There are few people whose taste buds aren’t tempted by the rich golden substance called honey. In some developing parts of the world, people even risk their lives to get it from hives in the wild! In fact, honey has been a delicacy among people from every corner of the globe for thousands of years. And although honey is prized for its ability to sweeten our tea, drizzle over warm toast or muffins, or mix into recipes in lieu of sugar, there are, in fact, many uses for the amber-colored nectar that go far beyond its culinary delights. So pick up an extra jar or two of local honey, and besides just eating it, try it out in some new ways, too …
Honey has moisturizing qualities which make it helpful in the beauty department. For instance, you can use honey to
1. Shine and condition your hair.
Add one teaspoon of honey to a half cup of warm milk and mix well. Then simply apply all over the hair from root to tips and rinse with shampoo afterwards. Not only will it make your hair smoother and more manageable, it’ll also soothe a dry scalp.
2. Wash your face with it.
Put a dollop of honey in the palm of your hand and add a little warm water. Massage the slightly diluted honey over your face. Rinse with lukewarm water and enjoy a clean and moisturized complexion! (Straight honey also makes a great facial mask to add moisture to dry or windburned skin. Just leave it on for about 20 minutes while you relax. Then rinse.)
3. Take a bath in it.
Add 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your bath water and soak your troubles away. You’ll emerge with soft, conditioned skin that also smells nice. (You can also combine honey with milk for a soothing beauty bath. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this was one of Cleopatra’s favorite beauty treatments!
4. Soothe chapped lips.
First mix a little brown sugar with some olive oil and use it to “scrub” lips, which will help to exfoliate any flakes of skin. Next, mix a teaspoon of plain yogurt with a half teaspoon of honey. Spread over lips, and let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse with a warm washcloth, pat dry and smooth on some super-emollient lip balm. Voila — smooth lips!
Honey also has medicinal qualities. (Who hasn’t tried a teaspoon of straight honey to soothe a sore, scratchy throat?) Here are some other ways you can use honey to soothe and heal …
5. Clean and treat (minor) cuts or scrapes.
Honey is naturally microbial, which is why it literally lasts forever. After washing the area, simply dab on some honey straight from the jar (using a clean implement) and cover with a band-aid. It’s a natural antibiotic ointment.
6. Fight insomnia.
There’s a type of insomnia called “early waking”, which is where you don’t have trouble falling asleep, but you wake up after a few hours and are unable to get back to sleep. Honey to the rescue! A teaspoon of honey with a sprinkling of salt will help reset the stress hormones — cortisol and adrenalin — that are responsible for keeping you awake.
7. Treat acne.
This one’s easy! As mentioned, honey has natural anti-microbial properties, which make it a great treatment for the occasional pimple. Simply dab some honey on the pimple and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off and repeat the next day.
8. Relieve anxiety.
Honey has been used for ages in India to soothe nervousness, so whether you add a dollop to some chamomile tea (also good for anxiety) or mix a little honey with some lemon juice and a little minced ginger (as recommended by TV’s Dr. Oz), honey will help calm you, and works especially well when your nerves are affecting your stomach.
9. Treat mosquito bites.
Once again, honey’s antibacterial properties come to the rescue! Dab a little honey on a mosquito bite to reduce itch and irritation, as well as to help prevent infection.
10. Soothe a cough.
Honey works as well as many over-the-counter cough medicines to soothe and quiet a cough. You can take it “straight” or mix it with a little lemon juice and coconut oil, for an even more effective cough quieter.
So be sure to pack some honey in your first-aid kit for your next road trip, hike, or camping expedition, and add a jar to your bathroom beauty stash! Who knew that honey is for more than just satisfying a sweet tooth!