(NaturalNews) Raw honey is more than just a natural sweetener. Honey has a variety of uses in your beauty regimen and for medicinal purposes. Raw honey, which is not pasteurized or refined, can be especially useful because of its nutritional properties. Although you may have heard about the benefits of raw honey, you might be surprised at some of the creative ways it can be used:
Eight new ways to use raw honey
1. Stock up for emergency food stores. - Raw honey has a long shelf life because of its high sugar content and naturally occurring enzymes. In fact, some say raw honey can last indefinitely. This makes honey an ideal (and delicious) food to add to your emergency stockpile.
2. Sooth a sore throat and ease your cough. - Raw honey is well known for being the perfect cold remedy. A blend of raw honey and fresh lemon juice can be taken as needed to treat a sore throat or cough.
3. Boost your athletic performance. - Don't waste your money on commercial energy gels that contain food additives and artificial coloring. Research has shown honey is effective for improving athletic performance. A spoonful of raw honey before aerobic activity can provide an energy boost plus a variety of important nutrients.
4. Treat minor cuts, scrapes and burns. - Raw honey is an ancient remedy for cuts, scrapes and burns due to its natural antibacterial properties. Simply clean the area, dab on a small amount of raw honey, and wrap as normal. Change wrapping at least once daily until the area is healed. The honey may also help to reduce scar formation.
5. Make a simple sugar scrub. - Soften your skin by exfoliating with a mixture of raw honey, sugar and sweet almond oil. Store the mixture in a glass jar and use as needed. You'll save a fortune if you exfoliate with this instead of using those expensive department store scrubs.
6. Use as a glossing treatment for hair. - Coat your hair with raw honey and let it sit for ten minutes before washing as usual. Honey works as a clarifying and conditioning treatment, making your locks shiny and smooth.
7. Improve your sleep. - A spoonful of honey before bed (by itself or in a cup of warm herbal tea) is a natural sleep remedy that can help you relax and fall asleep faster.
8. Enjoy a honey facial. - Massage a teaspoon of raw honey into your face and let it sit for 10-30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. This simple honey mask can smooth your skin, fight wrinkles, improve skin tone, reduce redness, and help with blemishes.
About the author: Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition and wellness. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com