What are the health benefits of honey?

Samantha Heller, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Honey is beneficial because it has been used for centuries as a healing tonic and balm in folk medicine. It contains antioxidants that help protect cells. Used topically, honey is effective in wound dressings that are used to treat burns, wounds and infections. In July 2007, the Food and Drug Administration gave honey the nod and approved the use of honey-based wound dressings in the United States. The sugar content of honey keeps microorganisms from growing, and glucose oxidase produces hydrogen peroxide that provides direct antibacterial protection. Amazing what bees can do.
Get Smart: Samantha Heller's Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health

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Get Smart: Samantha Heller's Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health

A healthy body makes for a healthy brain, and this fun, creative guide is designed to help readers have both—they can be smarter, stronger, happier, and more energetic by changing a few dietary...
A search of the Internet makes some pretty wild and broad claims on the benefits of honey; however, honey does appear to live up to many of them. Honey has natural antibacterial properties. Honey also promotes healing and shows antibacterial action by decreasing prostaglandin levels, elevating nitric oxide levels, and exerting prebiotic effects. Due to the mixture of environmental agents (pollen, bee saliva, etc.), it may also stimulate the immune system…sort of like a vaccine. Many people swear by honey and water with lemon to soothe the throat and quiet a cough. I would say there is no down side to drinking honey with warm water and there may be many upsides. Enjoy, but not too much…the calories can add up.
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

Honey has both glucose and fructose which is beneficial to athletes because the glucose is absorbed right away for instant energy and fructose is absorbed over time for a sustained energy. Honey also has antioxidant properties and antibacterial properties that help to prevent diseases and boosts immunity. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Honey can heal ulcers, skin problems, and other ailments. Learn more about this topic in this video of Dr. Oz.

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

The health benefits of a particular honey depend on its processing as well as the quality of the flowers the bees utilize when collecting the pollen. Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered, and this form typically retains more of the healthful phytochemicals lost to the standard processing of honey.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.