Honey is the raw, natural product got from bees.
Bees make honey from flower nectar, mixed with special enzymes present in bee saliva. This is deposited in the hives and humans use this for various purposes.
We get amber, white, brown, black or red honey.
The texture and flavor depend on the flower nectar from which it is collected. Honey is commonly collected from flowers like – clover, acacia, heather, alfalfa, lavender and thyme.
Good quality (pure) raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
It promotes overall health, strengthens the immune system for it has antioxidant properties, eliminates allergies, improves digestive health and is a fantastic remedy for various skin ailments.
Raw honey is said to maintain optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
It can relieve pain, calm nerves and be used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
For specific allergies, honey from local sources can offer excellent benefits for it will contain pollens specific to that region which may be the cause of the allergy.
Applying a poultice made from honey on rashes, burns and abrasions can offer quick relief.
Acne blemishes can be cleared with small amounts of honey applied overnight.
Raw honey has antibiotic benefits and can treat sore throat and cold. There are different types of honey and each has its own specific benefits.
- Manuka honey is used to treat sore throat, cold, stomach ulcers, indigestion, and acne
- Acacia honey provides health benefits to the liver, intestine and respiratory tract
- Buckwheat honey has antioxidant properties but is difficult to find
- Eucalyptus honey is used for headaches and colds
- Heather honey contains proteins and can be used to treat many medical conditions
- Linden honey has antiseptic and sedative properties and is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and bronchitis
- Neem honey is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes, blood pressure, periodontal diseases, allergies and skin, and throat infections.
Table of Contents
Cinnamon and Honey – Benefits
Honey and Cinnamon have been used together since long for various health purposes.
In the subsequent paragraphs, the varied benefits of cinnamon and honey have been elucidated.
These benefits are not restricted to a few conditions but are wide-ranging and effective.
To fight against microbes
The combination of cinnamon and honey has shown to inhibit the growth of various bacterial strains in the laboratory.
However, there are no reports regarding the same effects on human beings.
However, it is popularly believed that the individual anti-bacterial effects are potent enough to inhibit the growth of bacteria upon consumption.
In a study performed in 2008, various extracts of cinnamon, as well as its essential oils, were tested for their activity against microbial strains.
It was found that they were effective against Listeria monocytogenes which is a common foodborne pathogen.
In a study published in FASEB in 2010, it has been reported that bees produce a specific protein known as defensin-1 which inhibits the growth of bacteria.
They attributed the anti-bacterial effect of honey to this protein and elucidated the molecular mechanism of the inhibition.
In the study performed, they tested the efficacy of honey against numerous bacterial strains including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, and Psuedomonas aeruginosa.
All the bacterial strains were killed at a concentration of 10-20% honey. Thus, honey can act as an effective anti-bacterial agent.
Cinnamon and honey are also known to inhibit certain strains of fungi.
The component of cinnamon which is responsible for this activity is o-methoxycinnamaldehyde.
It was isolated and purified from powdered cinnamon and it was seen to inhibit the growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus falvus at a concentration of 100 μg/ml and Aspergillus ochraceusand Aspergillus versicolor at 200 μg/ml.
Honey, on the other hand, is known to have effects against various species of Candida.
Candida is an important cause of infections all over the world and thus, honey could possibly be used as an anti-fungal agent.
The combination of honey and cinnamon can thus, act a potent anti-biotic paste.
Prevention of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death all over the world and a tremendous amount of research is being conducted all over the world to develop treatments for cardiovascular diseases.
A review published in 2010 describes all the potential benefits of honey and its various polyphenols in preventing heart disease.
The natural polyphenols present in honey act as very good anti-oxidant agents. In addition to this, various ingredients like acacetin, kaempferol, galangin, etc. can also help to treat cardiovascular disease.
In the cases of coronary heart disease, the honey can act as an anti-thrombotic, anti-ischemic, anti-oxidant as well as a vasorelaxant.
