How to Take Honey
Honey is a natural food product that can be used to treat several health problems. While there are various claims about its medicinal uses, the clearest uses for honey are taking it to prevent allergies and to treat a cough or sore throat. By taking it, you can minimize uncomfortable cold symptoms and avoid the sneezing and runny nose associated with allergies.
Taking Honey to Treat a Cough or Sore Throat
Eat a spoonful of honey.Honey has been shown to ease a sore throat and ease coughs. To take it in the simplest way, you can simply eat a spoonful of it straight from the jar.
- You do not need to eat a lot of honey to experience its benefits. About 1 teaspoon of honey should suffice.
Add honey to a warm beverage.When easing a sore throat or cough with honey, it's a good idea to add it to a warm drink. The warmth is soothing to the throat and it keeps you hydrated, which keeps mucus thinner. By adding a teaspoon or so of honey to a cup of tea or hot water you can help ease discomfort and boost your immune system at the same time.
- To make your honey and hot water mixture taste even better, add a teaspoon of lemon juice as well. This will help to balance out the sweetness of the drink.
Begin taking honey when symptoms begin.If you have a cough or sore throat that is emerging, start taking honey right away and take it whenever you need it throughout the day. This will help you avoid experiencing severe symptoms because it will limit the irritation you experience over the course of your illness.
- Taking honey from the onset of symptoms can help you cope with them but will not always eliminate them all together.
Take honey before bedtime.Honey can help with your cough or sore throat day and night. Drinking a warm beverage with honey in it before bed can help suppress nighttime coughs.
- Adding honey to a warm cup of tea can ease your symptoms and help you get in the mood to go to sleep. However, add honey to a tea that promotes sleep, such as chamomile or other caffeine-free herbal teas. Drinking a caffeinated tea could cause you to have trouble sleeping.
Taking Honey to Prevent Allergies
Purchase local honey.In order to use honey to treat your allergies, you need to get honey made in your area. This honey will have trace amounts of the pollen that you will be exposed to in your area. This small amount will acclimate your immune system to the pollen without giving you the symptoms of allergies.
- You can go to a local farmer's market or farm to get local honey. Many natural food stores also carry local honey.
- While there is some research that says that taking honey can help with allergies, the efficacy of local honey for the treatment of allergies needs more scientific study.
Buy raw, organic honey.In order to get all the benefits of taking honey, you should get honey that is pure and has not been overly processed. When honey is processed, the pollen in it is removed. This will eliminate that potential for it helping with your allergies.
- Ensure that the label says that the honey is raw and organic. If it doesn't, it's likely that the honey has been processed.
Eat a small amount of honey every day.To build up a tolerance to your local pollen, eat a small amount of local honey every day. When using honey to prevent allergies, you only need to eat a teaspoon or 2 each day. You can eat more but a few teaspoons is sufficient to expose your body to the local pollen.
- This will allow your body to get used to the pollen that you inhale from the air every day.
Begin eating honey before allergy season.In order to build up your tolerance to the pollen in your area, you should be eating honey even before allergy season begins. Eating honey regularly for at least a few weeks before the pollen season begins will help its efficacy.
- If you know the time of year when you typically start having allergy attacks, start taking honey a few weeks before then. This is usually early fall or spring, depending on what you are allergic to.
Taking Honey Safely
Don't throw out crystallized honey.Honey that has crystallized is still perfectly safe and good to eat. You simply need to heat it gently to re-liquefy it and then let it cool gradually so that it stays in liquid form.
- All honey will crystallize eventually. Crystallization actually shows you that the honey you have it pure and hasn't been diluted with other sweeteners.
Avoid giving honey to infants.While honey is safe for most adults to consume, infants can get a rare form of botulism from spores in honey. Don't give your child honey until they are 1 year old, at which point their digestive system will be able to process it safely.
- The spores that are dangerous for infants are called Clostridium botulinum. When this spore multiplies in an infant's intestines, it can produce a toxin that can make the child very sick.
Look for signs of an allergic reaction.There are some rare cases in which people are allergic to honey. These allergies are typically triggered by the bee pollen in honey. If you have recently eaten honey and you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact a physician about treatment and testing:
- Trouble breathing
- Abnormal levels of perspiration
- Arrhythmias (Irregular heart beat)
- Irritation when applied to the skin
Take your blood sugar into consideration.If you are someone who needs to keep a close eye on their blood sugar, then you need to be careful about eating honey. While honey does contain a variety of healthy minerals and vitamins that sugar does not, it is sweeter than sugar and will still make your blood sugar increase.
- Check with your doctor before taking honey if they have blood sugar concerns.
- Honey is sweeter than regular sugar because it contains more of a sweeter simple sugar, fructose, than regular sugar does. This means that it takes less honey to sweeten things than it does with regular sugar. In general, using half a teaspoon of honey will produce the same amount of sweetness as a teaspoon of sugar would.
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