Health Benefits of Honey

| Modified on Jun 07, 2023
Honey Health Benefits

Often considered a sweet treat, honey is much more than just a natural sweetener. With approximately the same relative sweetness as granulated sugar, honey possesses a variety of nutritional benefits that typical sugar does not. With a medicinal history that dates back to ancient Egypt, honey can be used to treat and prevent a wide variety of health conditions.

What is Honey?

A sweet liquid, honey is made by bees from the nectar of flowers. While other varieties of honey exist, the most common form is that produced by honey bees. Honey bees transform flower nectar into honey using a process that involves regurgitation and evaporation. As it is created, the bees store the liquid in wax honeycombs inside the beehive as a primary source of food.

Organic honey is collected from wild bee colonies or domesticated beehives. The honeycomb is carefully removed from the hive, and then the honey is extracted from that, typically using an extractor. Following extraction, the honey is filtered and then stored for use.

Health Benefits of Honey

An effective concept to live by is Hippocrates’ statement, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Honey is one such substance that exemplifies this statement. Considered nature’s energy booster, honey is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries. A rich source of natural sugars, honey also contains a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Riboflavin, Niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium are among honey’s most prevalent nutrient resources. However, the golden liquid contains a variety of others as well. As such, honey can be thought of as one of the most effective yet simplest forms of nutrition and health support.

The substance is effective for treating variety of conditions including skin disorders and ulcers, the common cold, sore throat, acne, eye infection and others. Consumed daily, the substance also helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and inflammatory diseases.

While the sweet liquid actually contains more carbohydrates and calories per serving compared to regular table sugar, honey possesses a variety of health benefits whereas sugar has none. Used as a medical treatment and preventative, honey is considered the simplest yet most effective option available.

Acid Reflux

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by David (Europe) on 07/30/2006

just having a spoon or 2 of raw honey every time the burning starts and just before you go bed seems to work for me but eating everything slowly and not drinking coffee alchahol (dunno spelling) or soda and always follow a meal with a glass of water and if it goes away which it did for me u can resume your normal diet and if the reflux comes back just go back to doing all of these and you should be fine.

Replied by Redcairo
(Miami, Ok, Usa)

I used to have acid reflux so bad I thought I'd die of it. I also had severe asthma, severe allergies, lethargy, and sometimes complexion issues. By accident (for a completely different reason) at one point I quit ingesting any gluten grains (this is not so easy as there are a few names for this and it's in tons of packages and processed foods. I happened to shift to a totally whole-foods grain-free diet for other reasons, so I just happened to exclude it). Within 2 weeks my allegedly incurable asthma, allergies, and acid reflux were GONE, my complexion was clear and my energy level was much higher. It wouldn't hurt anybody just to try it for 3 weeks -- you would be amazed how many people I know who had only minor or different issues, let alone powerful issues they were taking drugs for, who found that completely removing gluten from their diet wiped out all symptoms. Just a suggestion. PJ

Replied by Earthmember
(Owego, Ny)

I had acid reflux... Very bad... Worst I ever experienced, for over 24 hours... I do not have chronic acid reflux... But boy... That acid was coming up, burning my throat and making me cough. I was taking Pepto Bismol, and Pepcid... haven't eaten anything because the acid was making me very nauseous...

Went to work... Reluctantly... I also have a major lower lumbar spine issue by the way.. So I really felt like... Well you can imagine... I had to leave work early...

I came home, and sat at the computer, where I'm most comfortable... Not moving at all... My Honey calls on the phone and suggests I take a tablespoon of honey... I took at least 2 tablespoons as I just shot that little bear into my mouth so I'm not sure about the exact amount.

In a short while... 15 minutes maybe... I was feeling better... Not a hundred percent... but definitely better.

I believe taking a couple shots of Honey is probably a good thing to do... I certainly don't think it can hurt... I'm impressed... As I took a lot of over the counter stuff that didn't do jack... Oh... I even had those accupressure wrist bands... no luck...

pop a few pepcids, or prilosecs... Or whatever meds you have... And chase them down with the Honey... I'm thinking that the Honey is a nice soothing remedy until the meds kick in.

