Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Make Your Own Medicine with Honey from the - Pantry Series

Welcome to the first part in our "Make Your Own Medicine with Pantry Provisions" section of the pantry series.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
~ Hippocrates

Jacqueline at Deep Roots at Home (with a nursing background and love for natural healing) has graciously agreed to share some information from her archives that will turn your basic food storage into a medicine cabinet as well!

Raw honey is a staple in our "Essential Pantry List" and today we will learn 6 medicinal uses:

When our children were small, we developed allergies to many things because of exposure to mold. I read that local honey would help with allergies. That was the beginning of our interest in honey and bees.

It’s a simple theory that’s explained in countless books on folk medicine. Honeybees will deposit small amounts of the offending pollen in all that honey they produce. If that honey is made using flower nectar from the allergy sufferer’s locale, chances are pretty good that the pollen in the honey is the same type that’s causing your problem.

Eating honey over time just might help desensitize the body’s immune system. But believers of this theory said it’s only if the honey is raw and produced locally.

Why Raw?

Raw honey is honey fresh from the comb. It’s not pasteurized and therefore is still full of healthy enzymes. We know now that store-bought pasteurized honey is not much better than white sugar. The heat from pasteurization kills the beneficial enzymes and complex nutrients rendering them useless to the body.

(You will need to know that raw honey is more dense and will likely need to be spooned, especially in the cool months. The heating process which makes off-the-shelf honey squeeze out of a little hole also kills the enzymes and other properties, so you will have to think about using your honey slightly differently. I wrote a post about our hives and how to gently soften your raw honey for use.)

My Sweet Seven Bee-utiful Uses:

As I researched honey I was surprised to find so many benefits beyond sweetening. Here are 7 things I found beneficial to my family, but there are many more.

1. Soothing a Sore Throat

Honey is an excellent natural alternative to cough medicine as it can reduce cough and sooth that sore throat. See my recipe.

raw, local honey, helps sore throats, golden, clover, wildflower

2. Preventing Allergies

Taking 1 teaspoon of local, raw honey per day before and during allergy season can prevent your allergy symptoms. This works on the basis of “like cures like” and is the reason that your honey should be local. Local honey has a higher likelihood to contain triggers for your allergy symptoms. My son still takes a teaspoon of raw honey on the spoon before going out to rake or bale hay.

raking into windrows, hay field, big round bales

3. Acne, Sunburn, and Wound Healing

If you get sunburn, you can apply a thin layer of honey to help the skin heal. Cover and leave on as long as you can, then wash or shower and pat dry. A spot treatment overnight for acne works quickly. Place a little piece of tissue over it to keep it from getting on your pillowcase.

Raw honey is antiseptic which means it prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. Used topically on wounds and burns, it reduces pain and lessens scarring.
“The data show that the wound healing properties of honey include stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation. These effects are ascribed to honey’s acidity, hydrogen peroxide content, osmotic effect, nutritional and antioxidant contents, stimulation of immunity, and tounidentified compounds.” ~Scientific World Journal. 2011 Apr 5;11:766-87.
4. Fight Indigestion

Take a teaspoon to help fight indigestion. An upset tummy will often settle right down.

5. Vitamin and Mineral Benefits

Honey not only naturally contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C, but also important minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and phosphorous. Honey contains minerals and amino acids that are good for the reproductive system and stimulate the ovary’s function.

6. Constipation

When mixed with apple cider vinegar raw honey can help relieve constipation naturally.

7. Honey will keep forever without spoiling if stored properly.

We think a certain quantity of raw honey is a great thing to have on your list of preparedness items for food and medicine.


This little honeybee was slumped over and just about out of energy on chilly day this spring. I brought out a spoon with a dab of raw honey and placed it gently under its antennae. Within seconds, it snapped to an alert position and began feeding. It was there for over 30 minutes before it flew away, so I suppose this is another benefit of having raw honey on hand :)

tired honeybee eating honey,

“And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ~Deuteronomy 26: 8-9

When we honor God, He honors us… His blessings overflow! From the milk to the honey; our food is a gift from Him.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use. Using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is approved by the FDA or intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on this blog are my opinion or the opinion of others.

For 38 years, I have been a wife to my husband and a teacher of our children in the home. Now a new season has come, and with the blessing of my husband, I write this blog as an encouragement to myself and others. (Titus 2: 3-5) How important is this role of speaking into the lives of younger women! The habits of the home in one generation become the morals of society in the next. As William Ross Wallace said: “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”


  1. This is a wonderful series, JES! Thanks for sharing Jacqueline's wisdom with us; I look forward to reading more. :)

    Blessings to you and yours, ~Lisa

    1. Thank you Lisa :) I agree with you ~ Jacqueline is a trove of treasures! Happy homemaking! ~ JES

  2. Thank you for posting this! I did learn a few new ways to use raw honey. I also take Royal Jelly daily. But we do get raw honey every fall from our local Bee Man :)
    Blessings, Roxy

    1. Excellent! Thanks for sharing here today :) Royal Jelly is in some of my face cream and it is ambrosia for the skin :)

  3. Hello Jes,
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information on raw honey. I had a very pleasant 15 minutes looking back over your blog yesterday and I'm thrilled with all the wisdom to be found here. I have just filled 2 jars with lavender flowers and vinegar and will be potting up some little cuttings for gifts and to plant in other parts of our garden. I look forward to going back to the very beginning of your posting and reading all the way through a jotting down some of the treasures for future reference.
    Have a lovely week end and I'll watch out for your next post.
    Blessings Gail
    (from Australia)

    1. Dear Gail, thank you for your sweet visit! You are welcome to drop by anytime :) I hope all your endeavors are fruitful and fun! Happy homemaking ~ JES

  4. Hello Bee Products lover, Our new title to arrive is Bee Products for Better Health and you may want to review. A digital sampler or hard copy is available and our trade discounts are good. Let me know if you would like more information. Thank you, MaryEllen@bookpubco.com.

  5. Thank you for all this interesting information!! Just found your site a few weeks ago and have loved all your post! We are trying to learn more about homesteading ways and I am very interested in and trying to learn herbal remedies. Look forward to reading more from you. Thanks!!!

    1. Thanks for sharing here today Julie. It is very helpful to hear what interests our readers and so I appreciate you introducing yourself! We hope to share more herbal remedies in future posts. Have a wonderful week ~ JES