Honey is the sweet golden product of nectar which has been processed and stored by bees for times of scarcity. The actual way it is created involves a lot of bee regurgitation so I won’t go into too much detail (but you can read about it here if you’re in the mood), however, the final product has delighted humans, bears and all sweet toothed animals for centuries.
The colour and texture of honey can vary greatly depending on where it is harvested and what flowers the nectar has come from. A lot of generic supermarket ‘runny honey’ has been processed to make it clearer which, unfortunately, means that a lot of its natural goodness has been stripped. To get the most out of the phytonutrients that are responsible for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, invest in some unprocessed raw honey. It tastes great too!
Honey not only sweetens our tea beautifully, it also has a whole host of other uses ranging from skin and hair care to providing soothing relief for raw throats.
A honey and ginger ‘tea’ can work wonders for relieving mild nausea. Simply slice up some ginger, add a spoonful of honey and top with hot water.
A very similar concoction made of hot water, honey and lemon (and a splash of whisky if you’re feeling fancy) has been used since our grannies’ grannie’s times and is a great way to soothe, if not cure, a sore throat.
Treating yourself to a daily spoonful of raw local honey has been said to help diminish symptoms of hayfever allergies. The theory behind this is that consuming small quantities of flower nectar contained in the honey acts as a sort of exposure therapy for your system and helps it cope better.
You may have noticed how many skincare products list honey as a main ingredient. This is because honey is not only anti-inflammatory but also an amazing moisturiser. Try it neat on your legs after shaving to soothe irritation or give this great DIY honey face mask a go. It only has 4 ingredients and made my skin feel deliciously soft!
Same goes for hair. To leave your locks feeling shiny and supple simply mash together a ripe banana with a few squirts of honey and massage into your hair and scalp, then rinse after 15 minutes. A super easy, all natural vegan mask for which you most likely already have the ingredients!
Or why not try incorporating honey into your favourite recipes for a cleaner (and tastier) alternative to sugar. The delicious dressing for our October salad is a great place to start if you're after something nice and simple for a weekday lunch.