I hate getting old...

Good Luck With Your Ailments!

John B.


8 User Reviews
5 star (6) 
3 star (2) 

Posted by Terry (Big Lake, Maine) on 01/08/2010

Local Honey Cures Allergies

I have been taking local honey for years and just recently moved to the great state of Maine and have begun a regimen of local raw honey here.

I use to suffer from allergy problems most severely, I took most sugar out of my diet and replaced it with local honey. Not only am I allergy free, I do not get colds or flu- even as my children were growing up and bringing home all kinds of contagious ailments from school, social activities- folks could be around me dropping like flies from viruses, colds etc.(For many years I worked in an orthodontic office dealing mainly with children with all kinds of germs floating about) I did not succumb because I believe local honey boosted my immune system to the point of immunity from most common ailments. I am 47 years old and have not gone a day without consuming local honey- I cannot recall the last time I became ill with a cold or flu. I believe in this statement most whole heartedly-Local Honey cures allergies. (I do believe it should be local honey consumed and all the better- raw local honey.)Also- raw honey cures many skin ailments, slow healing sores covered with raw honey heal more speedily and have little scarring.

I should mention that I am a sustainable farmer, growing most of the food I eat- I do not have health insurance and have relied on natural aids to healing. I have had lacerations that should have required stitches heal up well before the physicians of today would recommend by using raw honey and epsom salt soakings. I am a firm believer in natural cures- not because of what ifs but because of what is...all that the earth naturally provides can cure most ailments. One last comment- I would not be without Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in my cupboard. It cures almost everything from headaches to sinusitis to dry skin.

Thank you for this wonderful alternative site to RX's that cost an arm and a leg and often provide horrible side effects. To get to the root of any ailment, one should start naturally...

Take care-

Replied by Michelle R.
(Seattle, Wa)

Has anyone tried using honey for pet allergies? I have a westie puppy that is on anti-histamines and anti-biotics for an extreme allergy reaction. I read up on using apple cider vinegar for allergies, I'm going to try that. Just wondering if anyone had success with it?

Replied by Critterma
(Mt, NJ)

honey might introduce diabetes to your pet. No sugar is good sugar

Posted by Martha (Waxhaw, NC) on 06/09/2008


I came across your site one night when I was having a terrible sinus/congestion problem and could not sleep. I read where local honey would help my allergies. I also read that ACV would help. I started using the ACV and finally found some local honey. I have been using 16oz. water, 2 tbs of ACV, 1 tbs honey twice a day. I have seen an improvement with my sinuses/allergies. Normally I would be on antibiotics by now. But the only problem I have had is it is giving me stomach cramps and diarrhea. I have for some reason trouble using the honey. Can anyone explain why?

Replied by Aries
(Greenville, Sc)

To the lady talking about local honey and some side efects such as diarrea (sp). Honey is God's gift to man - remember the land of milk and honey and that the Israelites lived on manna (bread) and honey for 40 years. Honey is also an immediate appetite supressant, as well as a natural upset stomach suppresant. It also is a natural cleanse throughout your digestive system through the small intestines and large intestines. If you have been having stomach cramps/nausea/constipation, honey is excellent to relieve that. When it cleans the colon, it is ridding your body of all kinds of collected garbage in there. I have IBS, and I need the liquid produced to have a normal stool. Remember to also eat your vegetables and fruits with some protein to produce the results you want. Good luck to you! Honey and apple cider vinegar have saved my life! BTW: Apple cider vinegar (1 TBLS) midday has been the only thing to lower my tricylerides and my chloresterol is perfect now. Statin drugs and Lipitor did nothing for me. Aries:)

Replied by Hopefully Helpful
(Pv, Az)

I had much improvement with my allergies with local honey, UNTIL I got to the mesquite one. I was so allergic to the pollens that are out during that season, that I was also very allergic to the honey. It caused my whole family abdominal issues, and miserable low grade fevers. We switched back to the other seasons' honey production, and were fine. After much prayer and consideration, we started doing NAET. This has helped us much more with the allergies - especially ones that the honey couldn't help with, such as dust mites, other foods, etc. Honey is still great though, and I would recommend people do both! Also, cutting out the refined sugar made a huge difference as well. I hope this helps!

