Summer is peak season for harvesting from bee hives. So I thought now would be a good time to go over the health benefits of honey and beeswax.
First – honey. Worker bees gather nectar from flowers and younger hive bees convert the nectar into honey by beating their wings to fan and evaporate excess water content to thicken the nectar’s natural sugars into honey.
Honey has long since been a popular kitchen staple and natural sweetener due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. According to the National Honey Board, a single tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories, is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. Honey’s natural benefits include:
- Relieving the Common Cold—Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that calms irritated membrane and eases a cough.
- Healing Wounds—Honey is a natural antibiotic that can also work externally. It’s antibacterial properties will disinfect wounds and sores from major species of bacteria.
- Improving Memory—Since it’s loaded with antioxidants, honey can prevent cell damage within the brain. It also helps the body absorb calcium which is essential to the brain in order to process thought and make decisions.
- Treating Dandruff—Thanks to honey’s anti-fungal properties, it can treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff while addressing the redness and itching on the scalp with it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Beeswax is also harvested from hives during peak harvesting season. Honey bees produce beeswax from special glands on their abdomens that produce wax droplets that harden into flakes when exposed to air. The worker bees take these flakes in their mouths to soften them into a workable material that attaches to the honeycomb. Like honey, beeswax has a multitude of natural benefits. The substance is edible but the majority of it’s benefits are for the skin and hair. A few advantages to using beeswax include:
- Moisturizing Components—Beeswax locks in moisture and can help keep the skin firm and plump. The anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties soothe easily irritated skin, making it one of the best skin care ingredients for healing rosacea or eczema.
- Ability to Protect from Irritants—Beeswax can also act as a layer of protection when applied to the skin. It can protect skin from environmental irritants and extreme weather.
- Promotion of Hair Growth—Beeswax not only moisturizes and soothes hair, but it can keep moisture from getting out of the hair. It also stimulates hair growth and reduces hair loss.
These are just a few health benefits that both honey and beeswax have to offer. Come back soon for a follow-up post with recipes including honey and beeswax that will allow you to take advantage of these benefits.