When we speak of honey, the word sweet is usually not far behind. It’s because honey contains different types of sugars such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, and maltose. It is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers and stocked up for the long winter season. We, humans, then harvest this honey for our own consumption.
We are all aware of the great uses for honey in the kitchen, but there is more to this sweet nectar than meets the eye. Much like your regular Swiss Army Knife, honey has a multitude of uses that goes beyond its wonderful taste.
It is a little known fact that it contains a lot of nutrients essential to our health. It also possesses antimicrobial properties that are good for treating bacterial and fungal infections. Honey is also packed with antioxidants which prevent the formation of free radicals that cause a number of diseases.
And so, in prepping for any type of emergency, you better add honey to your stockpile because when SHTF, this sweet little treat will provide you with the much-needed calories for stressful situations.
No need to worry because honey has a long shelf life so it’ll last a while, and if you’re still wondering how it will come in handy in emergency situations, read on because I’ve made a list!
Honey Throughout History
One of the earliest depictions of man’s relationship with honey dates back over 8,000 years. A rock painting in Spain captured two foragers collecting wild honeycomb. Interestingly enough, the image also depicts rope ladders, assumed created for this job.
Man’s gathering honey can be assumed to date back for uncountable years. It is the domestication of the honey bee that was man’s goal. Archaeological evidence from 3,000 years ago at Tel Rehov in Israel found the first large production apiary with over 100 clay hives.
In more “modern” times (500 B.C.), the Greeks in Athens demonstrated great skills as beekeepers. Archaeological evidence shows the movement of hives during the growing season to maximize honey creation. The Greeks respected the value of honey so much, they put bees on their coinage.
The Greek philosopher Hippocrates espoused the use of honey. He wrote of it with vinegar for pain, with water for dehydration, and as mead (fermented honey) for thirst. Mead (fermented honey and water) predates the production of wine. The Greeks had their priorities in order!
A little closer to home on the timeline, honey has had a recent explosion that may be due to two factors. The first is the resurgence as honey as a food and tool. The second is the die-off of the humble bee.
As all things old become new again, folk uses of honey have come out of the woods and into Main Street. Let’s look at the modern take on the utility of honey.
Honey for Survival
All things practical and useful eventually make their way into prepper circles. Whether you approach prepping from a homestead angle or the grid down angle, there is a place for honey in your toolkit.
In a recent class, the conversation wandered off into bug out bags and their contents. The host, a well-known counter-custody instructor, talked about their survival rations. Most applicable was when they were on extended missions in the field.
Not attached to a well-funded unit, MREs were out of reach. His team’s choice for energy food was honey and sardines. The sardines provided protein, fats, calcium, salt, and vitamins while the honey was instant energy. I have since augmented my bug out bag similarly and can confirm the boost from this expedient meal.
Off-grid medicine is where honey shines. When the pharmacies close or get looted, common medications will go with them. Antibiotics will be one of the most missed medications. Whether topical or internal, honey can go a long way to soothing your ills.
1. Treats wounds and burns
Externally, honey can be used for cuts, scrapes, and burns. Naturally antibiotic, honey will keep the critters in a wound at bay. The slightly acidic PH of honey encourages the body’s natural healing response.
Topical application of honey on your wounds and burns works just as well as commercial antiseptics. The antimicrobial properties of honey prevent bacterial infection while hydrogen peroxide reduces inflammation and cleans the wound.
Instead of applying honey directly in your wound, it is better to soak the dressing, such as gauze and cotton, in honey and wrap the dressing on your wound. The number of times you change the dressing depends on the level of the wound.
The acidic PH also promotes an inhospitable environment for pathogens. Finally, the sugar in honey draws water out of the wound, which also promotes healing.
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A quick Amazon search showed several manuka honey dressings. These bandages are impregnated with Manuka Honey sourced from New Zealand.
This triple healing approach is present in both traditional and dehydrated honey. All the more reason to keep a small sealed pouch of it available.
2. Relieves diarrhea
Diarrhea is usually caused by bacterial infection and this can be counteracted with honey. Honey mixed in water usually does the trick. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
3. Treats urinary tract infections
Another example of bacterial infections you might get are those of the urinary tract. Bacterial infections are likely to happen if you run out of clean water and food. If you don’t have access to antibiotics, honey works just as well in reducing the level of bacteria in the body. No more burning sensation when you pee next time.
4. Soothes sore throat and cough
When you run out of cough syrups and you have to improvise, honey may just be what you need. The antimicrobial activity of honey will put an end to that persistent cough of yours.
It works even better with lemon. Just squeeze the life out of that lemon and add honey to the juice. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then drink it. You’ll notice immediate relief on your sore throat.
5. Removes parasites
In a gloomy scenario where medical care is out of the question, any good survivalist has to make due with what he’s got. If you become infested with worms and other parasites, don’t hesitate to drink honey; you can mix it in water alongside vinegar. The combined action of the acidity in vinegar and the antimicrobial properties of honey can get rid of those nasty parasites living in your gut.
6. Promotes a good night’s sleep
In case of an evacuation and you have to camp outdoors, brace yourself for a lot of sleepless nights. You can rid yourself of all the tossing and turning by dabbing on a little honey on your tongue.
