Natural Health

The “Healthy” Sweetener That’s Medicine, Too

My Sleep Miracle

My Sleep Miracle

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The “Healthy” Sweetener That’s Medicine, Too about My Sleep Miracle

Honey has enjoyed spectacular popularity as both a food and medicine for thousands of years.

Modern analyses of honey not only prove the ancients were right in their reverence for honey, but they also show honey contains a surprising number of natural compounds that work together synergistically to support better health.

Here’s how to take advantage of all these benefits of this ancient super food…

Ancient stone age paintings depict the use of honey. The ancient Assyrians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans applied honey on their wounds to help them heal and also took honey internally to treat intestinal diseases.

Recently, when researchers took a super-magnified look at what’s so special about honey, they were in for a real medicinal surprise…

Hidden Cellular Messages

A study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln demonstrates that honey contains tiny nano-scale particles enclosed by membranes that contain DNA and RNA designed to communicate signals between cells.

These particles are similar to the exosomes – tiny structures – found in the human body. Exosomes have membranes around them and are now considered to be supremely important to the way cells communicate with each other. They influence inflammation along with other vital processes in the body.

In the Nebraska study of honey’s little particles – also known as vesicles – researchers found that they contained more than 140 proteins from plants and more than 80 proteins from bees. Then, in lab tests, they discovered that the vesicles could limit inflammation and reduce cellular damage caused by excessive inflammation – particularly in the liver.1

Helping Skin to Heal

Another aspect of honey now being examined is its ability to support the way skin damage heals. For thousands of years, honey has been used as an aid to wound-healing – a practice that many people still use today.

And with good reason: It works!

According to researchers, honey’s anti-bacterial effect partly depends on the fact that it contains hydrogen peroxide – which kills bacteria. But while the hydrogen peroxide you can buy at a supermarket can damage skin cells, the peroxide in honey is released slowly so that it stops the growth of bacteria while only having a very gentle effect on the skin. Added to that, honey also kills bacteria by pulling water out of bacterial cells.2

The Type of Honey Matters

In studies of how honey helps the skin recover from injury, a lot of research has focused on manuka honey, a type of honey produced by bees in New Zealand and Australia. The name “manuka” originates with the Maori name for the flowering tea plant, the tree that grows in New Zealand and Australia where these bees get their pollen.

Manuka honey contains many unique bioactive compounds that, researchers say, boost healing – things like methylglyoxal (MGO) and plant chemicals called polyphenols. The compound MGO – which is unique to manuka honey – limits bacterial growth by interfering with the bacteria’s swarming and swimming ability.3

Manuka honey is so good at helping the skin recover from damage, that researchers in Japan are now developing wound dressing that incorporates this type of honey. Meanwhile, you can find manuka honey bandages already on shelves in the United States. And, I have it on good authority that many wound care centers already incorporate manuka honey into the treatment of various kinds of hard-to-heal wounds. One friend recounted how pharmaceutical grade honey applied to her father’s leg ulcerations at a wound care center helped them heal more effectively.

Honey helps heal internal health problems, too.

Honey Can Help Keep Blood Sugar Under Control

I know it sounds contradictory, but even though honey is so sweet, using it properly in your diet can help you keep your blood sugar down.

As researcher Tauseef Khan, M.D., who has studied honey’s characteristics at the University of Toronto, explains, “[Our study results] are surprising because honey is about 80 per cent sugar. But honey is also a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other bioactive compounds that very likely have health benefits.”4

Of course, Dr. Khan also warns that you shouldn’t gulp down gobs of honey. Instead, it should be used as a substitute for other sugar that might be in your diet. And, in any case, he says honey and other sugars should, in total, only represent ten percent or less of your daily calories.

Dr. Khan’s review study demonstrates that raw honey works best for health because the heat used in pasteurizing honey destroys many of honey’s beneficial substances. In the research Dr. Khan and his colleagues reviewed, the median dose of honey that seems to work best was about two tablespoons daily.

My Takeaway

My take on this is that these tests confirm that honey – in moderation – can be a part of just about anybody’s health regimen. (But don’t feed it to children younger than two-years old. It may contain microbes their immune systems can’t handle, not to mention that the consistency can also result in choking).

As John Sievenpiper, M.D., Ph.D., another University of Toronto researcher, explains, “The word among public health and nutrition experts has long been that ‘a sugar is a sugar. [Our] results show that’s not the case.”

So, the next time you crave a little sweetener with your food or drink, use raw honey. Just don’t overdo it.

My Sleep Miracle

My Sleep Miracle

Safe, Natural Sleep Support


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