Honey has been used as a natural remedy for many years. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and possesses powerful antibacterial, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Except as a natural remedy, honey has been used as a currency in Ancient Egypt, as a sweetener to alcohol drinks, such as cider, mead, and beer in Germany, and as herbal medicine and preservative in India.
Moreover, honey has been used as a sleeping promoter. Europeans and Chinese drank milk with honey before going to bed.
Health benefits of honey
According to Mike Mclnnis, a Scottish pharmacist, honey promotes sleep quality in many ways:
- Balances the levels of blood sugar
- Ensures proper stores of liver glycogen for 8 hours of sleep
- Promotes the production of melatonin, which recharges body tissues throughout the night
McInnis claims that these mechanisms constitute the honey-insulin-melatonin cycle, also known as the HYMN cycle. This cycle starts with consuming 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey an hour before going to bed. When you ingest honey, it goes from the gut, through the liver into the general circulation, increasing the levels of blood glucose and releasing insulin from the pancreas. Then, tryptophan is engaged into the brain, where it transforms into serotonin, and finally into melatonin in the pineal gland. It reduces the temperature of the body, prevents the increase of insulin, and decreases the levels of blood glucose.
Melatonin promotes the production of growth hormone and other recovery hormones, which maintain, enhance, and repair the bones, muscles, and other body tissues.
Moreover, melatonin enhances the production of neural cell adhesion molecules when you sleep and promotes memory. The liver turns honey into glucose and then into liver glycogen, preventing the production of stress hormones. Also, fructose boosts the release of glucokinase in the hepatocyte nuclei and hinders insulin increase during the night.
Honey can help you treat insomnia in a few ways:
- Before going to bed consume a glass of warm milk with 2 tablespoons of honey
- In a cup of warm chamomile tea, orange blossom, linden flower tea or lemon balm add 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Mix equal parts of orange juice and water and add 2 tablespoons of honey. Consume the mixture before going to bed.
- Mix 5 drops of lavender oil with 2 oz of raw honey. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to a warm bath. Soak in the water for 15 minutes before going to bed.
- In a cup of warm peppermint tea add a teaspoon of raw honey. Consume the tea before going to bed to treat insomnia.
When it comes to honey as a sleep aid, you should always use raw honey. Honey in most supermarkets has been heated, processed, and pasteurized. All the healthy nutrients, such as vitamins, bee pollen, and enzymes have been eliminated. In addition, honey bought in stores contains GMO, high fructose corn syrup, and antibiotics.