Beyond its de­li­cious taste, there’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the buzz about honey. Here’s how to tap the hive for faster heal­ing and stronger immune de­fence.


Find out why we’re so sweet on honey

In all their buzzing around, honey­­bees cre­ate a num­ber of healthy prod­ucts that have made ap­ither­apy a tra­di­tional health prac­tice since the time of an­cient Egypt. They in­clude bee pollen (the re­pro­duc­tive ma­te­rial of a flower gath­ered by worker bees), propo­lis (a glue-like mix­ture col­lected from plants and used to pro­tect the hive), royal jelly (the queen bee and lar­vae sub­sist on this en­zyme-rich milky sub­stance) and, of course, honey.

1 More than just a way to sweeten tea, honey is loaded with en­zymes, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants.

2 A 2003 study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Agri­cul­tural and Food Chem­istry showed that buck­wheat honey, es­pe­cially, con­tains a sig­nif­i­cant amount of an­tiox­i­dants, which help pro­mote healthy ag­ing and pro­tect against disease.

3 Up to two tea­spoons of honey can be as ef­fec­tive a cough sup­pres­sant as over-the­counter cough syrup and may im­prove the sleep of a cough­ing child. (Due to the risk of in­fant bot­u­lism, never give honey to a child younger than one year old.)

4 Honey may help re­lieve sea­sonal al­ler­gies and heal wounds. In fact, a 2008 study found that med­i­cal dress­ings con­tain­ing honey are also ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing in­fec­tion.

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