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Do you like to spread honey on your toast or pancakes in the morning? Or put it in hot water to soothe a sore throat or cough?
Honey has long been used as a source of both food and medicine, but is it actually that good for you?
This sweet substance, made by bees from plant nectar, is rich in antioxidants and generally thought to be healthier than more refined ‘table’ sugar. But honey is still a form of sugar and high in calories, so should be eaten in moderation to help prevent weight gain and tooth decay.
The medicinal benefits, however, are well-researched.
Honey has a long history as a treatment for wounds, for example. Studies show it can have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce pain, control infections and help speed up the healing process. As a result, medical-grade honey is often used in wound dressings.
But you should always get the advice of a pharmacist or other medical professional before using honey on a wound.
Some studies also suggest that compounds within honey, such as antioxidants, may provide some protection against certain chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer (though more research is needed):
And while adding honey to hot water and lemon doesn't treat a cough or sore throat, it can help to soothe them by having a similar effect to cough medicine.
Quote of the day
A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.
A. A. Milne, writer