The flavonoids present in honey also help to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by improving vasodilation, decreasing platelet coagulation and preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins.
Thus, the consumption of honey can have numerous benefits in the case of heart disease.
Like honey, cinnamon too has anti-oxidant properties.
In many cardiovascular conditions, there exists a high oxidizing environment.
Thus, cinnamon can help to inhibit the oxidative damage which occurs, in particular, the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins.
Cinnamaldehyde, which is the principal component of cinnamon, can help to inhibit platelet aggregation and thus, reduce the chances of stroke and heart attacks.
Cinnamon also helps to reduce blood pressure and therefore, reduce hypertension-associated heart disease.
Thus, cinnamon and honey both have numerous beneficial properties which can be utilized in conjugation to improve the diseased heart condition.
A combination of honey and cinnamon has been seen to revitalize the arteries and also helps to reduce the cholesterol levels by almost 10%.
Thus, this combination can help to prevent a heart attack from occurring.
Improving Oral Health
Our teeth often undergo structural damage due to microbes and tooth decay.
While our food is broken down in the mouth, the bacteria present in the mouth utilize the food particles to stick to the teeth and form a plaque.
Plaque formation often culminates in the formation of cavities.
Historical evidence suggests that our ancestors' used toothpicks dipped in cinnamon oil to treat any toothache or cavities.
This is helpful as cinnamon oils are known to have anti-microbial properties.
Since microbes are the major cause of many teeth disorders, the beneficial properties of cinnamon against bacteria can be employed to treat this condition.
A study conducted in 2011 compared the properties of cinnamon oil and clove oil against oral microbes.
They found that the cinnamon oils were more effective, exhibiting a broad spectrum of anti-bacterial activity.
It was most effective against Streptococcus mutans, which is the causative agent of dental plaques.
Thus, they demonstrated the potential use of cinnamon oils to treat dental caries.
A study by a research group in New Zealand has shown that honey can also help to reduce dental cavities.
They showed that honey helped to inhibit the proliferation of the bacteria associated with the dental plaque and also helped to reduce the amount of the damaging acids produces by the bacteria.
This, in turn, prevents the bacteria from producing dextran which is the major component of plaque which enables the bacteria to stick to the teeth.
Thus, the beneficial properties of cinnamon and honey could be combined to improve oral health.
To help lose weight:
One of the most surprising properties of honey which have been recently discovered is that honey can help to lose weight! Nutritionist Mike McInnes, in his book ‘The Honey Diet’ discovered that athletes who consume fructose-rich foods such as honey burn a lot more fats and also have enhanced stamina.
This is attributed to the fact that honey induces the liver to produce more glucose which in turn signals the brain to release fat burning hormones.
A very simple way to lose weight is to replace all the sugar you consume with honey.
It also involves exercising, eliminating refined flour and junk food from the diet and enhancing protein intake. ,
Although there are is very little research regarding the possibility that cinnamon can help to lose weight, it has been suggested that its property to lower blood glucose levels could be beneficial in this regard.
Many problems related to obesity are often associated with insulin resistance and blood glucose concentration.
It is a known fact that cinnamon helps to lower blood glucose levels. Thus, indirectly, cinnamon can help to lose weight in combination with honey.
For skin care
Skin is the largest organ of our body and is constantly exposed to numerous damaging agents.
Skin aging is another process which is continuous and also damages the skin.
A research study suggests that cinnamon extracts promote the production of type I Collagen by the dermal fibroblast cells which make up the skin.
The major ingredient of cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde is responsible for this biosynthesis.
The molecular mechanism involved in the activation of the Insulin-like growth factor I receptor and the corresponding signaling axis.
This process helps to improve the symptoms of aging.
In addition to this, cinnamon in combination with numerous other ethanolic extracts from various plants helped to enhance the hydration and viscoelastic properties of the skin.
This is attributed to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of cinnamon and the other herbal extracts.
