Honey has been a part of Scandinavian history since the time of the Vikings. It is thought that these Norsemen collected honey from wild bees in the forest during their travels. It was an excellent source of energy to fuel their long journeys. Learn how to use a historical Scandinavian favorite: Honey.
The popular drink of the time, Mead is said to have been brewers with honey, water, and yeast. Some historians think it is the oldest alcoholic beverage in history. But honey is not just a food of the past. Today there are infinite ways to use honey. Whether it’s for health, beauty, or taste, Scandinavian honey could have a use, or many, in your life.
Whether you’ve had a tough workout or you’re just feeling a bit sore, honey can help. Honey has anti- inflammatory properties that can help with reducing swelling in the body. This swelling is what often causes the annoying soreness that just won’t go away. Putting a bit of raw honey in your tea or on top of your yogurt will do the trick! This treatment is best paired with other stretching and massaging practices for the ultimate pain relief.
We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. It can cause plaque build-up, rotting, tooth-rotting, and enamel breakdown. But not to fear, there are sugar replacements that can taste just as good. Some dentists recommend swapping honey for traditional sugar to make your foods sweeter. Certain types of honey are said to actually help your teeth. Some of its oral health benefits include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. Additionally, honey contains a molecular structure that is easier for the stomach to digest. So, on top of cleaner teeth, your stomach will have a good time as well.
If you’re feeling sick and over-the-counter medications aren’t your thing, there is still hope. Honey has been used for many years as a replacement for cough syrup. Whether it’s mixed with a tea or taken by the spoonful, it’s soothing properties can cause some much-needed relief. One study shows that honey can relieve coughing better than medications with dextromethorphan (DM), a popular ingredient in over-the-counter cough suppressants.
If you struggle with dry or brittle hair, honey may be your saving grace. As honey is a natural antioxidant, it promotes scalp health and hair growth. It has properties that stimulate the hair follicle resulting in longer and stronger hair. Many people advocate for honey as a hair conditioner. Its moisturizing effects help soften strands. As a humectant, a substance that reduces moisture loss, honey can protect hair from drying out. Its clarifying effects work to thoroughly clean the hair. It gets rid of any gunk that may have built up, leaving your hair shiny and luscious.
While it isn’t the miracle cure for acne, honey can help inflamed and irritated skin. Raw honey has antibacterial properties which can help sooth blemishes and reduce skin inflammation. It contains hydrogen peroxide which works to remove any bad bacteria that could be furthering the redness and irritation. It is important that when using honey as an acne fighter, you opt for the raw variety. While nearly all honey produced in the Scandinavian region is raw, there are some processed kinds out there. Raw honey is natural and unhated, which allows it to keep all of its incredible benefits.
Aside from cosmetic purposes, honey is a useful substance in first aid. Honey has an acidic pH between 2.2 and 4.5 which helps aid in the healing process. Acidic pHs work promotes the release of oxygen through the blood which speeds up healing. Its acidity also reduces the presence of substances that could impair healing. Its high sugar content draws water out of wounds, which helps in reducing swelling. It encourages the lymphatic system to flow to the wounded area, allowing for a more holistic method of healing. Its ability to fight bacteria that builds up in wounds helps keep the injured area clean and reduces the risk of infection. Its antibacterial properties have helped fight dangerous bacterias like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).
How To Use A Historical Scandinavian Favorite: Honey Bottom Line
Honey is an incredibly diverse tool that has beneficial properties in many different areas. For centuries, Scandinavian people have turned to the sweet substance for cosmetic, cooking, and healing purposes. The average person most likely has this elixir sitting in their pantry. Give it a try and see what it can do for you!
How To Use A Historical Scandinavian Favorite: Honey, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Molly Edwards. Molly is a devoted mom, passionate writer, and budding solopreneur. As a mother of two boys, she hopes to inspire parents to stress less and enjoy the big, beautiful world a little more.
Feature image (on top): © Dmitry Grigoriev / Unsplash