Bees are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. The flying critters have been producing honey since the Cretaceous period (100 million years ago) when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. Bees are remarkably hard workers. For example, to produce one pound (454 milligrams) of honey, bees must visit two million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles (88,514 km). An average honey bee, despite its industriousness, only produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its short life span (28 to 35 days). This explains why bee colonies generally number in the tens of thousands. The speedy little fliers also travel great distances, generally within two miles of their hive. (Comparing their size to ours, that’s like us traveling 250 miles.) The bee product we’re most familiar with – honey – is a fundamental part of many cultures, whether it be in medicine, cuisine, or folklore about hungry bears. But, despite stirring it into hot tea or eating a spoonful for an energy fix, honey has many unusual or unexpected uses we don’t often hear about. We bring out these unexpected uses which range from baking to a parasite killer to its host of antibacterial and antioxidant uses. Honey is one of the most useful substances on Earth and in this list it receives its rightful place, especially as it applies to strange ways honey can be used. So pick up a comb and buzz through this list of 25 Unexpected and Unusual Uses for Honey.
Suppresses nighttime cough
In at least two studies, honey was compared with a common on-the-market cough suppressant and antihistamine and, in both studies, was found to reduce nighttime cough better than both medicines.
As a diet aide
Here’s an unexpected use for honey that we didn’t expect! Honey can boost metabolism, which is good news for anyone on a diet looking for a little extra help. Green tea also boosts metabolism, so for a double boost turn to honey if you’re looking for a sweetener for that afternoon cuppa.
Puts insomnia to bed
For those who have trouble sleeping, turn to a bit of honey before bed. The sugars in honey releases serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, that the body converts into melatonin, an important chemical which regulates our sleep. Even more melatonin may be produced when the brain processes the honey’s tryptophan (the same chemical in turkey that makes us feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner) into the hormone.
If you have lasting scars you’re looking to make less noticeable, rub on a mixture of equal parts honey and coconut or olive oil. Cover the area with a warm washcloth for fifteen minutes to fade the color of scars.
Much research is currently underway into the effect of honey in relieving allergies. Though results are still awaited, naturopathic doctors claim the trace amounts of pollen which remain in honey can act much in the same way as a inoculation. The levels bring the body to produce antibodies which would combat a full blown allergy, leading to less discomfort and less of an allergic response.