Friendly bacteria — Different varietals of honey possess a large amount of friendly bacteria (6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria), which may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
Blood sugar control — Honey may promote better blood sugar control. Proper fueling of the liver is central to optimal glucose metabolism during sleep and exercise. Honey is the ideal liver fuel because it contains a nearly 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose. Fructose “unlocks” the enzyme from the liver cell’s nucleus that is necessary for the incorporation of glucose into glycogen (the form in which sugar is stored in the liver and muscle cells). An adequate glycogen store in the liver is essential to supply the brain with fuel when we are sleeping and during prolonged exercise. When glycogen stores are insufficient, the brain triggers the release of stress hormones — adrenalin and cortisol — in order to convert muscle protein into glucose.
Weight management — In a year-long animal study comparing the effects of sucrose, honey and a low glycemic index (GI) sugar-free diet, rats on the honey-based diet showed: reduced weight gain and percentage of body fat, decreased anxiety, better spatial recognition memory, improved HDL cholesterol (15-20% higher than rats fed sugar or sucrose diets), improved blood sugar levels (HA1c), and reduced oxidative damage.
Cough suppressant — Honey has been shown to be a more effective cough suppressant for children ages 2-18 than dextromethorphan.
Wound healing — Several mechanisms have been proposed for the wound healing benefits that are observed when raw honey is applied topically. Because honey is composed mainly of glucose and fructose, two sugars that strongly attract water, honey absorbs water in the wound, drying it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi is inhibited (these microorganisms thrive in a moist environment). Secondly, raw honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase that, when combined with water, produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic.
Digestive Health — An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it effectively relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw foodists loves honey for its exceptional nutritional value and its amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods.
Benefits of Honey to Allergies
When a person eats local honey, they are are ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less-sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms. Consuming the honey builds a natural immunity.