Honey increases insulin production which in turn releases serotonin, responsible for alleviating mood and happiness. Serotonin is then converted to melatonin, which plays an important role in the quality and duration of your sleep.
7. Relieves stress and anxiety.
Finally, concerning mood, the same anti-inflammatory agents that help your gut benefit the full spectrum of your body. A dash of honey powder added consistently to drinks or on desserts will have an accumulating effect.
Consequently, the sweet and calming effect of honey can ease the stress that comes with trying to just get through the day alive. Drink honey with tea or simply with water to relieve those worries.
Less inflammation, fewer aches, fewer pains, less overall discomfort. More comfortable and happy you!
8. Boost energy levels
Because, honey helps reduce stress, it makes a good addition on your drink for a quick energy fix. The glucose in honey, which goes into the bloodstream, provides energy and relieves fatigue in the body. This works best in bug out situations where you need a lot of stamina.
9. Prevents viral infections
If you have managed to get out of a risky situation, you might not be successful the second time around if you don’t take care of your health. Honey is loaded with zinc and selenium, along with other nutrients, to help the immune system in fighting off bacterial and viral infections.
10. Prevents cancer
Honey can also aid in fighting off cancer, one of life’s greatest enemies. Honey is rich in antioxidants, which can prevent the formation of cancer cells as well vitamins and minerals to reduce susceptibility to cancer.
11. Improves blood circulation
Drinking honey is also good for your blood circulation. The glucose gives you energy and raises blood sugar levels. Glucose promotes better blood circulation which prevents capillary damage as well as reducing the risk of heart disease.
12. Prevents colitis
Colitis, a disease that damages the colon can be alleviated with continuous intake of honey. The antioxidants in honey can strengthen the colon’s resistance to colitis and other colon-related diseases. The enzymes in honey that aid in digestion also help in reducing strain in the colon.
13. Improves eyesight
Vitamin A is well known nutrient in improving eyesight. Pairing foods rich with Vitamin A and honey may enhance the vitamin’s effect on your vision, especially in a post-SHTF scenario where electricity is a thing of the past.
14. Strengthens memory
The antioxidants in honey also work in improving brain function. One study shows that a spoonful of honey helps increase memory. You never know when recalling a small piece of information can make a difference between life and death.
15. Aids in digestion
Honey also assists in digestion because it contains a lot of enzymes that participate in the breakdown of food. This is a good alternative from your regular sugar, which can actually impede your digestion.
Your digestive tract can also gain a boost from honey. Added to water it combats dehydration and the natural antibiotics target the bad bacteria in your gut. There is also anecdotal evidence that a spoonful works on internal parasites.
The natural sugars in honey feed the natural gut flora. This encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. The antibiotic properties seem to target bad bacterial. The result is a good gut boost.
Again, present in both traditional fluid and dry honey, dehydrated honey has the advantage of being more easily blended and dissolved into drinks.
Honey is rich with antioxidants, and hosts anti-inflammatory effects. Our world is filled with byproducts and foods that mistreat our gut. A hit of honey can soothe our innards from this daily onslaught.
16. Cures hangovers
Even in post-SHTF situations, you can still enjoy drinking alcohol by making some. And so, when that hangover finally hits you, you can always turn to honey for help. Fructose accelerates the metabolism of alcohol, easing that incessant head-pounding in no time at all. The key to getting rid of hangovers is hydration.
17. Helps absorb calcium
Another special property of honey is it aids in absorbing calcium the bones, based on a study conducted in Indiana. This reduces the risk of acquiring osteoporosis. On the contrary, the use of commercial sugar contributes to calcium leakage.
18. Prevents hair loss
For those with thinning hair, it’s best to start adding honey to your hair regimen because there are also reports that demonstrate honey’s ability to improve hair loss. Honey can be used to target damaged, unhealthy hair and the fungal infections associated with baldness. For men desperate to hide those bald spots, a dab of honey on your scalp won’t hurt.
19. Treats dandruff
If you think, that’s all honey can do for your hair, then you have another thing coming. This study shows that honey can also treat dandruff as well as seborrheic dermatitis, by reducing redness and scalp itching. The antimicrobial properties of honey wards off fungal growth associated with dandruff.
20. Prevents dry skin
In a situation where survival means constant motion, you may have to bear walking under the scorching heat of the sun. This will leave you dehydrated and your skin dry and rough. The antimicrobial agents as well as antioxidants in honey protect and nourish the skin. Apply honey in those dry areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Then wash off with water.
It is amazing just how many uses there are for honey especially in life-threatening conditions. The good news is that honey can easily be found in stores and supermarkets.
You can use it to your liking, may it be for consumption, for medical emergencies, or as an antibiotic. So all you preppers out there, better stash some honey away to leave you covered for emergency situations, should they arise.
Just remember to use honey in moderation because too much sugar also puts you at risk for diabetes and other ailments. It should also be noted that honey works better as a supplement in preventing and treating diseases and should not be SOLELY substituted for medicine. Say you what you will, but you can’t deny the practical uses of honey.
How about you? What other uses of honey can you think of?
updated 09/28/2020 by M. I. Grey