Honey Health Benefits, Medicinal Uses, Nutrition Facts, Side Effect

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth? If so, you should try honey! It is a natural sweetener that has many health benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes. In this post, we’ll discuss the health benefits, how to choose the right honey for you, and some delicious recipes you can make at home. So read on to learn more about this amazing food and get inspired to give honey a try! 

Origin and History

Honey is believed to have originated in the Middle East, and has been used in food and medicine for thousands of years. It has been found in tombs dating back to 6,000 BC in Egypt, and there are records of honey being used in ancient Greece, Rome, India, and China. Honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments, from sore throats to wounds and skin irritations. It is also thought to have antimicrobial properties, making it a useful tool in wound healing. Today, honey is produced all over the world and used in many different cuisines and for a variety of medicinal purposes. In folk medicine, it is believed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has also been used to treat a range of ailments from sore throats and coughs to digestive issues and skin irritations. Shahad is also known to have antioxidant properties and is used as a natural sweetener. Additionally, some traditional beliefs associate honey with spiritual and religious practices. For example, in some cultures, shahad is believed to be a symbol of abundance and fertility and is used in rituals to bring good luck.

Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart

Honey is a nutrient-dense, natural sweetener that provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and proteins. One tablespoon of honey provides approximately 64 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates, including 17 grams of sugar. It is also a good source of certain B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Honey also contains polyphenols, which are natural compounds that act as antioxidants and can help protect the body from chronic diseases. Additionally, it contains amino acids, which are compounds that help the body produce proteins. Liquid honey is about 1 to 1 1/2 times sweeter tasting than sugar, yet it has a lower calorie content. Nutritional value per 100 g:

  • Biotin: 0.4 µg
  • Calcium: 5 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 82.4 g
  • Chloride: 2.8 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 0.7 mg
  • Chromium: 0.5 µg
  • Copper: 0.3 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Energy (Calories): 304 kcal
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Iodine: 0.2 µg
  • Iron: 0.5 mg
  • Magnesium: 2 mg
  • Manganese: 0.3 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0.1 µg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.1 mg
  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Potassium: 52 mg
  • Protein: 0.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Selenium: 0.7 µg
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Sugars: 82.1 g
  • Vitamin A: 0 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.04 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.03 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.06 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 4 µg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0.2 µg
  • Water: 17.2 g
  • Zinc: 0.1 mg

White Honey

Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and other insects. The color can range from nearly colorless to dark brown. It can also vary from a light, subtle flavor to a strong, distinct flavor. White shahad is one of the lightest varieties, and it is made from nectar from light-colored flowers. It is often seen as a delicacy and is typically more expensive than other varieties. It has a mild, delicate flavor and is used in many different recipes and dishes. The main difference between white and brown honey is the color. White is lighter in color and has a milder flavor, while brown is darker in color and has a more robust flavor. White shahad usually comes from lighter flowers, such as clover, while brown usually comes from darker flowers, such as buckwheat. In terms of nutritional value, both types are very similar. Both contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, however, brown honey may contain slightly higher levels of minerals due to its darker color.

White vs Brown Honey Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of honey varies slightly depending on the type. Generally, both white and brown honey contain the same amount of calories, carbohydrates, sugar, and protein. White honey is typically the lightest variety, while brown honey is darker. White one typically contains slightly more minerals and vitamins than brown honey. It is often higher in antioxidants and has a higher concentration of enzymes. Brown one may have higher levels of certain minerals, such as iron and magnesium. When it comes to health benefits, both white and brown honey contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Both can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Honey is also a natural source of energy and can help improve digestion.

Drinking Hot Water, Lemon and Honey First Thing in The Morning

Drinking hot water, lemon, and honey first thing in the morning can be beneficial for overall health. This can help to flush out toxins from the body, boost the immune system, and improve digestion. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of lemon can help to fight off infections, while the honey can help to soothe a sore throat or cough. Furthermore, this combination can help to keep the body hydrated, which is important for overall health.

Types of Honey

The amount and type of antioxidants in honey depends on the flower that is the honey’s source. Generally, darker honeys (such as buckwheat) are richer in antioxidants than lighter honeys. Honeybee varieties differ in honey- making ability, honeycomb color and building, hive care, immunity, tendency to swarm (form a new colony), multiplication, appetite and character. The most popular are Italians (brown-and-yellow-striped), Carniolans (black or grey) and Caucasians (grey).

