“Eat the crusts, it will make your hair curly!”, “Add some honey to your tea instead of sugar, it will help your throat!”
Well after years of eating bread crusts, my hair is somewhere between curly and crazy so my faith in the old wives tales definitely diminished. It turns out however, that apart from being a great addition to many Middle Eastern recipes, there is some truth to the tale of honey being good for one’s health.
The tale is not a new one, since as far back as ancient Egypt it was used as a remedy for various ailments, applying it to wounds and making it part of the mummification process.
Since honey is largely made up of natural sugars, it is attracted to water making it capable of absorbing and maintaining moisture. This makes it an ideal application for external wounds, as it can absorb body fluids, while encouraging healing and preventing infection.
This ability to absorb fluids and prevent infection makes honey an amazing natural antibacterial and antibiotic, which explains the healing powers it has in a cup of tea (and as a natural cough medicine). In a world where antibiotics are prescribed for the smallest reasons, it might be worth remembering that after using these medicines, the body eventually builds up a certain amount of resistance to these drugs.
The healing powers of honey do not stop at a sore throat. By adding it daily to food instead of sugar it can also be used to lower levels of cholesterol, which can help fight various heart diseases.
From something as serious as heart disease to the annoyance of skin problems, honey can provide relief.
By mixing it with equal parts of cinnamon paste, you can apply it to your face as a natural relief for pimples, eczema and other skin infections.
While honey does not cure everything, there is definitely a reason for it to be so popular (there is some drama surrounding its production in Israel) in ancient medicine as well as Middle Eastern cooking.
So maybe Mary Poppins had it wrong, maybe it should have been “a spoonful of honey helps the medicine go down”?
Image via kabils