Honey is undoubtedly one of the most popular ingredients found in most kitchens. The benefits of honey and water for human health are enormous. Everyone is likely to have heard about the uses of honey for improving skin health or about the benefits of taking a glass of warm water in the morning. The two, however, when combined together can work wonders for your body, especially if you are looking to shed off that extra weight.

Water is called the elixir of life and honey has been used for its miraculous effects on health since time immemorial. Honey, in the Vedic civilization, was considered to be one of the most remarkable gifts of nature to mankind. The ayurvedic scriptures mention honey as ‘Madhu and its role in mitigating the increase of the kapha dosha. Honey has been regarded as a medicine in itself and is also used as a constituent of several herbal formulations.

When combined together in the right proportion and consumed on a daily basis, honey and water, show effective benefits on health over time. The health benefits that can be derived from honey and water have been discussed at lengths in this article.

(Read more: Benefits of drinking water in the morning)

  1. How to take honey and warm water
  2. When to take honey and warm water
  3. Side effects of honey and warm water
  4. Benefits of honey water

If you haven’t tried before, here’s how you can go about preparing a mixture of honey and warm water.

  • Take a glass of water and boil it up to five minutes. Make sure that the water is not too hot.
  • Strain the water into a glass so as to remove any impurities.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of honey according to the recommended dose.
  • Stir well and enjoy.

Lemon juice with honey and warm water

Instead of taking just a plain glass of warm water with honey, you can add a small teaspoon of lemon juice to the mixture. The combination of the citrus flavour of the lemon with the sweetness of honey together will make for a refreshing drink, which will also provide wholesome health benefits.

Cinnamon with honey and warm water

If you do not like the bland taste of honey and warm water, you can experiment with it. Adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture will not only help improve the taste but also impart a characteristic aroma to your breath.

Though there are no strict guidelines as to what is the exact time of taking honey and warm water, consuming the mixture at certain times of the day has been found to have better health benefits.

The ideal time for consuming honey and warm water is in the morning on an empty stomach. This helps in achieving effective weight loss.

You can have honey and warm water before or during meals to help you feel full for a longer period of time. Alternatively, you can also opt to have a glass of warm water at night before going to bed as it will aid in the process of digestion.

Remember that whichever routine you choose, stick to it to achieve the best possible results.

(Read more: Weight loss diet chart)

Intake of honey and warm has not been known to cause any negative effects as such. However, certain people may experience some of the possible side effects mentioned below.

  • It is always essential to consume pasteurised honey. Honey that is not pasteurised may cause food poisoning as it may contain foreign matter that is capable of causing disorders in the digestive system.
  • Raw or unpasteurised honey may also cause allergies and rashes in some individuals. If such symptoms occur, it is essential to consult a physician at the earliest.
  • Consumption of honey and warm water in excess might cause abdominal pain and even a bloat in some people. Stop consuming honey and warm water in such cases and consult a physician before resuming its intake.
  • Putting honey in excessively hot water is not recommended. This makes it highly indigestible and toxic for consumption.

Honey is a rich source of several minerals and nutrients that can produce beneficial effects on health. The several benefits of honey and water have been discussed below.

Honey and warm water for the heart

In a research study, intake of honey with warm water showed a significant reduction in the risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases. Bioactive compounds such as flavonoids present in honey reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL), increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which is beneficial for the functioning of the heart.

(Read more: High cholesterol symptoms)

A clinical study conducted on patients with hyperlipidemia suggested that honey and warm water intake decreases total cholesterol levels in the body.

Additionally, nitric oxide, a metabolite present in honey has cardioprotective functions. Thus, honey with warm water is recommended for a healthier heart.

(Read more: Heart disease causes)

Honey and warm water for cancer

Studies have found that regular intake of honey and warm water can prevent various types of cancer such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer.

An important cause for the development and propagation of breast cancer is an imbalance in the levels of the estrogen hormone. Honey has been found to have an antiestrogenic effect at lower concentrations and an estrogenic effect at higher concentrations. In addition, honey shows highly specific and selective cytotoxic effects towards breast cancer cell lines and has a good potential as a chemotherapeutic agent.