Posted by Racheal (Irvine, CA) on 07/02/2007

Honey has healing properties. Using local honey from where you live should relieve your allergies. I live in a polluted place and recently tried the local farm honey. To my surprise, I have stopped coughing and my sinus has been healed. I can breathe better. In addition, dates and walnuts are a better source of fiber and iron.

Replied by Beverly
(Elkhart, In)

Local honey is the very best in vitamins and minerals, I too also healed my sinusitis and breathing freely.

Posted by Heather (Ashville, NC) on 02/22/2007

It was recently suggested to me that I try the "Honey Therapy" for my severe allergies. Honey therapy being- RAW honey that is made locally with local bees. That being bees that take pollen from the same sources that I am apprently allergic too. I started this and two days later noticed a difference. While getting a SEVERE allergy attack, the same person suggested adding ACV apple cider vinegar to the honey. I mixed 3 oz. acv and 3 oz raw honey. Hard to drink, but then realized adding a bit of spring water helped the taste. I instantly got relief from my allergy symptoms, it lasts about 12 hours and then I repeat. Only drinking about 3 oz of the mix at a time. I am going to continue with this therapy and try some of the ACV/Honey/Baking soda mixtures for my acne and see how they work. I will repost to let everybody know how that and the acv/honey taken internally is working. Good luck to everybody. Am now a FIRM believer that God gave us what we need to cure what ails us.

Posted by Stacie (Galena, KS)

Honey has been a miracle cure for allergies in our family

Posted by Bob (North Carolina)


Yes honey worked for me but--- I progressed through three sources of increasingly "raw" and minimally processed to totally unprocessed honey & honeycomb. Each time, I experienced allergic reactions and several days of mild vertigo, that could only be abated with large doses of pure powdered MSM. My third experience was with totally wildwood honey & comb that had never been heated, nor had the bees been fed any sugar water. In combination with organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother), I conquered and eliminated all of my allergies (yes I had allergy testing) and stopped taking all antihistamines.

Replied by Honey
(Midway City, Ca)

First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entire thread! Everyone's input and advice and expertise were very informative and non-critical or judgmental. I love how you are all here to help each other. KUDOS to Richard, Lisa, T, Dr. Shaheen, Ivory Coast AND Janie D!

This thread has made me want to throw out any and all products made with artificial sweeteners and or refined sugar and only use Raw Organic Honey for everything! I believe Honey is Liquid Gold, Serum from God, Nature's Miracle Elixir. I also believe that the old adage, "An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away" is true! Thus, the many healthy benefits of ACV! Apples have to be the ultimate fruit in the Garden of Eden!

I want to suggest to Janie D, or reiterate what Richard and one other said about the pollens and antigens from allergens that honey bees are exposed to.

Raw Organic Honey works like a vaccine. It exposes the body to a small amount of the allergen which is too small to cause a reaction to the individual whom has a particular allergy to that pollen. (There are significantly fewer spores in the honey, compared to sniffing a flower or plant directly.)

The cause of your itching could be that the particular honey that you are eating has significantly higher amounts of the particular trigger that you are allergic to. However, this reaction of severe itching is a rather severe reaction to an allergy and I would definitely suggest getting tested by an allergist.

The test is fairly simple. You go in to the office, lie on your stomach and the Practitioner will write approximately 60 numbers on your back. They will then drop a single drop of each different plant based reactor on your back and slightly scratch your skin. (This is more of a tickle than a prick, since they do not have to break the skin for it to react. ) They also put a control drop in a separate area on your back, which will definitely positively react with your skin. They will wait 20 minutes and come back to see which number reacts and that is what you are allergic to! I guarantee it will be the plant that was visited by the honey bees that produced the organic honey that you are reacting to! Problem solved.

