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Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal values for centuries. The Bible itself quotes “Eat Thou Honey because it is Good.” Read this post to know the incredible things honey can do in our lives! The Lectin Avoidance Cookbook contains great recipes with honey and many more that make being healthy incredibly easy and delicious!.


Introduction to Honey?

Honey is a sweet food made by bees taking nectar from flowers. There are different types of honey, but the most common kind comes from the genus Apis, which are honeybees. Honeybees convert the nectar to honey by a regurgitation process and evaporation [R].

The Honey That I Recommend

This is the honey that I buy for myself.  It’s cheap, it tastes good, and doesn’t cause inflammation (some honeys I tested do).

Honey Snapshot

  • Infections9.0/10
  • Antidiabetic8.5/10
  • Wound healing8.5/10
  • Energy9.0/10


  • Good for skin
  • Good Antioxidant
  • Boosts Energy
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Protects the heart
  • Good for wounds


  • Excess consumption might cause stomach upset.

Beneficial Aspects of Honey

1) Honey as an Antimicrobial


In rats, infected skin wounds treated daily with honey for 7 days had a better outcome than saltwater treatments.

After 7 days, the bacteria culture showed that honey was effective in the management of infected skin wounds by significantly inhibiting bacterial growth and having a positive influence on wound repair [R1].

When the concentrations of honey were increased, the antibacterial effects against Staph bacteria and E.Coli were enhanced [R2].

Various kinds of honey show antimicrobial effects against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as multidrug-resistant strains [R10].

Melaleuca honey is capable of inhibiting MRSA [R11].

A literature review found that honey is a great antimicrobial because of its high viscosity that provides a barrier to prevent infections. The antimicrobial property comes from the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide [R31].

2) Honey and Wound Healing








Honey was more effective as a wound dressing than silver as measured by the number of days the wound needed to heal [R3].

In patients with diabetic foot ulcers, honey was able to reduce the rate of amputation.

172 patients with non-healing diabetic foot ulcers received a thick layer of honey on their wound. Wounds became healthy within 7-35 days. Of those 172 patients, only 3 had to get their big toe amputated and 2 had below the knee amputations. This study concluded that when using honey in chronic diabetic foot ulcers, the rate of amputation greatly decreases [R8].

Skin grafts are used to cover burn injuries and honey has been shown to increase the adherence of skin grafts to wound beds. In a clinical trial, 30 patients used honey as their graft and 30 used regular dressing or suturing.

The patients treated with honey reported a significantly reduced infection rate on day 5 and had reduced pain. They also had a shorter mean hospital stay. This study concluded that medical honey can be used for the fixation of a split thickness skin graft [R9].

In rats, honey (combined with milk and aloe vera) induced cell proliferation which increased the wound closure rate, blood vessel count and the collagen fiber density [R12].

Honey works, in part, by increasing TNF-α, IL1b, Il-6 on wounds [R1].

3) Honey and Diabetes

In pancreatic hamster cells, pretreating the cells with gelam honey and quercetin reduced the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. There was also an increase in the phosphorylated Akt, which showed the protective effects against insulin resistance and inflammation, contributing factors to type 2 diabetes.

This study concluded that the use of gelam honey and quercetin may help regulate the inflammation-induced insulin signaling pathways [R4].

In rats, honey increased HDL cholesterol and reduced high blood sugar, triglycerides, VLDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular risk index [R5].

Chrysin is a flavonoid found in honey that also benefits diabetic rats [R6].

In rats, honey produced a hypoglycemic effect and showed a positive change in beta cells [R7].

4) Honey as an Antioxidant

In healthy humans, buckwheat honey increased the plasma antioxidants and protected them from oxidative stress. The substitution of honey in some foods instead of sweeteners could result in an enhanced antioxidant defense system [R13].

5) Honey and Cardiovascular Effects


A traditional herbal medicine containing honey, Rehmannia glutinosa var. purpurae, Lycium chinense (goji), Aquillaria agallocha, Poria cocos, and Panax ginseng (KOK) has been used to improve blood circulation and showed a significant protective effect against thrombosis attack. The study concluded that KOK has remarkable antiplatelet and anti-thrombotic effects with a lower side effect of bleeding [R16].

Rats treated with honey had protective effects on heart attacks [R17].

6) Honey and Ulcers

In rats, manuka honey exhibited antiulcer effects [R18].

In patients with diabetic foot ulcers, a regular saline dressing was compared to the effect of Beri-honey-impregnated dressings. 136 wounds out of 179 were completely healed when used with honey compared to the 97 out of 169 that healed with saline dressings. The mean healing time for honey was 18 days compared to the 29 days for the saline dressings. The study concluded that honey is an effective dressing [R19].