Liver cancer is highly aggravated by reactive oxygen species. The antioxidising properties of honey can help in neutralising them, which further aids in reducing the risks of the disease.

Colon cancers mostly begin with inflammation of the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Studies have shown that honey inhibits the inflammation and proliferation of the cancerous cells. Use of honey with warm water can thus prevent the risk of colon cancer.

(Read more: Difference between cancer and tumour)

Honey and warm water with lemon for weight loss

One of the most profound and sought after benefits of honey and warm water is weight loss. Honey has several bioactive compounds in it which speed up metabolism. It provides a sense of fullness and decreases the cravings for unhealthier food. Honey is also a healthier substitute for sugar and replacing morning teas with warm honey water has been found to have weight loss effects.

Additionally, lemon, which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants can also be combined with this drink. It can help the body in getting rid of unwanted toxins and fats.

So, if you are looking to get rid of extra fat, start taking a spoonful of honey and lemon juice with warm water every day and watch wonders happen for you.

(Read more: Benefits of lemon water)

Honey water for digestion

Consumption of honey and warm water aids in the process of digestion. Natural honey facilitates better absorption and digestion of starch and sugars due to several enzymes that are present in it. The sugar molecules that are present in honey are in a form that can be absorbed by the body easily.

Certain other nutrients, such as phytochemicals, minerals, and flavonoids, are also provided by honey, which enhance the digestive processes in the body.

Honey is a natural probiotic. Research suggests that consuming regularly can improve gut health. Bifidobacteria is one of the primary microorganisms present in honey, that ensures a healthy gut.

Thus, the intake of honey with warm water is very beneficial for the digestive system.

(Read more: How to improve digestion)

Honey and warm water benefits for skin

Nutritionists recommend the intake of honey and warm water for a smooth and glowing skin. Drinking warm water containing a spoonful of honey can help in getting rid of skin conditions such as boils and acne. Honey also helps in controlling skin damage by enhancing skin tissue formation in the affected areas.

Additionally, honey consists of bioactive compounds such as nitric oxide metabolites. These bioactive compounds reduce the incidence of skin infection in case of diseases such as psoriasis.

(Read more: Skincare routine for a flawless skin)

Honey and warm water for diabetic foot ulcer

Diabetic foot ulcer is a condition occurring in people with high blood sugar. It is often complicated by microbial infections and the process of healing is slowed. Honey has long been used for the treatment of wounds and is effective against cuts and burns.

Studies have found that the consumption of honey with warm water in appropriate doses can help in the reduction of diabetic foot ulcers. The bioactive compounds present in honey also reduce the inflammation caused by this condition.

However, patients with diabetic foot ulcers are recommended to check in with their doctor before consuming honey with warm water.

(Read more: What to eat what not to eat in diabetes)

Honey and warm water for oral hygiene

A mouthwash prepared with honey and water is useful for the treatment of many oral conditions. Additionally, it is effective in the prevention of gingivitis, dental plaque, mouth ulcers, and periodontitis. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can stimulate the growth of the dental tissue, repairing damaged cells.

Periodontitis is caused by the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis. Honey shows antimicrobial activity against this bacteria and helps in the prevention of this disease. Stomatitis causes redness and swelling of the oral tissues, giving rise to distinct and painful ulcers. Honey and warm water are effective against stomatitis as the mixture penetrates into the tissues very quickly.

Halitosis is another oral health condition characterised by bad breath. The odour in the oral cavity is mostly caused by the activity of degrading microbes.

A recent study has demonstrated that consumption of honey and warm water can prevent this condition due to the strong antibacterial activity of the methylglyoxal component of honey.

(Read more: Oral hygiene tips)

Honey and warm water for throat infection

Sore throat, also called Pharyngitis is an acute infection induced by the bacteria Streptococcus. In addition to this bacteria, several viruses, fungi, and irritants such as chemical pollutants may also cause a sore throat.

