Honey: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


Apis mellifera

Honey is a trendy food and pharma ingredient preferred by most people as a natural remedy to treat different diseases. It is a medium thick, viscous fluid and sweet liquid made by honeybees belonging to the genus Apis.  Honey is the best example of the perfection of sweetness.  The smell, color, and taste of each variety of Honey are different; for example, buckwheat honey brown because of its malty flavor.

Fireweed honey is translucent, and it has a tea-like taste. From old age, Honey has a unique place in Ayurveda. It has been used as traditional medicine. The bees work unitedly in beehives; Flowers secret sugary fluid to attract insects called nectar. Bees ingest, digest, and then vomit the nectar in beehives.

The final product, which is Honey is store in honeycombs bypassing one bee to other. This Honey is stored as a portion of food for all bees for the long term. For increasing the sugar content in Honey and inhibit the fermentation, bees constantly pass air and vaporize water from Honey with the help of their wings. During the winter season, the stored food, i.e. Honey, is used by Honey bees.

The vital characteristic of Honey is its unique, pleasing chemical composition, fantastic flavor, which is the reason it is used in various food items for cooking, baking, and medicinal products. The Honey contains fructose and glucose, and it is responsible for giving sweetness to Honey. Honey has many monosaccharides, which hinders fermentation; therefore, it is used for long-term preservatives.

Production of Honey

The Honey is produced by Honey bee’s of specific category belongs to species Apis mellifera. The Honey can also be made by wild bee’s which are domesticated. The European bees can produce about 20-30 kg of Honey per year.

Source of Honey

Honeybees are basically from Eurasia. They are also grown in other countries like China, India, Turkey, Iran, Ethiopia, Argentina, and the USA.

Other Names for Honey.

It is also called Apis mellifera, Tiga, Mee Peni Shehad, Madhu.

  • In Sanskrit, it is known as Madhu, Rasa, Kusumasav.
  • In Tamil, it is known as Ten.
  • In Hindi, it is known as Madhu.
  • In Telugu, it is known as Tene.
  • In Marathi, It is known as Madha.
  • In English, it is known as Honey.

Nutritional facts of Honey

Generally, 100 gms of Honey contains sugar, including glucose, sucrose, maltose, fructose, and some antioxidants. Honey also contains less fiber, no fat, and no cholesterol. Honey is composed of some phenolics and flavonoids, which are responsible for their antioxidant property.

Content Amount per 100g
Energy 304 kcal
Carbs 82 g
Total sugar 82 g
Potassium 52 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Fat 0 mg
Protein 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

Therapeutic uses of Honey

Honey has been used as a sweetener in food, beverages, and some of the daily nutrition. It is used in baking, cooking, desserts, and prominently to prepare health medicines. Mead is a fermented alcoholic Drink/Beverage prepared by mixing Honey, water, and yeast in specific proportions. The whole mixture is fermented for weeks or sometimes more than a year. Mead contains almost no calories and no fat, so this will be a suitable replacement for refined sugar.

Medicinal benefits of Honey

  • Consumption of Honey may reduce blood pressure, which is a vital risk factor for heart disease.
  • Honey has antibacterial properties, and thus it might be good in the case of diarrhea.
  • A research study on Honey showed that it could inhibit the growth of bacteria (S. aureus and C. Albicans), which are responsible for causing diarrhea.

Honey for local application

  • Honey contains various flavonoids and antioxidants, which are known to possess anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Honey is best for healing burns wound, post-operative wounds, and diabetic foot.
  • The Manuka type honey is preferable for faster, healthy wound healing, as it helps in killing germs and prevents secondary infections.
  • Honey has perfect antimicrobial activity, and this helps in giving an excellent effect during psoriasis and herpes.

Honey for face and skin problems

  • Traditionally, Honey is being used for treating skin problems due to its antioxidant property.
  • Honey helps to soften, nourish, and give glow skin.
  • Honey helps to stop the cell damage on the face, reducing the rate of wrinkle formation on the face.

Honey for diabetes

  • There is a research study which showed that Honey triggers insulin production, and this helps in lowering sugar level in blood.
  • Honey has a low glycemic index. This is directly related to decreasing the sugar level compared with the white sugar.
  • Honey can be an excellent alternative to white sugar.

Honey and cough

  • Honey helps in reducing the cough symptoms in children.
  • Consumption of Honey may likewise help in facilitation coughing and sore throats.
  • Honey has excellent mucolytic property, and this is very much required for getting relief from chest congestion by loosening thick mucus.
  • For the treatment of dry and wet cough, Honey is one of the best home remedies.
  • In case of cough and throat irritation, Honey is taken with ginger juice and black pepper.

Honey and Lemon mask

Honey and Lemon are together a good source of antioxidants. Honey and Lemon’s synergistic effect helps to prevent cell damage to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Lemon is a good source of vitamin C that helps fade the blemishes, whereas Honey is hygroscopic that helps moisturize the face.

Honey and cholesterol

  • Consumption of Honey helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels because of its antioxidant property.
  • The polyphenols in Honey help lower the LDL (bad cholesterol), whereas it improves HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Honey due to antioxidant property, it helps in preventing the oxidation of LDL.

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The recommended dosage of Honey for different health conditions

Conditions Preparation  Dosage/day
Improved digestion Take one teaspoon of Honey and mix it with one glass of lukewarm water. This mixture is taken while an empty stomach. One time
Cough and sore throat Take one teaspoon of ginger juice, then add one teaspoon of Honey into it. Take this mixture during the night before going to bed. One time
Weight loss Take one glass of lukewarm water and squeeze half a lemon into it. Then add two teaspoons of Honey into it. This mixture is taken in the morning. One time
For Skin Take two teaspoons of Multani mitti, then add two teaspoons of Honey and rose water into it. Apply this mixture to the face. Three times a Week
For Hairs Take half a cup of curd, then add four teaspoons of Honey into it. Mix it well, and then apply it on hairs. Once a week.

Precautions and side effects While Using Honey

  • For infants younger than a year, consumption of Honey is not advisable. It is due to bacterial spores’ presence in Honey, which can lead to botulism in infants.
  • Honey should be properly pasteurized, or heat-treats before its consumption as it contains large amounts of local pollen, which may lead to allergic reactions.
  • Honey should not be heat treated for a longer time, leading to chemical changes in natural sugars in it.
  • Excess consumption of Honey may lead to diarrhea.
  • Consumption of Honey is avoided by breastfeeding women as the raw Honey contains specific contaminants, which can harm both the developing baby and the mother.
  • Combination of Redish and Honey as together they form a toxin.


Is Honey beneficial for Sunburn?

Yes, Honey is beneficial for treating Sunburn. Honey possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; these properties help in soothing and repairing skin during Sunburn. Due to the hygroscopic nature of Honey, it helps to moisturize the skin.

Is Honey Good for improving the body’s immune system?

Yes, Honey is very beneficial in improving the body’s immune system. Honey contains various phenolics with antioxidant properties and helps prevent cell damage to protect from cancer conditions. Honey helps in preventing allergies and thereby makes the cells healthier. Honey also controls the release of chemical components that helps in regulating the body’s immune system.


Honey is considered an ayurvedic medicine that is used for both internal and external applications. There are various medicinal uses of Honey for treating health conditions like cough, phlegm, thirst, hiccups, diabetes, leprosy, obesity, worm infestation, asthma, vomiting, healing wounds, and diarrhea.

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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.