Honey, It Does the Body Good

The natural gift of bees has a well-earned reputation as a health and beauty elixir.



Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto

For thousands of years, honey has been prized for far more than its sweetness. Ancient peoples, from the Mayans to the Romans, used honey as an antiseptic and healing agent. During the time of the pharaohs, Egyptians and other cultures included honey in their embalming process; legend has it that the body of Alexander the Great was returned to his Macedonian homeland in a coffin filled with honey as a preservative. Honey also has served as a skin enhancer for women throughout recorded history.

In the bestseller The Secret Lives of Bees, author Sue Monk Kidd intersperses her fictional tale with folksy tidbits on the medicinal and beautifying properties of honey. Narine Nikogosian’s book Return to Beauty, Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin contains more than a dozen recipes with honey. Today, all manner of ready-made cosmetic and beauty products include honey as a key ingredient, and even some bandage manufacturers include small amounts of honey in their products.

So, are the remarkable properties attributed to honey fact or fiction? Conservation biologist and author Dr. Reese Halter notes in his book The Incomparable Honeybee that honey contains hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase, which together make it a powerful antiseptic. Acids and enzymes contribute to honey’s antibacterial properties. The many vitamins and minerals in honey make it the ultimate health food, and it’s also nourishing to the skin when applied topically.

Turns out our ancient forefathers (and -mothers) were right on the money about honey. Stir some into your tea to soothe a sore throat, or apply a dot of honey to a minor cut or burn if you’re out of antibiotic ointment. Smooth a bit of honey on chapped lips, or apply to hands as a softening lotion (rinse it off and gently pat your hands dry after a few minutes). Make a mask of honey and egg yolk for an at-home facial treatment. Or you can simply look for cleaners, emollients, wrinkle treatments and other skin care and health-promoting products that contain honey in order to enjoy the benefits of Mother Nature’s sweetest gift.

 

 

Earth Therapeutics’ Loofah Exfoliating Scrubs include an Oatmeal & Honey version to calm and soothe as it smoothes skin, $7.99 at earththerapeutics.com.

 

 

 

 

Oatmeal and honey herbal bath soap helps moisturize and exfoliate your skin, $4.75 at angelicsoapsandgifts.com.

 

 

 

New for 2010 is La Prairie’s White Caviar Illuminating Cream, which includes white honey and white truffles to hydrate skin, $450 at Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus at The Mall at Millenia, and Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall.

 

 

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

 

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2014

More than 75 Central Florida chiropractors make our inaugural list.

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Hidden Gem

Explore the marshes and lakes of Orlando Wetlands Park.

Parade of Homes: Vote for Your Favorite

It's time to vote for your favorites for the People's Choice Award 2014 Fall Parade of Homes.

More Than a Swimming Hole

A few to-do's for your next trip to Wekiwa Springs.

New Orlando Restaurants Open This Fall

From a rustic restaurant at the Ritz and a cool wine bar on I-Drive to a rooftop steakhouse