The wonders of raw honey

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Written by contributor Krissa Jeldy of More Than Mundane.

One of the things I always keep well stocked in my home is raw honey. Of course I use honey all the time in the kitchen, but I’ve also found many other uses for honey in our home.

That’s why, when the local U-pick blueberry farm opened up this Spring and I remembered enjoying the couple of containers of honey I had picked up the year before (and run out of far too soon,) I decided to stock up. A good price on local, raw honey? I’m in!

The girls at the counter seemed surprised by my request for so much honey and asked me what in the world I used all the honey for, and all I could think was, “Everything! What don’t I use it for?” I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t completely normal to be buying so much honey!

Honey not only is a natural sweetener and a delicious addition to baked goods and other dishes, but it also has many other amazing qualities as well. Here are a few benefits of raw honey:

  • Natural humectant, drawing moisture from the air, making it wonderful for your face and hair.
  • Antibacterial, making it great for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • Good source of antioxidants.
  • Good source of carbohydrates, providing a natural energy boost.

In the Kitchen

Baked Goods

Honey is sweeter than sugar and has a distinctive taste, which is important to keep in mind when substituting honey for sugar. I always use a little less honey and decrease other liquids in the recipe slightly when using honey. Try these delicious baked goods made using honey:

Salad Dressings and Marinades

Raw honey is a perfect replacement for sugar in many salad dressings and marinades. Honey is a natural emulsifier as well, so it is a great addition to any vinaigrette. Simply substitute honey for sugar in your dressing and marinade recipes, or try one of these dressings or marinades containing honey:

Beverages

Honey is commonly used to sweeten tea, but I also love adding honey to warm milk with a little vanilla and/or cinnamon for a sleep-inducing bedtime drink.

Smoothies don’t usually require much sweetening, but if you find that you do need a little sweetness, a squeeze of honey is perfect.

Perfect Honey Pairings

  • Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
  • Fruit: apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, figs, citrus, peaches, pears, plums, raisins
  • Herbs and Spices: cinnamon, ginger, lavender, mint, mustard, nutmeg, sage, thyme, vanilla
  • Vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes
  • Dairy: butter, buttermilk, soft cheeses (goat, ricotta), cream
  • Meats: chicken, duck, ham, lamb, pork

Some winning combinations:

In Your Beauty Routine

Face

I love to wash my face with honey. It’s simple and easy and does the trick! Honey is great for all skin types, and since it’s a humectant, it provides great moisturizing benefits as well.

To wash your face with honey, simply take a small dime sized amount and rub between your fingertips. Smooth all over your face and rinse off. Read more about washing your face with honey here.

Hair

Honey makes a great conditioner. Smooth into your hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes as a moisturizing hair mask, or if you’re short on time, add a squeeze of honey to your conditioner.

Homemade Honey Beauty Products

In Home Remedies

Colds, Coughs, and Sore Throats

For a cough and sore throat take a spoonful of raw honey or mix some honey into your tea.

I also use honey to help get the garlic down. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and a well known home remedy for illness. However, it’s not so fun to eat raw. I’ve found it so much easier to stomach when it’s mixed with raw honey on toast, and then you get double the benefits from the garlic and honey combined!

Immunity Booster

I make this Elderberry Syrup all Fall and Winter to boost our immunity and help us get better quickly when we’re sick. Naturally, it contains raw honey, which should be added after the Elderberry Syrup mixture has cooled down enough to not destroy all of the health benefits of the raw honey.

First Aid

Raw honey has antibacterial properties and provides pain relief while healing, making it perfect for cuts and scrapes and even bee stings. It also helps make removing bandages less painful.

Honey is also helpful for postpartum care.

The uses and benefits of raw honey are extensive. Always make sure you buy raw honey to achieve the maximum benefits and local, raw honey is even better! Use this Honey Locator to find raw honey near you.

**Remember not to give honey to infants under one year old.

Am I the only one so crazy about honey? What’s your favorite use for honey?

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About Krissa

Krissa Jeldy is a busy mom of two who, since starting a family, has become passionate about learning all she can about living a simpler, more natural lifestyle. She enjoys discovering new home remedies to try, greener products to make and use, and real food recipes to nourish her family. She juggles her time between her job as an educational specialist, homeschooling her kindergartener, and chasing after her toddler. When she's not busy grading papers she blogs at More Than Mundane .

Comments

  1. I love honey! But I had no idea it was so versitile! It’s amazing stuff isn’t it?! My parents use to buy honey in huge (10 gallon?) buckets when I was a kid. It took some serious muscle strength to scoop some out into our honey pot. I’m pretty sure it was raw. It was delicious!

  2. It’s great as a a sweetener for lemonade too!

  3. Mmm, I love honey! I’ve never used it for hair/face yet though! Might have to try that. I’ve heard it’s a natural hair lightener too.

  4. I love using it for colds and sore throats with a bit of lemon and hot water. Beyond that, when I was singing in a choir, I took a container of it with me for the performance! lol

    • It’s great for sore throats…and something my kids will actually swallow, so that’s always a plus! I’ve heard that before–that vocalists will often use it before performing. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. i have never heard of the raw garlic thing. i will have to keep that in mind this winter!
    i just started the honey as a face wash a little over a week ago. i first heard about it on crunchybetty.com. i suffer from mid-cycle acne and while i am having a break-out cycle i can tell that the honey is working (ps- i dont think i had raw honey when i started using it, and have since gotten some true local honey, but it still works!)
    thanks

  6. Fantastic Post. Just wanted to add that raw honey should be unheated, unprocessed and unfiltered. The only way to know is to ask your local beekeeper.

  7. My son has been dealing with what we call ‘water warts’ (not sure of the English term, here it is http://www.babylon.com/definition/MOLLUSCUM%20CONTAGIOSUM/English?uil=English&tid=Definition) for quite some time now. They will go away on their own, eventually, we knew that. But a few of them got infected, and they were starting to really bother him. And then I remebered reading this post, and I put some honey and a bandaid on the infecten spots. At the end of the day, the redness had faded and the spots had opened up, releasing some of the yucky stuff inside. The spots were smaller! I’ll continue this treatment, cause it’s something I have in my house and it’s easy, I have no idea if it’s really the honey doing the trick, but I still want to thank you for the idea :)

  8. Honey can cure diabetics.&high blood pressure. Squeeze bitter leaf &add d juice with pure honey.take a spoom full2 times daily(hypertension).diabetics soak water leaf inside water for 24hrs and drink with a spoon of honey. For more info call 08169681994 or like heroic pure honey page

  9. Haajar Eberle says:

    I have heard that drinking warm water with honey every morning can aid in losing weight.
    For me, I’m a huge advocate of honey and use it for almost everything mentioned above. Case in point: Only a week ago my 16 month old tripped, hit his head on a jaggedy brick wall, and had a gash on his forehead with blood soaking his face and jacket, enough to send anyone scrambling to the emergency where he undoubtedly would have gotten stitches. I quickly got my jar of honey and applied a generous amount to the gash, closing the gap between my thumbs and index fingers and holding it there for a minute or two. Soon there was no more blood loss, so I cleaned him up with warm water, reapplied honey on the gash and the gauze that went over it, taping it securely. I followed up with two more treatments that day, and disinfecting it with peroxide the following days. It’s been a week, and it looks like he only had a minor cut! I had some students as witnesses who come daily to me, and when they saw the injury the next day, they exclaimed, “wow! That’s like magic!”

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  8. […] Raw honey helps to soothe sore throats and coughs and also has immune boosting properties. Also, it’s a super easy one for me to give to my kiddos! They practically beg for a spoonful of honey every day, so why would I say no?! […]

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