Who doesn’t love the taste of sweet, natural honey? For most people, however, it seems they know of only two uses: as a sweetener for coffee and other foods, or as a means of suppressing coughs.
I bet my grandmother could have rattled off a dozen ways in which you could use honey. I only wish that I had written it all down!
My grandmother is long gone now, but I do still remember a few of the things she used honey for. Here are five:
1. Skin care.
Honey is so sticky that you probably would never imagine washing your face with it! I did, however, as a teen, and I rarely had a pimple because of it. Yes, it’s messy — no getting around that — but clean-up is easy. Simply rub a tablespoon or so of pure, raw honey onto your face. Allow it to sit for 30 seconds or so, and then rinse with warm water. If you should find a zit, then use a cotton swab to put just a dab of honey on it; cover it with a bandage.
2. An emergency antibiotic.
Although modern-day antibiotics are absolute lifesavers, what would you do if you didn’t have any? You could always use the old WWI method and cauterize the wound, hoping infection didn’t set in (gives me the chills thinking about it!) or you could try some honey. Of course, we are talking about minor cuts and abrasions here.
Keep in mind that honey contains tons of vitamins and amino acids, and is quite gooey, so that if the wound were washed and then “sealed” with honey, it would be harder for infection to take hold. We would be wise to keep a few big jars of honey in our emergency medicine chest.
3. Sweet relief from insomnia.
Although there are numerous thoughts as to why this old-fashioned folk remedy works, the fact is that it’s pretty darn reliable! This seems to work especially well for those who wake up between 2 and 4 a.m. and find they can’t go back to sleep. Take a tablespoon of honey and sprinkle just a tiny bit of salt on top. Let it melt in your mouth, and you should fall asleep. This has worked well for both my husband and me.
4. Reduce seasonal allergies.
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you may have heard this one before, so bear with me. We actually heard about this from a very elderly gentleman who grew up here in the mountains. My husband had terrible allergy symptoms after we moved here, and he relied on Zyrtec to get through the season until this gentleman told us that all my husband needed to do was eat a tablespoon of the raw honey that comes from the bees on this mountain — and he would be “cured.” This method absolutely worked, but you need to use the honey for your location! New areas mean new plants, and new plants means new allergies, but at least my hubby can stay home and not honk his nose every 30 seconds!
5. Burn relief.
In my opinion, honey is one of the best burn treatments known to man! When I was a young teen, I burned my arm on the side of a kettle. I remember it well because it hurt like the dickens. While I was holding my arm under the cold-water faucet, grandma went straight to the cabinet and brought out a big jar of honey. She used a wooden spoon to gently drop some big gobs of honey on the burn, and then she wrapped my arm with loose-fitting bandage. She repeated this for three days, and then let it scab over. I remember that the honey felt so soothing! I don’t even have a scar, although I don’t know if I can contribute that to the honey or not.
One of the great things about honey is that it never seems to go rancid. Jars of honey, estimated to be 2,000-3,000 years old, were found in Egyptian tombs and were still good.
Of course, you can still use honey to treat sore throats, nagging coughs, and to sweeten your tea, but isn’t it nice to know that jar of honey has other uses?
Did your grandmother have other uses for honey? Do you? Share your tips and tricks in the section below: