There’s definitely a good reason why honey has been called a ‘liquid gold’ for thousands of years. It’s not just a simple sweetener for our afternoon cups of tea – it’s also a loyal friend when it comes to our health in general. Throughout various cultures, honey has long been considered a special substance that could work miracles, in addition to also tasting great! Our ancestors used honey to treat burns and infections, while Cleopatra was even known to bathe in milk and honey for smooth skin. Let’s go over some of the amazing health benefits of this ‘liquid gold,’ as well as the importance of buying raw honey.
Nine Benefits of Raw Honey That May Surprise You
As a powerful nutrient, honey plays an important role in providing us with necessary fats, amino acids, proteins and carbohydrates. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals that can give us a little boost of energy. We should be more than grateful to diligent honeybees, as their golden product not only tastes delicious, but is good for our health in so many ways.
Let’s review some of honey’s top health benefits, some of which you may not have been aware of:
1. Honey Strengthens the Immune System
Honey is your best friend when the cold winter comes and your immune system is especially vulnerable. The sweet substance is known to have antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties that can boost one’s immunity. 
Moreover, for a healthy digestive system, honey also serves as a prebiotic, meaning it can help strengthen healthy gut bacteria. This is vital for a strong immune system and a healthy body overall. And raw honey even helps fight parasites!
If you ever have problems with a persistent cough, honey is perfect for soothing the throat. [1, 5] Think of honey like a sweet medicine that comes without some of the nasty side effects of traditional cough syrup.
2. Consume Sweet Honey for Sweet Dreams
Several recent studies have shown that just a tablespoon of honey before bed can help you sleep like a baby. The hormone melatonin is crucial for regulating our sleep cycles and phases. Honey is able to trigger this hormone to enter our brains quickly. Basically, honey actually feeds our brain while we sleep! 
So the next time you’re having trouble falling asleep, just make a chamomile tea, sweeten it with a little bit of honey, and have a nice quality sleep. (And maybe add in some lemon balm too!)
3. Honey is Great for the Skin
Honey is widely known as a precious ingredient in the cosmetics industry. It helps hydrate the skin, heal scars and acne, and it also works as an exfoliator.  You can try it out for yourself by applying raw honey to your skin. Leave it on for a few minutes (or even up to 30 minutes for acne treatment) before rinsing it off, and you should start seeing positive results within days.
One reason that honey is so great for the skin is that it’s loaded with natural antioxidants and nutrients. In addition to the ailments mentioned above, honey also helps with clogged pores, wrinkles, eczema, dry lips, and many other common skin issues.
4. Raw Honey for Allergy Relief
The amazing benefits of honey also extend to allergy relief. Seasonal allergies can be very irritating, especially when spring comes and we’re surrounded by pollen in the air. Surprisingly, many scientists claim that honey is a perfect natural cure for those stubborn allergies that disrupt our lives.
The reason for this is very simple: honey already contains small traces of pollen. Therefore, consuming honey can provoke the immune system to react, producing antibodies which help protect the body and prevent negative allergic reactions. You can think of honey like a natural vaccine when it comes to seasonal allergies. 
5. Raw Honey Helps Boost Brain Power
Honey can be considered as a type of fuel for our brains. Since it provides sound and healthy sleep for us, improves our immune system and takes care of our energy levels, it’s only natural that honey would improve brain function.
Honey has been known to enhance our cognitive abilities like perception, attention, visual-spatial processing, motor skills and memory. It can also prevent dementia, improve concentration, and help in treating various brain disorders. 
Between 2003 and 2008, a five-year study was carried out by the University of Babylon in Iraq. Nearly 3,000 people, all over age 65, participated in the study. One group was given honey every day and the other group took a placebo. The result? Out of the 489 test subjects who developed dementia, only 95 of those were from the group that consumed honey daily! 
6. Honey Helps Treat Burns and Wounds
Modern medicine has recognized an important application for honey when it comes to burns and external wounds. Honey can help kill micro-organisms and bacteria, thus reducing inflammation and the chance of infection. The healing process is faster with honey and it even helps with swelling thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
That’s not all: After the wound has been healed, honey can also serve as great balm that will lessen the possibility of scarring.  You can relax knowing that honey won’t damage your skin; it will only gently and safely renew the skin layer. Honey can make the pain go away without doing any further harm.
7. Raw Honey Helps Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Honey does contain glucose and fructose, and this fact usually leads some to believe that consumption of this golden substance will increase blood sugar levels. But it turns out that regular and moderate intake of honey can even lower your glucose levels and decrease the risk of diabetes, according to studies.  This is amazing news for those with a sweet tooth! It’s time to ditch the white sugar and artificial sweeteners, and stock your shelves with raw honey instead.
8. Honey for Healthy Scalp
As a natural moisturizer for skin and as an anti-fungal remedy, honey can help clear up dandruff. By delivering a mix of powerful vitamins like B-complex, vitamin D, vitamin A, in addition to beta carotene and minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium), honey can lock the moisture to the scalp and remove dead skin cells.
This can unclog the hair follicles and enable new hair to grow normally. Dandruff is usually caused by a yeastlike fungus called malassezia, but honey can fight it successfully because of its strong anti-fungal properties. It has also proved efficient in regulating hair loss. 
9. Honey Helps Fight Against Heart Disease
Honey is very beneficial for treating heart diseases and many cardiovascular disorders. It’s been proven that it can reduce cholesterol in arteries and prevent heart attacks. A large amount of antioxidants in honey also help prevent and treat heart problems and the enzymes in honey can strengthen heart muscles.  Specific heart conditions like arrhythmia or tachycardia can be improved by a regular intake of honey. Just be sure to try this under proper medical supervision.
Processed vs. Raw Honey
To get the full health benefits of honey, you want to make sure that what you’re consuming is ‘raw’ and not ‘processed’ honey. Generally speaking, processed honey has been filtered or heated in such a way that many of its beneficial nutrients have been lost. Many varieties of processed honey also contain high-fructose corn syrup. Therefore, it’s especially important to check the label and ingredients and be sure that what you’re getting is raw, natural honey.
I recently found out about this very interesting product for busy people on the go. It’s raw Manuka Honey (a special type of super-healthy honey from New Zealand) divided into packs that you can take with you on a trip or busy day at work. It’s surely a great way to ensure you can reap the benefits of honey, or just get a little energy boost, without having to bring a whole jar with you all the time!
Thanks to the numerous and powerful benefits of honey, there’s no wonder why it’s been regarded as ‘liquid gold’ by so many cultures. If you haven’t tried to include a little bit of this precious food into your diet, then it’s about time! With all its nutritional and medicinal properties, honey has proved to be an amazing companion on our way to longer and healthier life.