  1. Acacia: It is derived from the nectar of acacia flowers. It is light in color and has a delicate, mild flavor that is often described as being sweet and floral. Acacia honey is known for being highly nutritious and containing a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. It is also believed to have natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
  2. Alfalfa: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of alfalfa flowers. It is light in color and has a mild, sweet flavor. It is used as a sweetener in tea, coffee, and other beverages, as well as for baking. Alfalfa honey is also known for its medicinal properties, as it is believed to help reduce the risk of certain diseases and to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  3. Avocado: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of avocado trees. It is a dark, thick honey with a distinct, nutty taste. The color can range from light yellow to dark amber, depending on the variety of avocado tree the honey is sourced from. Avocado honey has a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious sweetener. It is also known for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
  4. Buckwheat: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of white buckwheat flowers. It has a dark color and a robust, malty flavor that many find to be quite distinct. Buckwheat honey is known to be particularly high in antioxidants and minerals, and is often said to have medicinal qualities. It is also known to be very thick and viscous, making it a good choice for baking and cooking.
  5. Chestnut: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of chestnut flowers. It typically has a dark color and a rich, flavorful taste. The flavor profile is often described as nutty, earthy, and slightly bitter. It is popular in Italy and other parts of Europe, where it is often used to sweeten desserts and beverages.
  6. Clover: This honey has a mild, sweet flavor and is a light amber color. It is made from the nectar of clover blossoms and is the most popular type in the United States. It is often used as a sweetener for tea, in baking, and for making honey-sweetened dressings and sauces. Clover honey has a higher level of antioxidants than other types, and is known for its health benefits.
  7. Eucalyptus: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of eucalyptus flowers. It is generally a light-colored honey with a mild, herbal flavor. It is known to have a high sugar content and low moisture content, making it a popular choice for baking and other uses.
  8. Fireweed: It is a type of honey made from the nectar of the fireweed plant, which is native to the Northern Hemisphere. It is usually light in color and has a mild, floral flavor. Fireweed honey is often used as a spread on toast or as a sweetener in tea or other beverages. It is also sometimes used in baking, as a topping for ice cream, or as a condiment for meats and cheeses.
  9. Heather: It is a type of honey produced from the nectar of the heather plant. It is a dark-colored honey, with a strong and pungent flavor, and is highly sought after due to its unique taste and health benefits. It is said to have a high concentration of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, making it a popular choice among many health-conscious consumers.
  10. Manuka: It is a type of honey produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka tree. Manuka honey is known for its unique flavor, high nutritional value, and powerful antibacterial properties. It is typically darker and richer in taste than other honey varieties, with a slightly herbal and earthy flavor. Manuka honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments and has recently gained popularity as an alternative to antibiotics to treat infections. It has been found to be effective in treating acne, reducing inflammation, and promoting wound healing. Additionally, it can be used as a natural sweetener in food and drinks.
  11. Orange Blossom: It is made from the nectar of flowers from orange trees. It has a light floral flavor and is often used in baking and cooking. It is typically light in color and has a mild, sweet taste.
  12. Sage: A type of honey produced by bees that collect nectar from the flowers of the sage plant. It has a light amber color and is known for its unique herbal flavor and aroma. It has a mild sweetness that is slightly less sweet than other varieties of honey. It is a popular choice for baking, sauces, marinades, and other recipes. It is also used as a natural sweetener for tea and other beverages.
  13. Sourwood: It is a type of honey produced from the nectar of the blossoms of the sourwood tree (Oxydendron arboreum). It is produced primarily in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States, particularly in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. The honey is light in color and has a mild, sweet, and unique flavor. It is often used for baking and cooking, as a sweetener in beverages, and as a topping for desserts.
  14. Tupelo: A type of honey produced from the nectar of the white tupelo tree, native to certain regions of the southeastern United States. Tupelo honey is highly valued for its unique flavor and texture, and is often used in baking and cooking. It is also known for its health benefits, such as lower levels of cholesterol and better digestion.

