Honey is the raw, natural product got from bees. Bees make honey from flower nectar, mixed with special enzymes present in bee saliva. This is deposited in the hives and humans use this for various purposes. We get amber, white, brown, black or red honey. The texture and flavor depends on the flower nectar from which it is collected. Honey is commonly collected from flowers like – clover, acacia, heather, alfalfa, lavender and thyme.
Good quality (pure) raw honey has anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It promotes overall health, strengthens the immune system for it has antioxidant properties, eliminates allergies, improves digestive health and is a fantastic remedy for various skin ailments. Raw honey is said to maintain optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels. It can relieve pain, calm nerves and be used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. For specific allergies, honey from local sources can offer excellent benefits for it will contain pollens specific to that region which maybe the cause of the allergy.
Applying a poultice made from honey on rashes, burns and abrasions can offer quick relief. Acne blemishes can be cleared with small amounts of honey applied over night. Raw honey has antibiotic benefits and can treat sore throat and cold. There are different types of honey and each has its own specific benefits.
- Manuka honey is used to treat sore throat, cold, stomach ulcers, indigestion and acne
- Acacia honey provides health benefits to the liver, intestine and respiratory tract
- Buckwheat honey has antioxidant properties but is difficult to find
- Eucalyptus honey is used for headaches and colds
- Heather honey contains proteins and can be used to treat many medical conditions
- Linden honey has antiseptic and sedative properties and is used to treat insomnia, anxiety and bronchitis
- Neem honey is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes, blood pressure, periodontal diseases, allergies and skin and throat infections.
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Cinnamon and Honey – Benefits and How to use it for various conditions
Cinnamon and honey have been individually used to treat various health conditions. We have seen the benefits of honey. Cinnamon is said to reduce inflammation, protect the colon and heart and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Honey and cinnamon combined together is said to provide a cure for many diseases. I have to be tell you this upfront that there are no solid scientific proofs about most of these claims, but this is the case with almost every home remedy and natural cures we use, right? The important fact is both of these products do not cause many side effects and can be used as a home remedy without risks. Both cinnamon and honey are anti-microbial agents.
- Heart disease: As we age, our arteries get clogged. Regular consumption of honey and cinnamon can revitalize veins and arteries. So, combine honey and cinnamon powder and replace it instead of butter, jam and jelly on toast. Eat this regularly and you can reduce risk of increased cholesterol levels. Even for those with an existing heart condition, cinnamon and honey can strengthen the heart.
- Arthritis: Combine one cup hot water with 1 tsp cinnamon powder and 2 tablespoons honey. Scientists find that this combination taken every morning ½ hour before breakfast can cure even chronic arthritis. In a study, of 200 people treated, 73 patients were totally relieved of pain within a month and most patients were able to move without pain.
- Bladder Infection: A mixture 1 tsp honey and 2 tablespoons cinnamon powder in a glass of lukewarm water can cure bladder infections.
- Cholesterol: 3 tsp cinnamon powder and 2 tablespoons honey can be mixed in 16oz tea to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Cold: To ease symptoms of common colds, combine ¼ tsp cinnamon powder with 1 tbsp lukewarm honey and drink this for 3 days. Chronic cough and cold and sinuses can be cleared with this concoction.
- Upset Stomach: Cinnamon and honey soothe the stomach and ease symptoms of ulcers, flatulence, acidity and indigestion.
- Immune System: Both honey and cinnamon can strengthen the immune system and protect the body from viral and bacterial attacks. Since honey contains large quantities of iron and vitamins, it can strengthen white blood cells and protect from viral and bacterial diseases.
- Signs of Aging: These can be arrested by regularly drinking honey and cinnamon mixed in tea.
- Acne and Skin Infections: Make a paste of 3 tablespoons honey and 1 tsp cinnamon. Apply this paste on acne before sleeping and wash off the next morning with lukewarm water. This can be done daily to remove pimples from the root. Eczema, ringworm and other skin infections also benefit from this treatment.
- Weight loss: An important benefit of cinnamon and honey is for weight loss. A mixture of honey and cinnamon with boiling water can be drunk first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This combination can prevent fat buildup even in a person on a high calorie diet.
- Fatigue: Symptoms of fatigue seem to ease even in older person when equal parts of cinnamon and honey are drunk with water.
- Bad Breath: Gargle with 1 tsp honey and cinnamon mixed in hot water in the morning. This keeps breath fresh through the day.
- Hair Loss: A paste made using 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp cinnamon powder and hot olive oil can be applied on the hair for 15 minutes and washed off.
- Toothache: Cinnamon and honey paste can relieve any number of aches and pains. Anyone with a toothache can apply a paste of the two on the aching tooth at least 3 times a day for quick relief.
Cinnamon and Honey – How to use
We have seen that a simple mixture of honey and cinnamon powder can be used to cure various illnesses. If the cinnamon does not dissolve easily in water, strain out the big particles after boiling in water and then add the honey. Always let the cinnamon steep in boiling water for ½ hour before adding honey and then drink it immediately. This preserves the healthy enzymes in honey.
Cinnamon Honey milk is also a delicious way to consume these two ingredients. Take 1 cup of milk (fat-free). Add to this a dash of ground nutmeg and allspice, 1 cinnamon stick about 3 inches long and 1 ½ tsp honey. Combine all the ingredients except honey and boil for a few minutes. Whisk in the honey, garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve hot.
French toast is a popular breakfast item. It is both delicious and nutritious for the whole family. Take 4 eggs and beat them. Mix this with ½ c. orange juice and 1/8 tsp salt. Melt ¼ lb butter; add 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp honey to this. Pour in a baking pan. Dip the bread in the egg/juice mixture and place it in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or till it sets. Make sure it does not burn. The toast can be served with powdered sugar, syrup or other favorite toppings.
Knowing the side effects of both cinnamon and honey is important. Cinnamon is usually safe to consume. Taken in large quantities it can cause sores around the mouth and lips. Very high levels of cassia cinnamon cause liver problems. Those with diabetes, those with breast and other hormonal cancers must exercise caution when taking cinnamon. Coumarin in cinnamon could also affect the liver.
Raw Honey must never be given to infants for it could give them botulism. Cereals and other foods with honey are safe for infants. Taken as food, honey seems to be safe for most people. However, those who are pregnant and breastfeeding or suffer from pollen allergies must avoid honey.