Honey, on the other hand, has numerous emollient, humectant and soothing and cooling effects on the skin.
It also helps to reduce skin wrinkling and helps to condition the hair.
It is an important constituent of numerous cosmetics including lip ointments, hydrating creams, skin lotions, and conditioners.
These benefits of honey will vary according to the source of the honey.
Honey has also been used since ancient times to treat skin wounds and infections.
Natural unprocessed honey can be used to treat a wide range of wounds.
One of the first medically certified honey which were available for use as a professional wound care product was Medihoney™.
Thus, cinnamon and honey together can be applied as a paste or a face mask to improve the health of the skin or to treat acne.
3 tablespoons of honey can be mixed with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder and applied as a face mask.
The mask is to be removed after an hour of exposure using warm water.
To lower blood glucose levels
The combination of cinnamon and honey can be used to lower the blood glucose concentration and thus, aid to treat the diabetic condition which is characterized by hyperglycemia.
Natural honey has been reported to lower the levels of plasma glucose and blood lipids in a study performed in 2004.
Here, they compared the effects of dextrose solution of the honey on the plasma glucose, insulin, etc. levels.
Numerous comparisons were performed in this study and it was concluded that honey lowers blood lipids, homocysteine and also causes a lower elevation of plasma glucose levels as compared to dextrose and sucrose.
It also decreased cholesterol levels by 8% and also elevated insulin levels.
Cinnamon, on the other hand, is known to lower blood glucose levels.
A study has suggested that cinnamon can be used as a supplement by type 2 diabetes patients to control the hyperglycemia.
A study in 2009 showed that a 500 mg capsule of cinnamon taken twice a day for 90 days helped to improve hemoglobin A1C levels which is a marker for average blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
To boost the immune system: A study by an Indian group has elucidated the immunomodulatory properties of cinnamon bark by checking its effects using various tests including neutrophil adhesion test, serum immunoglobulin tests, and hemagglutination tests.
It was tested for its efficiency in both cell-mediated and humoral mediated immune responses.
The bark was formulated into an oral suspension and given either in a low or high dose.
It was found that the low dose was only partially effective but the high dose increased neutrophil adhesion, serum immunoglobulin, and antibody levels.
Thus, cinnamon can act as an immunostimulant.
Honey is known to be a good immune booster. However, there are known scientific studies which support this claim.
It also acts as a cleansing tonic and through its anti-microbial activities, helps us to stay healthy.
A large number of beneficial effects of the cinnamon-honey combination are known as a part of traditional and home remedies.
However, there is no scientific proof as yet regarding these claims.
One such benefit is using honey-cinnamon along with warm water to soothe a sore throat or decongest the nose and throat due to a cold.
They may also help to lower blood cholesterol levels and treat obesity.
Cinnamon powder consumed with a spoonful of honey can also help to relieve indigestion and treat bladder infections.
Thus, they have myriad benefits which are as yet to be proved by modern scientific experimentation.
Ways to use cinnamon and honey?
- Cinnamon and honey can be consumed in numerous forms.
- They can be combined with hot water and consumed in the morning and at night.
- Cinnamon powder can directly be mixed with honey and consumed directly.
- The cinnamon and honey paste can also be applied as a face mask.
- A mixture of cinnamon, honey, and olive oil can also be applied to the hair as a conditioner.
- Cinnamon and honey can also be added to various teas.
While there is no fixed dosage of cinnamon but 2-4 gms per day is recommended.
The source of the honey is very important and only natural, authentic honey should be consumed.
Before resorting to any of these uses, it is necessary to consult a physician or a health worker.
Cinnamon and honey can be used together to treat many ailments and diseases.
It is easy to obtain and consume and can be used as a supplement to treat diabetes, arthritis, skin wounds, infections, sore throat, heart disease, etc.
However, if you have a pre-condition it is best to exercise caution and consult a doctor
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