Solution, DO NOT GIVE UP HONEY! Find another brand of Organic Honey, or stick to Raw honey. The only difference is Organic honey must be produced, processed and packaged in a way that follows the regulations for organic guidelines. Natural honey is produced using traditional methods. Both are good.

Raw honey is the best, it has not been pasteurized, filtered or heated. Pasteurization is Americas way of making the Honey 'pretty & smooth' by overheating it. Thus, removing the honey's natural capability to crystallize (which is not a bad thing, meaning, crystallized honey is GOOD! ) Pasteurization also removes many of the natural enzymes, antibodies and antigens that honey is known for it's positive benefits. America has a weird thing with ruining natural foods, like milk, oats, wheat, flour, sugar, etc. by over-processing it.

Just try raw, natural, organic, (even crystallized) honey. To make it pour better, heat the 'glass jar' that it should come in, in hot water. (NOT MICROWAVE! )


~Erin, a Honey advocate!

Bee Stings

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sandy (Bethlehem, PA) on 09/28/2007

I have found that nothing works better for me for a bee sting than pure raw honey. Just dab a little bit on the sting and cover with a bandaid. The enzymes in the honey neutralize the bee venom and the pain from the sting will subside within 1-5 minutes. No lie! It also helps to draw out the stinger. Works for wasp and hornet stings as well.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Kamal (Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India) on 01/21/2009

Honey as a burn remedy is simply excellent. You will be astonished honey ameliorates the pain from burns almost instantly. I have tried and recommended honey to dozens of friends for the treatment of burns by local application of honey with excellent results. It not only does away with the burning instantly but also takes care of the treatment. Keep applying for as long as the injury is not healed.

Posted by Rose (PA) on 11/25/2006

I burned my hand by taking a pan out of the oven and I had a keloid by the same area. Well, I apply it directly to both areas and cover with a bandage before bedtime every night and within a week or 2 I saw it disappear. I also applied it to my keloid scar after surgery. It does wonders. I thank God. God is good.

Chicken Pox Blisters

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Stephanie (Salt Lake city, Utah) on 05/26/2008

I can't say enough about the benefits of raw honey. My ten and four year olds woke up this morning with chicken pox. I couldn't leave them here alone and run to the store for anything to help the itching, so I mixed raw honey and cinnamon in a little bowl and dabbed it on their blisters. My four year old had been crying because she was so itchy, but after dabbing on the honey-she smiled is now resting comfortably. I have other things I am going to do for them to see if it helps the severity of their symptoms. I'll post results.

Replied by Teresa
(Lehigh Acres, Fl)


Replied by New To All This
(Los Angeles, Ca)

My dermatologist told me the rough, red skin on my hands and tears at the knuckles I get in winter is eczema. Two years ago it was happening as usual, so I put ordinary supermarket honey on the back of my hands for three nights in a row. I didn't see any change, so I stopped using it, but two or three weeks later I noticed that the weather was as cold and dry as it is every winter (although our winters are very mild compared with most of the US), I hadn't been wearing gloves and yet the skin on my hands remained normal. I decided it had to be the honey, so I put on some more. Soon after that, the eczema returned. It didn't make sense to me that the honey would heal my hands the first time I used it and cause the problem to return when I used it again, but that's what seemed to have happened.

Last winter I slept with another ordinary brand of honey on the back of my hands for several nights, starting before signs of eczema appeared. I didn't reapply it and my hands did not not get rough all winter. However, over the winter, I found five or six small tears in the skin. My hands did get a little rough in early spring.

This winter I'm going to try raw honey and see if the effect is any different.

Replied by Tj
(New York, Ny)

Yes, What you really need is a humidifier in your home during winter months to put some moisture back in the air...

Replied by New To All This
(Los Angeles, Ca)

To add to my last comment about honey for winter eczema:

It started to get cold early last fall, so I used raw honey on the back of my hands for several nights. Then it got warm again, and when the cold returned, my hands had the roughness I'd experienced in the past. So I applied cheap grocery store honey on the backs of my hands during the daytime for several days. After that I had no problems with roughness or bleeding during the rest of the winter.

