In the Quran regarding benefits of honey, Allah says:
“…There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” Surah An Nahl, 69
Benefits of Honey in Hadith
There are several authentic hadith regarding honey and its benefit.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Make use of the two remedies: Honey and the Quran.” Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi
Narrated Aisha (ra): The Prophet used to like sweet edible things and honey. (Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, “My brother has some abdominal trouble.” The Prophet said to him “Let him drink honey.” The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, ‘Let him drink honey.” He came for the third time and the Prophet said, “Let him drink honey.” He returned again and said, “I have done that ‘ The Prophet then said, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured. (Bukhari)
Health Benefits of Honey
Before we continue stating the health benefits of honey, it is important to know that not all honey is the same. The honey commonly located on store shelves are usually pasteurized. Unfortunately, it is a process through which much of the natural qualities of the honey is destroyed. Pasteurized honey has been heated in a pasteurization process which requires temperatures of 161 °F (72 °C) or higher. Excessive heat exposure results in product deterioration, as it increases the level of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and reduces enzyme (e.g. diastase) activity. Heat also affects appearance (darkens the natural honey color), taste, and fragrance.
The honey that should be purchased is the unpasteurized or raw honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling, or straining, without adding heat. Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax.
Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.
Treatment of Cough
A common home remedy for treating cough is a mixture of honey and lemon juice in warm water. A tablespoon of raw honey, 2-3 times a day, could control coughing. Best honey for treatment of cough is the Buckwheat honey.
Treatment of Wounds
Honey contains trace amount of compounds to have wound-healing properties, such as hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal.
Treatment of Eye Infections
If you have eye infection such as pink eye, diluting honey with water and applying to eye 2 times a day can eliminate the infection.
Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The anti-bacterial property is more effective if the honey is diluted with water. Bees are known to wash their young with diluted honey if they become ill. However, honey should not be fed to infants under 12 months as it may cause botulism.
Rich in Antioxidants
A daily dose of raw honey can boost your immune system by introducing antioxidants such as phenols, enzymes and flavonoids in the blood stream. Antioxidants can reduce the risk of heart attacks and certain types of cancers. Darker the raw honey, the more antioxidants it has.
Avoid processed white sugar whenever you can. Substitute honey as a sweetener. It is healthier and can lower LDL Cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation.
Honey for Skin Care
Milk and honey mixed together has been used by many cultures for attaining glowing beautiful skin. Mix 1 tbsp of honey with 1 tbsp of milk and apply on your face every morning. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash off.
Bees Work Hard to Make Honey
In order to obtain 450 grams of pure honey, some 17,000 bees must visit 10 million flowers. An average expedition to find food requires that a bee visit some 500 flowers and on a journey lasting approximately 25 minutes. That explains why bees have to put in 7,000 work hours to obtain 450 grams of pure honey. (John Brackenbury, Insects and Flowers, 1995, UK, p.12)