Spotlight on… Honey



In a time of rapid technological and medical and scientific advances resulting in the new discoveries in the world of genetics and health and robotics to improve our quality of life, it is easy to forget about those little constants that have been already been discovered and used for a long long time.

Honey is one example. The celebrity of the honey world is Manuka honey, however for those who are deterred by the much higher price, rest assured that “normal” honey is beneficial to your body as well.

For sore or dry throats and coughs have a teaspoon of honey mixed in with a glass of hot water, with some lemon. I am a purist and prefer actual chunks of lemon (I’m too lazy to cut pretty equal sized slices) but some people just squirt in some lemon juice that come in bottles. That is fine as well. Bear in mind I think this is more effective when the sore throat is still itchy but less so when you already have a cough.


For a general pick-me-up, you can also have honey with some hot water, as above, lemon is optional. In this situation you can have a glass of it and be done, or you can spread it over the course of a few hours. I tend to make more drinks than I can have (it’s a good excuse to get up from the desk and have a little stretch) so often my glass of honey water gets topped up during the day. This way, I can have the flavour and benefit but don’t use more than one or two teaspoons of honey.


Honey has a moistening ability and is good for constipation. For constipation in the elderly, try steamed pear with honey. This moistening mild laxative effect means honey isn’t suitable for those with diarrhoea.


You can also use it as a natural face mask. Apply a thin layer of honey over a clean face and leave for ten minutes. The result is very soft skin, and if you do accidentally lick it, it doesn’t matter!

It’s great to calm those sweet cravings. Next time you’re ready to gulf down a whole pack of chocolate cookies, try some cottage cheese on crisp rolls with honey drizzled on it. Much healthier and you might find that you’ll be satisfied with just one or two.


As with any foodstuff, it’s good to make that extra effort and try to get it from a local producer. The best honey comes straight from the bees, with as little processing done to it as possible.

How do you incorporate honey into your lifestyle besides using it as a sugar substitute in cooking?


Photo credit: Vicky Brook via flickr

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