I don't know if this means cheap honey is better, but I am taking it to mean it isn't worse. (And maybe a humidifier wouldn't be as sticky.)

Replied by Kathleen
(Brisbane, Qld)

I work in the Aged Care as Nurse and was told to bathe in a few cups of raw oats for the rash to disappear. An old remedy but it seems to work.

Replied by Kfotherg
(Malden, Ma)

I have had eczema on my hands for at least a decade. Early on, I tried antibiotics and steroid cream. They would clear it up for a week or two, then the eczema would come back. Since then, I have tried everything from vasaline, olive oil, anti-itch creams, coconut oil, bananas, etc. None of them made much of a difference. Recently, I visited a NAET practitioner and went through seven treatments. As soon as she saw my hands, she told me to stay away from ALL GRAINS, for six weeks. I did not eat, wheat, barley, rice, corn, etc. Other than a couple cracks in my skin due to the cold weather, my hands are completely healed up. I have been adding grains back into my diet and have had no new flare-ups. I hope this helps your son.

Cleansers and Moisturizers

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Devin (Roseburg, Or) on 01/17/2012

Here are easy, effective, and cheap facial cleansers and moisturizers using honey:

Cleanser: mix 1/8 cup honey, 1/4 cup glycerin, and 1. 5 tsp castile soap(I love Dr. Bronner's Almond). Pour into a container that has been sterilized (boiled, vinegared, or bleached) and is airtight and you've made enough cleanser for a month for under a buck. Massage into your skin and then rinse with warm water. Skin is smooth, radiant, supple, and clean.

Moisturizer: mix 3 Tbs. Food grade veggie glycerin and 1 tsp. Honey. Store in an airtight and sterilized container. Massage into skin VERY sparingly; a little goes a long way. Feels a little weird at first, but your skin will look and feel AMAZING! And again you've made enough for more than a month for well under $1.

I have fallen in love with honey for my face. So much in fact that I give these concoctions as gifts to friends and family.

Replied by Erin
(Richmond, Ca)

I am allergic to glycerin. Several people have suggested mixing honey and other natural products with glycerin to make cleansers. I'm wondering if there is a substitute for glycerin that can be used in these recipes.

Replied by Anna
(Los Angeles)

Instead of glycerin, you could try castor oil. You might have to add a little sweet almond oil or another type of oil to combat the sticky factor, as castor oil is also quite viscous.

Colds, Flu, Viruses

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sheilagh (Austin, TX) on 09/06/2007

I take issue with the requirement for using local honey. My mom found the Dr. Jarvis folk medicine suggestion of taking honey to alleviate sniffles. Works great! To test this, mom & dad brought me honey from Spain. *SAME* wonderful effect. It isn't the local part of the honey that works, it's the *honey* part, irrespective of origin!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Gail (Powell, Wyoming) on 11/15/2005

I struggled with severe constipation for years, and it was getting worse. I tried many natural products and had always tried to stay away from harsh laxitives. I had a colonoscopy several months ago just to see if there was anything wrong. I did have 2 pre-cancerous polyps but no blockage. I had resorted to taking Golytely twice a day per my physician's recommendations, with poor results. (Golytely is used as a bowel prep!) My chiropractor said I should try honey, 2 teaspoons, three times a day. I thought, yeah, right! It works! (Do not give honey to babies, it can cause botulism in infants).


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ani (Ontario, Canada) on 11/26/2008

This remedy is especially good for kids but works for adults as well. It is mainly for coughs due to colds (not pneumonia or bronchitis - those require antibiotics). The honey is to be gently warmed so it's easier to spread on the chest, rub on chest like you would Vicks, and cover with cloth or towel. Best done at bed time so that you are laying down and not moving too much. Remove in morning. The honey causes the cough to ripen much quicker and releases all the mucous built up in the chest so you can expel it. It will not make you cough LESS, it will just allow your body to release the mucous quicker and hence get over the cough much faster. You can repeat the honey procedure every night until cured. My family has used this remedy for many years. Reminder, this is not like a cough syrup which simply suppresses your urge to cough. This is a method that allows enables your body to heal faster by expediting the process.