7) Honey as an Antifungal

In women with vaginal candidiasis, honey is similar to clotrimazole cream and is even better at relieving some symptoms than the cream. It was concluded that honey (and yogurt) can be used as an herbal remedy for this treatment [R22].

Substituting sugars with honey in processed food can inhibit the harmful and genotoxic effects of mycotoxins, and improve the gut microflora. Honey increased colon bifido bacteria and lactobacilli counts the mice [R].

8) Honey as a Probiotic and Anti-toxin

Honey enhances the probiotic bacteria, which leads to beneficial effects such as detoxification. The study recommended using honey instead of sugar in processed foods to prevent fungi growth and other toxins [R26].

9) Use of Honey as a Cosmetic


In a review on honey, it was found that honey has use in rejuvenating the skin as well as slowing down the formation of wrinkles. It also helps make hair smooth and regulates the pH while also preventing pathogen infections [R27].

Another article cited honey to be used as a face wash and facial cleansing scrub for pimples and dry skin [R28].

10) Honey as an Anti-Inflammatory

In rats, Honey significantly reduced arthritis. This study concluded that honey has anti-inflammatory effects and can be used to treat acute conditions [R29].

11) Honey and Mucositis

Honey can help oral mucositis.  A study was done on 28 patients in which 14 were given honey to rub on and the other half got water. Out of the patients who had honey, only 1 developed grade III oral mucositis compared to 9 patients with water treatment [R20].

In a systematic review, it was found that honey significantly benefited patients with mucositis [R21].

12) Honey and Otorhinolaryngology


For acute coughs for children, it was found that the use of honey is better than no treatment, diphenhydramine (benadryl) and placebo for relief. Honey is not better than dextromethorphan though and there is no strong evidence either for or against the use of honey to treat acute cough [R23].

Another study found that a teaspoon or two of honey can help suppress a cough [R24].

Honey can be used as an additional treatment for mucositis, childhood cough, persistent post-infectious cough and after tonsillectomy [R25].

Patients with allergic rhinitis received honey as well as loratadine as a treatment plan. Half the patients received a placebo instead of the honey. After 8 weeks it was determined that honey was effective in relieving allergic rhinitis symptoms. The study concluded that honey could be used as a complementary therapy for allergic rhinitis [R30].

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • Linda

    Maybe it really does kill yeast and other bacteria and that would be why you are having a herx when you eat the honey. All the bad bugs dying off.

  • Rick Rosen

    Is the stomach upset that comes from excess consumption of honey due to inflammation?

  • Joseph McGuire

    I notice honey cause herxheimers like symptoms for me. Any idea why?

  • Steven Thomas

    You have given some really nice information regarding the health benefit of honey. is also used for treating cuts.

  • Denis Gelrud

    Have you tested any other honeys like the ones on your Amazon best seller list? Curious to know if any of the raw honeys wildly available work for you.

    Have you heard of raw honey having any benefits for those who are histamine intolerant? There are anecdotes about it helping allergies so I wonder if it has an effect on histamine.

  • justjuliewrites

    Bow do you know which type of honey to use? Do you have a source for a good manuka honey? Thank you, J

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Just self experiments

  • Oskar

    I find honey working extremely well for chronic fatigue – probably because of the fructose boosting NAD+ as it feels pretty much equal to taking 2-3 caps of nicotinamide riboside. Usually I have a coffee with 3-5 rice cakes that have honey spead on them and I’m good to go for another 2-4 hours. 🙂

  • Thomas

    Why does Ayurveda say Butter + Honey is toxic? Have you heard that? Probably outright bullshit the “Trantrikas” put in. The people who destroyed Tantra. I’m ranting now but real Tantra just means going sloooooowwww

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Fructose and saturated fat don’t work well

      1. Thomas

        Oh, wow.

      2. Thomas

        Maybe it can be used as hormesis.

      3. Vanessa

        Why then do you recommend a tablespoon each of ghee, honey and collagen before bed for some? A newbie here just trying to understand it all. Thank you

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Collagen has the amino acids that help with sleep. Honey helps fill up the liver glycogen reserve, so it reduces odds of hypoglycemia at night. Ghee is just filling and is one of the few fats that Joe tolerates.

          1. Vanessa

            Thank you Nattha. I understand however I was responding to Joes comment above that “fructose and saturated fat dont work well” so then did not understand this recommendation

            reply icon
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