Honey In India and Ayurveda

Shahad is an important part of India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Shahad is used both internally and externally as part of various treatments. It is believed to have many health benefits, including the ability to reduce inflammation, help heal wounds, and improve immunity. Shahad is also used as a sweetener in many Indian dishes and desserts. Indian shahad is available in a variety of forms, including raw, unprocessed, and processed. It can be found in the form of honeycomb, liquid shahad, and honeycomb with pollen. The top five countries producing the most shahad are China, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States.

  • Scientific Binomial: Honey
  • Common English: Honey
  • Ayurvedic: Madhu
  • Unani: 
  • Sanskrit: Madhu
  • Hindi / Urdu: Shahad / Shehad/ Shaid
  • Bengali: Madhu / Mou
  • Marathi: Madh
  • Telugu: Tene
  • Tamil: Ten
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada: Jenu/ Jen thuppa
  • Malayalam: Ten
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Folk Remedies

Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases. Shahad stimulates immune cells to produce anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 and -6 and tumor necrosis factor, which can destroy certain cancer cells. Honey helps cleanse, soften, moisturize, soothe and tone skin and condition hair and nails. Honey’s moisturizing power results partly from it helping prevent evaporation of water from the skin; partly from it being a humectant (attracting water from the air). Shahad helps heal cracked or sore skin and has antimicrobial powers. Its antioxidants reduce damage from polluted air and encourage healthy skin-cell turnover. Shahad also enables face-mask ingredients such as oil, ground nuts, egg yolk or clay to stick to the skin. Its fragrance can lift the spirits. Last but not least, honey’s acidity maintains or restores the skin’s natural acidity.

  1. For a sore throatmix 1/4 cup of shahad with 1/4 cup of warm water and a pinch of salt until the shahad is dissolved. Gargle the mixture and then swallow.
  2. For a cough, mix 2 tablespoons of shahad with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Take 1 teaspoon of the mixture every few hours.
  3. For stomachaches, mix together a teaspoon of shahad and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and sip slowly.
  4. For headaches, make a paste of shahad and cinnamon and apply it to the forehead.
  5. For allergiesmix together a teaspoon of shahad and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink twice a day.
  6. For coldsmix together a teaspoon of shahad and a teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm water and sip slowly.
  7. For insomniamix together a teaspoon of shahad with a teaspoon of nutmeg in a glass of warm milk and drink before bed.
  8. Reduce inflammation: Mix 1 teaspoon of shahad with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/4 cup of warm milk. Drink this mixture twice a day.
  9. Reduce acneMix 1 tablespoon of shahad with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Apply the mixture to the affected areas and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
  10. Heal wounds: Apply shahad directly to the wound. The honey will help to draw out any infection and promote healing.

Side Effects, Dangers and Disadvantages

  • Should not be given to children under 1 year of age due to the risk of botulism. Infant botulism is a rare but serious paralytic disease caused by a micro-organism. Spores can germinate, grow and produce toxin in the lower bowel of some infants. Honey is a potential source of these spores and infants are susceptible until their intestinal bacteria develop. 
  • People with diabetes should be aware that, it is high in sugar and should limit their intake. 
  • People with allergies to bees or other pollens should be aware that, it may contain small amounts of these allergens and should avoid it.
  • Consuming too much shahad can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. 
  • Too much can also cause weight gain due to its high sugar content. 
  • Consuming too much can also cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  • Can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to honey may include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.
  • Can contain bacteria and other contaminants, so it should not be given to children under 1 year of age.


