Honey has got to be one of the most versatile foods around.
Most of us naturally reach for it to sweeten hot teas, iced beverages and Greek yogurt, and maybe even to spread on whole-wheat toast with a dab of peanut butter. Holistic practitioners such as Dr. Sergey Kalitenko, who operates two practices in the New York City area, take it one step further by citing the many medicinal benefits that this nectar of the gods offers. Leveraging his whole-body approach to safe, responsible medicine, Dr. Kalitenko lists the alleviation of seasonal allergies and colds, and healing of burns and chronic wound infections, among honey’s many healing properties.
What many people may not realize, however, is that in addition to ingesting honey, it can also be very effectively applied topically to the face and body. Raw honey that hasn’t been pasteurized, processed or heat-treated contains a powerful cocktail of active phytonutrient antioxidants that can help stave off aging and mitigate the effects of external pollutants. And the results are just plain sweet.
Here are just a few ways that honey can do your body good, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. All you’ll need is some raw honey and a few common ingredients from your pantry.
Let it shine.
Honey’s natural enzymes and nutrients can add volume and luster to dry, listless hair without weighing it down. Mix a deep conditioning mask of 1 tablespoon honey and two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, and apply it liberally to damp hair. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly for smooth, shiny locks. You can also add one teaspoon honey with a dime-size amount of your favorite shampoo every now and then to help lock in moisture and strengthen hair follicles.
Put your best face forward.
Honey can be used in numerous ways to improve your complexion and address existing skin conditions. For those suffering from acne, honey’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can calm redness and irritation while dissuading breakout-inducing bacteria. Try dabbing a small amount of honey directly onto affected areas, and then rising gently after 10 to 15 minutes.
For those who enjoy the pampering of a spa facial, honey reaps many of the same benefits – right in the comfort and convenience of your own home! As a pore cleanser, raw honey’s enzymes – in conjunction with jojoba or coconut oil – can help clear clogged pores while preventing bacterial buildup. As an exfoliator, the two-punch combination of honey and baking soda can’t be beat. Combine two tablespoons honey mixed with one tablespoon baking soda, rub it gently on damp skin in a circular motion, and then rinse well. And as a do-it-yourself moisturizing mask, honey promotes long-lasting hydration and a smooth, radiant complexion.
Let’s not forget the rest of the body.
Because honey is so skilled at nourishing and healing skin, it makes the ideal conditioner for unsightly, cracked cuticles. Combine one teaspoon honey with one teaspoon apple cider vinegar (whose acetic acid helps balance pH levels and soften hard skin), leave it on for five to 10 minutes, and then rinse. And at the end of a busy day, there’s nothing quite like unwinding in a soothing bath. Dissolve two to three tablespoons honey in one cup hot water, add it to your bath water, and let all your troubles melt away as your skin is renewed and rejuvenated.
For more information on honey’s holistic healing properties – both inside and out – schedule a consultation with Spa Ecobeautica Licensed cosmetologist in Brooklyn office (718-382-9200).