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Long before antibiotics and prescription medication, holistic remedies were used by healers, wise women, and every day folk. Modern medicine is full of amazing treatments that have saved lives. While we are fortunate to have such modern advances, we should not overlook the benefits of holistic remedies. Honey has been used for a variety of ailments for thousands of years. Those ailments include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Bad breath
- Teething pain
- Sore throat
- Cough & cold
- Stomach ulcers
- Bedwetting (enuresis)
- Seasonal allergies
- Morning sickness
- Hangover relief
But, why? Science has shown us that honey has antiseptic, antimicrobial, antipyretic (fever fighting), anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antitoxic, sedative, laxative, antianemic, antioxidant, healing & cleansing, moisturizing, and purifying properties!! Honey is a combination of:
- Amino acids
Many research studies are suggesting using honey routinely in the management of diseases. (2)
Our daughter -A- was born at 34 weeks. Her lungs weren’t fully developed and she needed help breathing on her own. A’s lungs were hyperinflated (blown up too much) when she was being resuscitated; she spent almost 2 weeks in the NICU growing, developing, regulating her body temperature, learning to breathe and eat. She was followed closely by her pediatrician and saw specialists at the Children’s Hospital. Premature babies are at risk for long term problems with breathing because their lungs were not fully developed at birth. Unfortunately, this was the case for her.
Now, asthma is typically not diagnosed until around 2 years of age; A was diagnosed at 7 months old. She struggled quite a bit. By the age of 2, we were told to expect September through March to be her “bad time of year”. The amount of doctor visits, ER visits, hospital admissions, nebulizer treatments, and failed medications are innumerable. You can read more about how this affected our decision to move South here. We spent quite a bit of time at the Children’s Hospital and found ways to entertain ourselves including playing with interactive screens and even a little yoga now and then!
As a parent, watching your child struggle is absolutely heartbreaking. It makes you feel helpless. We knew we had to try everything possible to help A.
We have found that holistic/alternative treatments have helped A. We were absolutely thrilled to find a pediatrician in our new town that is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who was on board with this treatment plan! One of our first priorities became stocking up on local raw honey. A takes one teaspoon (5 ml) every morning. One teaspoon of honey tends to be the recommended daily dose; and it is best to take it before eating breakfast. Recently, a study out of Iran showed honey is effective in preventing and/or treating asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the airway. (2) Another study out of Malaysia showed honey to be effective for management of seasonal allergies; this is due to pollen that bees deposit while making honey! (4)
People who suffer from seasonal allergies can ingest local raw honey that has not had the pollen removed to decrease their allergy symptoms. When A is having an asthma exacerbation, we add additional honey into a cup of Mullein leaf tea (keep an eye out for future posts on Mullein leaf and other herbal teas). Since our move, we added the local honey to A’s regimen and her specialists have actually removed 1 of her medications. She has had far fewer asthma exacerbations and has minimal to no allergic rhinitis or shiners!!
I fully believe local raw honey has helped ease A’s symptoms. There is something to be said for “old” treatments. They have been around so long because they often work rather well.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP– Never give honey to a child under 1 year of age. Honey can cause botulism in infants. Never give honey to a person with an allergic reaction to honey (including, but not limited to hives/rash/difficulty breathing).
DISCLAIMER: As always, please remember I am a Certified Nurse Midwife but I am not your Certified Nurse Midwife. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any additions or changes to your regimen.
“Eat honey my son, because it is good” – King Solomon