I've lived in Central Texas my whole life. By which I mean to say I've had allergies my whole life. Although Austin is “only” 78 of the top 100 worst cities for allergies my nose doesn’t know that. I sneezed pretty much every morning for a solid year before I gave in and got tested for allergies. After getting pricked with every type of grass, pollen, mold, tree, and domestic animal in existence, only one didn’t irritate my skin. (Good news — I can get a pet horse when I grow up!)
Being a fan of natural remedies and an anti-fan of daily medication, I did some research to see what could help lessen my symptoms. I read that a daily spoonful of local honey just might do the trick. Already a frequent tea drinker, it was easy to add into my routine.
Thus began my addiction with raw, local honey.
Honey is now a staple in my house, in the kitchen and bathroom! It’s replaced a lot of other beauty and health care products, which has saved me a lot of money over time. So, since it’s National Honey Month, I wanted to share a list of unorthodox but awesome uses for honey that’ll sweeten up your budget.
Notes on what type of honey to use:
- Local honey is best for fighting allergies. The belief is that you are vaccinating yourself with tiny doses of local pollens since the spores are present in honey. (See more below.)
- Raw, unfiltered honey is better than regular when you want to benefit from its antiseptic qualities. Regular honey has been pasteurized which cooks out many of its benefits. Read more about raw versus regular on eHow.
- And be sure you never give honey to children under the age of one.
Unorthodox uses for honey that'll save you money.
- Allergy remedy – According to Discovery Health, there hasn’t been any conclusive scientific evidence that proves honey can cure allergies, but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence (myself included) as well as some smaller studies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies and don’t hate honey, it’s worth a try!
- Sore throat soother – Honey is throat lotion! Soothe your sore throat with a spoonful of honey straight from the bottle or add it to a warm mug of tea. Get fancier by making DIY cough syrup with honey, coconut oil, and lemon. Recipe at The Coconut Mama.
- Face wash & mask – I’ve been washing my face with honey for almost a year now. It’s known for its antiseptic and moisturizing qualities (which is why you see it in a lot of lip balms, masks, etc.). It has also worked wonders for people with acne problems. For a regular wash, when your face is dry (it helps it stick better), smooth a teaspoon or so of raw honey all over. Let it sit a minute or so before rinsing off. If you want to go for a face mask, leave it on for longer, 10-15 minutes. You can also try mixing in other ingredients. Check out these ideas from The Nourished Life.
- Healing ointment – Honey’s antiseptic and moisturizing qualities make it a great natural Neosporin. But why choose sticky honey over non-sticky over the counter ointment? If you’ve ever gotten a cut near your lips, you will love this. I once had an incredibly annoying cut at the corner of my lips. It was papercut-small, but it just wouldn’t heal because it would reopen whenever I needed to eat or talk. And I eat and talk a lot. Daily. After trying Neosporin to no avail, I read about using raw honey. It had dramatic results (significantly healed overnight) and was less gross to put near my mouth. If you have a cut, apply some honey to it, then seal with medical tape or a bandage. It’s magic.
- Chapped lip salve – Have chapped lips that just can’t be healed by waxy lip balms? Make a honey lip mask. Apply honey to your lips, let it sit for a bit (a minute or so), then rinse off. Try not to lick it off, as tempting as that is, because saliva can dry out your lips. Follow with a natural lip balm to seal in the moisture.
- Conditioning hair mask – Mix up some honey and coconut oil for a deliciously scented conditioning mask for your hair. Steps at The Everygirl.
- Moisturizing anti-dandruff shampoo – Be extra brave and go straight to washing your hair with honey! I haven’t done this one yet but I’m intrigued. Intrigued and a little scared. Honey’s moisturizing and antibacterial properties help calm frizz and reduce dandruff. Here’s a super easy recipe on Empowered Sustenance.
Have you tried any of the above uses for honey? What did you think?
Please note that I am not a doctor so none of the tips above should be seen as medical advice, just fun, cheap, DIY ideas!