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The many benefits of honey

By Ada Onyema

If you are one of those who avoid pap because you want to minimise your sugar intake, there is a way out. You can avoid sugar and still enjoy sweet tasting pap by simply adding honey.

Honey is man's oldest sweetener, so it serves as a good substitute for sugar. But much more important than that, it is highly medicinal and have been scientifically proven to be able to penetrate certain tissues that some orthodox drugs cannot penetrate to take kill certain variants of virus that often prove stubborn.

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose, as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate.

It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3, all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities.

If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat the honey that is found in your locality, it may prevent your seasonal allergies.

Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. You can use honey instead of alpha hydroxyl masks because of its high content of the acid. It is also safe for sensitive skin.

You can also use it as a moisturiser and a hair conditioner. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.

If you have sore throat, take some honey. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly. It also contains chemicals that are capable of killing viruses, bacteria and fungi, making it a good substitute for wound dressing. The taste may also take your mind off the pain.

Experts are of the opinion that honey diluted in water can help to ease stomach aches and take care of dehydration. Honey may also be effective in the treatment of ulcer.

A major advantage of honey is that it does not only prevent infections, it accelerates the healing of wounds.

Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars, like fructose to glucose, it is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.

Another quality of honey is that, when compared with the same amount of sugar, it gives 40 per cent less calories to the body. Although it gives great energy to the body, it does not add weight. It has a laxative effect on the digestion system of an individual and helps provide relief from constipation.

Honey has been associated with treatment of persistent coughs and sore throat and its consumption is believed to provide relief from diarrhoea and dysentery. It has been found to have anti-bacterial properties, which seem to increase when it is diluted with water.

Honey helps in cleansing blood and has positive effects on the regulation of blood circulation. Having antiseptic properties, honey is good for treating burns and infected surgical wounds.

Honey helps to improve appetite, especially in children. It reduces the production of acid in the mouth, so it is good for oral health.

Being much lower in calories, as compared to sugar, and having a very low fat content, honey is good for those who are trying to lose weight.

When used in the form of face packs, honey helps in rejuvenating the skin and also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Honey has been found to be beneficial to those suffering from anaemia, asthma, baldness, fatigue and exhaustion, headache and migraine, high blood pressure and insect bites.

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