Author: Lily Mazzarella
Honey: More than just a sweet treat.
In its raw, unheated/unpasteurized form, you may be shocked at the plethora of heavy hitting health benefits honey possesses.
Here’s a quick look at just part of its impressive medicinal resume.
Has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties (due in part to enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide), against terrifying microorganisms such as resistant staph, and run-of-the-mill E. coli, H. Pylori, and Salmonella. It works especially well topically—which makes it great for anywhere honey can come in direct contact with: think facial skin care for rosacea and acne, skin infections, sore throats, and upper GI infections.
Accelerates wound healing topically, with promise for stomach ulcers.
Is used worldwide in hospital burn units to keep 2nd and 3rd degree burns moist and germ-free, and speed healing.
Unlike conventional antibiotics, does not engender resistance.
Contains minute amounts of pollens and reduces seasonal allergies in some regular consumers of local varieties.
Is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as potent antioxidants, and support healthy inflammatory tone and collagen formation.
Combining honey with herbs is an ancient practice that ups the medicinal ante (and makes bitter medicines more palatable!). Honey is also a good solvent for certain plant constituents, and helps to preserve herbs.
Garlic and honey form a particularly intriguing combination; while you might not think it a winning one, honey takes the edge off raw garlic and buffers its intense flavor, as well as its effects on sensitive stomachs.
Garlic packs its own antimicrobial/antiviral punch, and is an immune and circulatory stimulant. You are already acutely aware that garlic’s constituents penetrate throughout the respiratory tract (garlic breath, anyone?), where they help to thin mucus and fight infection. Its volatile sulfur compounds render it energetically heating, which can help your system mount its defenses at the onset of a cold or flu, or during a damp, lingering sickness marked by abundant clear/white/greenish phlegm.
Sage is a classic herb for sore throat—and has one of the longest records of medicinal use. It is rich in flavonoids, essential oils, and potently anti-inflammatory rosmarinic acid.
2-3 heads of organic garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons chopped dried sage leaves
1 cup raw, preferably local, honey
Mix sage and chopped garlic together, and add to jar.
Cover with honey, and stir to remove air bubbles.
Store in a dry, cool place (do not refrigerate).
Take 1 spoonful as needed as a daily immune tonic, for sore throats, or at the onset of a cold/flu.
This can be strained after it becomes runny. If you think you’ll use it up within the season, you can leave the garlic and sage in the honey.
The quick and dirty version:
Place a chopped garlic clove in a spoonful of honey and swallow. Follow up with a piping hot cup of sage tea.
*Though your baby probably wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole, do keep in mind that the safe age for honey consumption begins at 1 year. Earlier than that and your baby could be at risk for infant botulism. Avoid if you have allergies to bee products.