Q. How to check if honey is pure? How to identify real shahad?

  1. Bread Test: Spread some honey on bread and try giving it to dog for eating. Dogs don’t eat pure honey bread. If you don’t have dog around for test just leave the bread with honey spread on it. If it hardens in minutes that means it is pure where as fake honey wets the bread due to moisture content.
  2. Check the color: Pure shahad is usually a shade of golden brown or amber. If the color is lighter than that, it may be diluted with other sweeteners.
  3. Check for the presence of water: Pure shahad should not contain any water and should not be diluted with any other liquids. To test this, place a few drops of honey on a paper towel. If it pools and does not absorb, it has been diluted.
  4. Perform a flame test: Put a few drops of honey on a fireproof surface and light it with a match or a lighter. If it is pure, it will burn with a blue flame. If it has been adulterated or is of poor quality, it will burn with a yellow or orange flame. 
  5. Smell it: Pure honey has a sweet, floral aroma. If it smells fermented or sour, it may be adulterated.
  6. Taste it: If the shahad tastes excessively sweet or syrupy, it may have been diluted with other sweeteners.
  7. Check the density: Pure honey is denser than impure. This can be tested by weighing a teaspoon of honey. Pure shahad should weigh more than impure.
  8. Check the texture: Pure honey is thick and viscous. If it’s thin or runny, it may have been diluted. Just rubbing between the fingers is also sometime enough. Real shahad is not sticky in nature where as fake can be sticky due to artificial sweeteners.
  9. Check for the presence of other sugars: Pure honey should not contain any other sugars or additives. To test this, place a few drops of it on a paper towel. If it absorbs quickly, it means that it contains other sugars.
  10. Check for crystallization: Pure honey has a tendency to crystallize with time. If it has not been heated or processed, pure shahad should crystallize after some time. Impure, on the other hand, will not crystallize.
  11. Read the label: Look for ingredients like glucose, dextrose, fructose, molasses, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners. If these are present, the honey is not pure.

Q. What’s special about manuka honey? Why it is different from other and so expensive?
It known to be particularly rich in antioxidants and can obtain in New Zealand from the Manuka bush. It is especially important heal and sterilize of wounds and ulcers and helps the growth of new skin. Also effective against more resistant bacteria. It is this type of honey that has been shown to be very good in treating some stomach ulcers and sore throats. Manuka-honey cream is very effective for acne, cold sores, genital herpes, fungal infection and shingles. To treat peptic ulcers, try consuming two teaspoons of manuka honey, two to three times daily for several weeks. Methylglyoxal in medical-grade manuka honey kills the Helicobacter pylori bacteria responsible for most peptic ulcers. Helicobacter pylori is 5 to 10 times more sensitive to manuka than other honey; a 5% solution completely inhibits its growth. Methylglyoxal in manuka honey is dubbed ‘unique manuka factor’ (UMF). Manuka honey with a UMF or ULF of 10 or more can act against biofilms and skin infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Q. Which is the best and purest honey to buy in India?
Here are few tips to choose pure and natural raw honey brand in India:

  1. Check the label: Always check the label of the bottle to make sure it is pure and contains no added sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners.
  2. Check the origin: Always make sure to check the origin of the bottle you buy. Look for honey that is sourced from India, as it will be more likely to be pure.
  3. Check the processing: Look for honey that has been cold-pressed, or processed without heat, to retain the highest amount of nutrients.
  4. Check the color: Look for honey that is light in color, as this indicates that it is less processed.
  5. Check for any sediment: Pure honey should not contain any stringy or solid particles.
  6. Buy from a trusted source: Make sure to buy honey from a trusted source, such as a health food store or a local beekeeper.
  7. Read reviews: Read reviews from other customers to get an idea of the quality of the honey.

Q. Which are some brands that sell 100% pure honey?
Some brands that sell 100% pure honey are Wedderspoon, Nature Nate’s, Bee Keepers Naturals, Wild Friends, Kiva, Nature’s Greatest Secret, Manuka Doctor, Bee Global, Bee Local, and Glorybee. The use of honey and it’s products for healing purposes is called apitherapy.

Q. Which is pure natural honey in India?

  1. Dabur
  2. Apis Himalaya
  3. Zandu Pure
  4. Patanjali
  5. Forest
  6. Baidyanath
  7. Hitkari
  8. Nature’s Nectar
  9. K-Honey
  10. 24 Mantra Organic

Q. Do vegetarians consume honey?
Yes, some vegetarians consume it. However, some vegetarians avoid shahad as it is a by-product of bees, which are animals.

Q. If I’m diabetic, should I eat pure honey? Is it a viable alternative to sugar for diabetics?
Honey has long been used as a natural sweetener and is believed to have some health benefits. However, it is not recommended for people with diabetes. It can raise blood sugar levels, so it should be avoided or consumed in very small amounts. People with diabetes should stick to other natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.

Q. Can honey expire?
Yes, it can expire. Its shelf life depends on the quality of the product, the temperature at which it is stored, and the amount of time it has been stored. Generally, shahad has a shelf life of 2-3 years, but it can last much longer if stored properly.

Leave a comment