacteria. Exercise caution and/or contact a medical physician before consumption.