Honey is delicious and nutritious. It contains trace vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and zinc. Nutritionally speaking it is far superior to sugar, since sugar contains only empty calories. Honey is one of the best cough suppressants for kids. It’s natural, pleasant to take, and safe for children over 1 year old. Manuka honey contains higher amounts of the antimicrobial and antibacterial components naturally found in honey. I also prefer raw honey. In Beijing I think the best place to get good quality honey is from the various farmers’ markets around town.
There’s a lot more you can do with honey than just eat it! Honey can be applied topically to protect and heal small cuts, it has anti-inflammatory properties which support the healing process of minor burns, and honey helps retain moisture, so it is often found in cosmetic products like cleansers, moisturizers, and other facial treatments such as masks and scrubs.
There are many easy DIY recipes for personal care products using honey. Here are some of my favorites:
Face mask: This is the simplest mask you can do at home. Just spread one teaspoon of honey onto a clean dry face. Now do something relaxing. Have a cup of tea (with a dollop of honey!), read a book, or do some abdominal breathing exercises. After 20 minutes you can wash it off with lukewarm water. I like this mask because I feel like it evens out and brightens my complexion.
Facial exfoliator: Take two tablespoons of honey and combine with one tablespoon of matcha and half teaspoon of baking soda. Matcha originates from Japan. It is made by finely grinding green tea leaves at the peak of their freshness. It’s packed with anti-oxidants and the finely ground powder is super gentle on skin. Softly scrub your face using small circular motions, and rinse with lukewarm water: et voilà, smooth skin!
Sunburn treatment: Combine two parts aloe vera and one part honey before spreading the concoction unto sunburnt skin. If you find it too sticky just decrease the amount of honey used. Both the honey and the aloe vera help reduce inflammation, speed up healing and soothe the skin.
For all of these recipes, I would avoid using honey from the same jar you use to spread honey on your toast. Also, some people are sensitive to bee products, so do a patch test first. Place a small amount of honey on an inconspicuous area of your neck, and after 30 minutes wash it off. If there’s no redness or irritation then you’re good to go.
Got a question? Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is a naturopathic doctor and mother of two. She works at Beijing United Family Hospital. To find out more, check out her website at www.drmelissarodriguez.com
This article originally appeared on page 24 of the beijingkids October 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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