Ways to Use Your Excess Honey Harvest
Throughout history, honey has been used for everything from toast and oatmeal to medicinal properties of all kinds. Rather than talk to you about all the different ways to use your honey in a traditional sense, I, Matthew Davies, am going to share with you several different ways that you might not be familiar with.
There are many people who remain skeptical about home remedies and suggest such practices are a thing of the past. However, modern scientists have begun to recognize the medicinal value of honey. As such, several medical journals have been published in recent years that back up the medical practice of using home remedies that involve honey could actually be superior to “modern medicine.”
Honey is recognized globally for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. That means honey cannot only be used for soothing a burn you got from cooking, a cut you got from working in the garden, or a bruise you got from falling on the snow or ice, but it can also lend itself to a speedy recovery from an illness (more on that below).
In this article, I will dive into the other ways that you can use your excess honey harvest to keep yourself healthy and happy all year long.
Cold & Allergy Relief
Honey, especially local raw honey, is a powerful medicine for colds and allergies. A common argument is that ingesting honey produced by bees from local pollen helps reduce seasonal allergies by boosting immunity to environmental allergens.
That method doesn’t hurt. But as opposed to taking a coated allergy pill, some scientists believe that stomach acids break down any allergens it contains before they can take effect.
When it comes to the cold-relief results, scientists are more kind, however. Studies have shown that honey is as effective, if not more than prescription cough suppressants and antihistamines, in calming nighttime coughs because of its ability to soothe inflamed membranes along with its sleep-aid characteristics (yes, it can help with sleep, too). In particular, buckwheat honey is a potent cough suppressant.
Canadian Family Physician, a peer-reviewed medical journal from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, concluded in “Honey for treatment of cough in children” (December 2014 issue) that “Honey can be prescribed as a single dose of 2.5 milliliters before bedtime for children older than one year of age with a cough.” (Honey should never be given to babies younger than one-year-old, as it contains bacteria that can not yet be handled by their digestive systems and that can cause botulism in infants.)
Combining honey with plants such as marshmallow root, ginger root, and slippery elm bark with anti-inflammatory and mucilage properties can further boost its cough-suppressant properties.
For fair skin and hair, and even for cosmetics, honey has a wide variety of benefits. As a calming skin cleanser and face wash, apply a little bit right before bed for the best night’s sleep you have ever had. Additionally, unlike certain soaps and detergents, it can strengthen and soften the skin. Traditional cleansers are known to have qualities which can be harsh and strip away the skin’s natural oils.
Clean at least once with honey if you wear makeup and need to wash your face more than once a day. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties, you can also apply it to alleviate skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
On a quite regular basis, you should apply small amounts of honey directly to your skin. Or search for skincare products that contain natural honey. Remember if you are applying directly to the skin, you will want to remove the stickiness prior to putting clothes on or going to bed.
Energy, Stamina & Sleep Aid
Not only is honey a pre-exercise energy booster, but you can also use it as a great recovery aid after a hard workout. It may sound contradictory that a sleep aid and an energy boost can be a single substance. Raw honey is a natural carbohydrate, however. It quickly absorbs liver glycogen, the body’s natural energy storage, into the body.
What about when is it time to focus on sleep? Well, the same properties that honey uses to recover your body from a workout, allows you to fall into a deep sleep as well. Simply put, it helps prevent the brain from waking you up due to a need for food by replenishing the liver’s glycogen supply.
Also, by inducing tryptophan release, raw honey will provide the brain with a supply of melatonin. This amino acid is transformed into serotonin, which is converted to melatonin in turn.
Beekeeper hobbyists frequently have a greater honey supply than they know what to do with. If you are looking for a soul-lifting and tasty solution, create a mead out of that extra honey.
The oldest alcoholic beverage is mead. As a matter of fact, it is going to mostly do all the work for you and make itself.
Sugars are converted by yeast into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Honey produces lots of sugars in its dormant state, and wild leaves carried in by the bees on the pollen will provide you will a unique tasting yeast.
Until activated by water, this yeast can remain inert for long periods, centuries even. Water serves to “wake up” all the yeast and other microbes in the honey that lie dormant. This causes it to start to ferment.
Even a little water will allow mead to “make” itself by itself. But you can make mead with your ideal amount of sweetness-to-dryness if you purposely mix water (non-chlorinated) with raw honey.
There’s a bit of a method to it but making a natural wild-fermented mead is pretty straightforward. Try mixing different fruits and herbs for a truly heavenly cocktail to improve its taste and medicinal qualities.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can use your excess honey from your harvest. I, Matthew Davies wish you a happy and safe rest of the year.