Honey mixed with warm water, when either consumed or used as a gurgle, is suggested to be effective for the management of sore throat. Honey is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal in nature. It coats the inner lining of the throat and destroys the harmful microbes while providing a soothing sensation to the throat.

A survey has found that the use of honey and warm water is superior to other treatments for a cough, especially the one caused due to infections of the upper respiratory tract.

The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of honey help in minimizing persistent cough and brings about sleep in both children and adults.

(Read more: Home remedies for cough)

Honey and warm water for gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis or gastric or stomach flu is caused due to the inflammation of the digestive tract. It can occur due to the consumption of unhealthy food, contaminated water, or the spread of infectious agents from person to person. The symptoms of gastroenteritis include dehydration, watery diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal cramps, and nausea.

Many infectious agents such as Salmonella, Shigella, and Clostridium can cause this condition. A research study found that replacing the glucose in standard electrolyte oral rehydration solution (ORS) with honey reduced the time of recovery in patients. This was due to the high sugar content in honey, which boosts electrolyte and water reabsorption in the gut.

Honey and warm water for peptic ulcer and gastritis

Peptic ulcers are painful ulcers on the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum caused due to Helicobacter pylori. Gastritis, on the other hand, refers to the irritation and inflammation of the lining of the stomach wall. 

Honey has been identified as a potent inhibitor of H. pylori. It is acidic and antibacterial in nature. Glucose oxidase present in honey helps in the healing of ulcers caused by the bacteria.

Clinical studies have shown that honey reduces the secretion of gastric acid and increases the healing effect. Thus, honey is taken with warm water for its antibacterial properties and protective function.

(Read more: Stomach ulcer diet)

Honey for irritable bowel syndrome

Studies have found that the intake of honey with warm water on an empty stomach is effective in providing symptomatic relief to patients experiencing irritable bowel syndrome including severe diarrhoea or constipation, bloating, and stomach discomfort. Honey was found to be effective in minimising the duration of viral diarrhoea as compared to conventional therapies used for its treatment.

(Read more: Irritable bowel syndrome diet)

Honey and warm water for liver

Consumption of honey and warm water can help to improve the metabolic processes in the liver. Oxidative damage is the main cause of complications in liver functioning. Honey has antioxidant properties that can protect a damaged liver by neutralizing the free radicals (singlet oxygen for example, which otherwise causes damage to the internal organs). Honey with warm water also helps to soothe pain and neutralise toxins. It is, therefore, recommended to take honey with warm water to optimize liver function.

(Read more: Foods to improve liver health)

Honey and warm water for diabetes

Though it may sound unusual, honey is usually effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Honey, which has an equal ratio of fructose and glucose sugars helps in maintaining blood sugar levels, particularly in those suffering from fatty liver disease. Honey provides adequate glycogen storage in liver cells. Insufficient glycogen storage in the liver causes the release of stress hormones that affect glucose metabolism over time. Unregulated glucose metabolism causes the development of insulin resistance and is the main factor for fatty liver disease.

Studies have reported a significant reduction in blood glucose levels in patients taking regularized doses of honey with warm water.

(Read more: Diabetes symptoms)
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References

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  2. Omotayo O. Erejuwa, Siti A. Sulaiman, Mohd S. Ab Wahab. Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent . Int J Biol Sci. 2012; 8(6): 913–934. PMID: 22811614
  3. Otilia Bobiş, Daniel S. Dezmirean, Adela Ramona Moise. Honey and Diabetes: The Importance of Natural Simple Sugars in Diet for Preventing and Treating Different Type of Diabetes . Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018: 4757893. PMID: 29507651
  4. MG Miguel, Antunes, ML Faleiro. Honey as a Complementary Medicine . Integr Med Insights. 2017; 12: 1178633717702869. PMID: 28469409
  5. Abdulwahid Ajibola. Novel Insights into the Health Importance of Natural Honey . Malays J Med Sci. 2015 Sep; 22(5): 7–22. PMID: 28239264
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