By Julia Vinokur 

People have been collecting and using honey since the ancient times, and it has been known for its healing properties through the centuries.  It boosts your immune system and provides a great source of energy.  Honey has antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties.  It normalizes body’s physiological function and can be recommended as a supplement during many illnesses: 

• I usually find it very helpful if my children have a cold, which brings coughing and sneezing.  I give them one teaspoon of either pure raw honey (or mixed with some lemon juice), and some warm herbal tea.

• Honey mixed with lemon juice can help with nausea and can give a child more strength. 

• Honey can be used for anemia, as it has a lot of useful ingredients such as iron, copper and vitamin B. 

• Honey can be used during recovery from a stomach virus, due to it’s antiviral properties.  Beneficial enzymes can help with digestion and metabolism, and can speed up the healing process.

• As I mentioned above, honey has antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral properties, and it is a wonderful remedy for wounds and scratches.  It helps to stop the infection and heal your skin.  There are a lot of wonderful baby creams and lotions that have either honey or propolis as a main ingredient: Bella B, Burt’s Bees, Honey Babe, and Delizioso skincare, to name a few.

• Honey helps to keep up energy levels during long winter months when children feel tired from short days, spending time inside, doing a lot of schoolwork and various  after-school activities. 

• One teaspoon of honey before bedtime can calm a child down and helps to fall asleep faster.  It might even help with bed-wetting.

•Besides its heling properties, honey has a great taste.  My kids favorite desert is some honey mixed with nuts, raw sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds.  Our family’s most favorite are Manuka from New Zealand and local buckwheat. Honey can be a great substitute for sugar while baking.  We make gluten free muffins and cookies, and use honey to make them a little sweet.  Or better yet, we just put it on the top of the baked goods to enjoy sweet, aromatic and delicious product.

How to choose honey

shutterstock_honeyHoney is produced by bees that transform nectar from flowers inside their bodies and the beehive.  During this process, bees’ gland secretions gets released into honey, as well as chemical reactions take place inside a honeycomb, making it all part of making one of the most valuable products produced by nature.

The main beneficial ingredients of honey are minerals, microelements such as copper and iron, vitamins (K, E, C, B, folic acid), along with at least 20 amino acids and enzymes.  Such delicate balance can be destroyed very easily with heating.  Temperatures of 104 F and above can destroy all the valuable properties of honey, and transform it into sugary syrup.  Honey looses antiseptic functions and its unique aroma, becomes darker and does not crystalize over time.    

Therefore, I would suggest to stay away from processed honey and to choose local raw unprocessed brands that do not have any additives.  Such honey would be more cloudy and less liquid, would have wonderful aroma and will vary in color and composition depending on the region, climate, and flowers available.  Your children will love it and benefit from it!