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.
A parasite killer
The dawn of the railroad was also a golden age for the conman. Traveling from city to city selling seemingly useful “tonics”, the conman mostly sold inert and bogus mixtures passed off as medicine before hopping the next train out of town. He must have never thought of using a honey tonic. A mixture of honey, vinegar, and water can be consumed to kill intestinal parasites.
Ayurvedic practitioners highly regard honey for its use in helping eyesight (and, in some ways, curing pink eye when applied directly with water). Mixed with carrot juice (another eyesight helper), honey is unexpectedly reputed to treat conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and exhaustion from too many hours in front of computer or television screens.
Sweetens and emulsifies Asian sauces
Many Asian sauces are based upon the balance of complex flavors such as sweet, salty, bitter, and more. When making a salad dressing, drizzle for pork, or any sauce at home, use honey in place of any sugar. Since it’s an emulsifier, honey will add sweetness while helping thicken the sauce.
Neutralizes bad breath
Honey’s antibacterial properties are also useful in taking down halitosis. This unusual use for honey sees us gargle with a mixture of one teaspoon of honey, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a cup of warm water. An advantage of this method is that your breath with have the freshness of cinnamon, too.
Combats acid reflux
A study in the British Medical Journal found that honey can be useful in combating acid reflux. Before reaching for that Zantac pill, take a spoonful of honey. Coating the throat (or, as the 2002 study scientifically refers to it, the Oesophageal mucosa), honey helps soothe the throat and reduce acid reflux.