Honey is one of the oldest natural substances and man has been tapping into its benefits since the time of the ancient Egyptians. In Egypt, they recognized the ability of honey to heal wounds and preserve tissue. It was often included as part of the mummification process and was also used as a wound treatment.
More recently, it has become a popular addition to both medicines and beauty aids, treasured for its ability to promote good health. It is a true natural wonder, being produced by bees through regurgitation after they have drawn pollen from flowers and plants.
The honey is excreted and stored within waxy honeycombs and beekeepers carefully remove these combs and avail themselves of the sweet, amber liquid. It is a natural sweetener that can enhance the flavor of food and it can also provide a myriad of medicinal benefits, including helping to improve the health of the skin.
How Does Honey Work To Heal?
What gives honey its extraordinary healing properties are the host of vitamins, minerals and other substances it contains. Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and magnesium are just a few of the vitamins and minerals contained in honey.
The antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of these substances combine to make honey one of the most potent healers in the homeopath’s repertoire.
Honey has been shown to hamper the growth of common food-borne pathogens including E. coli and salmonella, as well as fighting bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus. Most recently, its ability to fight bacteria has come to the attention of pharmaceutical companies, who have begun to tap into honey for skin treatment due to its advantages as a natural wound healer.
By preventing bacteria from forming at a wound site, promoting the growth of new skin and the sloughing off of dead skin, and speeding the healing process, it can help wounds to heal much quicker.
What Specific Skin Conditions Does It Treat?
One of the primary applications for honey for skin is as a treatment for wounds, scrapes and sores. In fact, in 2007, a new product was introduced on the market called Medihoney. Medihoney contains Manuka honey, a purified honey from New Zealand. The purification process helps to increase the its natural antibacterial properties, making it particularly effective at treating wounds and skin ulcers.
Because honey works as a natural astringent it can be used to treat acne outbreaks. Dabbing a tiny amount of honey onto a pimple and leaving it overnight can speed up the healing process, helping the skin to heal itself. At the same time, honey’s moisturizing and nourishing qualities help to improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and leave skin looking softer and smoother.
Both the medical and cosmetic industries have already tapped into honey’s healing potential. Various forms of honey are used as ingredients in natural skin care products that you can find in your drugstore, natural foods store, or online. You can find face masks, dry skin creams and other products with honey as a main ingredient.
If you want to get the best healing results from honey, it is important to choose the right kind. There are over 40 types of honey available and they are not all created equally. The general rule of thumb is that the darker the honey, the more powerful its healing properties will be. That is because darker honey contains more antioxidants.
The types of honey most commonly used in both medicinal and cosmetic products include Manuka, Alfalfa, Blueberry, Buckwheat, Clover, Orange Blossom and Wildflower.
How Does It Compare To Traditional Treatments?
Honey is a naturally produced bee byproduct; therefore it has no synthetic ingredients whatsoever. It can contain some common allergens, which may cause allergy prone individuals to have problems when ingesting it, but used topically it is completely safe and side effect free.
Combining antibacterial and antimicrobial properties with a high level of nutrients, it is one of the healthiest, smartest choices you can make for your skin. So is pure honey good for your skin? You’re darn right it is! Try some today.