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After the birth of my first son, I became more interested in eliminating chemicals and processed goods from my life. I’ve been buying “green” products for several years, but I’m just starting to dip my toe in natural remedies. While my original motivation was to increase my family’s well-being and reduce our chemical exposure, there is a definite money-saving aspect as well.
From the kitchen, to the bathroom
It seems like all the rage in natural products is coconut oil. A quick internet search yields over one hundred distinct uses for coconut oil, from makeup remover to hair conditioner. However, there’s another product in your kitchen that also has some amazing benefits, yet you probably don’t know about it. What is it? Honey.
Regular vs. Raw Honey
Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about the cute little plastic bear. That’s fine for your tea, but to get the kinds of benefits I’m going to be talking about, you need to use raw honey. Why? Because regular (aka store-bought) honey is pasteurized, killing many of the enzymes and other goodness that allows it to work its magic. If you can buy raw honey locally, that’s often best, but you can also purchase it online. My favorite is Y.S. Eco Bee Farms.
Fair word of warning: raw honey is nothing like what you’ve come to expect from the grocery store. Rather than syrupy and translucent, raw honey is thick and opaque. The top quarter inch or so usually hardens over to form a crust, but the rest will be soft and gooey.
Uses for raw honey
When I first started writing this post, I had only planned to discuss how I use honey for a facial cleanser. However, as I was doing a bit of research, I found so many more uses for honey. I’ve highlighted the five I am/was most excited about and my experiences if I tried them.
- Facial Cleanser: Even though I’ve been doing it for a few years now, the idea of putting a sweet, sticky substance on my face to clean it is still baffling. However this is where they “enzymes and other goodness” I mentioned above come into play. Raw honey has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This makes it a great choice for those suffering from acne and many other skin conditions. When I was researching various natural cleansers, I ultimately chose honey because of its simplicity. You use it the same way you would your regular face soap. Note that honey doesn’t do a good job of removing makeup, so you’ll want to use a a makeup remover before washing your face. If you suffer from acne, leave it on for an extra 10-15 minutes for an extra boost (I usually go about my getting ready routine while it works its magic).
- Fading scars: Honey, either alone or with other ingredients, may lessen the appearance of scars. A common recipe I found was two tablespoons of honey mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda. I just started putting plain honey on a scar I got a few months ago after a nasty run in with some tomato sauce. I haven’t been doing it long enough to notice a difference but I’ll give it a few weeks to see how it goes.
- Hair shampoo/conditioner: I mixed one tablespoon of honey in a half cup of warm water for a shampoo. I have to admit, I didn’t like it. I might just be too accustomed to a sudsy shampoo, but I didn’t feel that it got my hair clean. Still, everyone’s hair is different so it might work better for you than it did for me.
- Cough suppressant: Having a cold is miserable, but many doctors are now advising against cough syrups. Studies have shown that cough syrup actually doesn’t do much in cold coughs for adults. For kids, they can even be dangerous. Next time someone in my family has a cold, we’re going to try a teaspoon of honey instead (Except for the baby. Remember not to give babies (under twelve months) any honey. Just to be safe, you should check with your child’s doctor on any home remedies, regardless of your child’s age.).
- Moisturizer: I’ve probably had some of the worst dry skin in my life this winter. My hands are red and cracked, and no matter what I try, nothing seems to help. I smeared some honey on the most troublesome spots and left it on for about five minutes. At that point I started feeling a light burning sensation so figured it was time to get it off! I noticed a slight improvement immediately, but a couple of hours later, the redness had greatly diminished and my knuckles felt softer. I’m going to continue to do this for the next several days and expect to see a noticeable improvement.
These are just a few ways you can incorporate honey into your health and beauty routine. Do a quick internet or pinterest search for even more ideas!
Wait, how does this fit in with a blog about saving money?
Raw honey is definitely more expensive than its store-bought counterpart, usually by at least a few dollars. But, if you can eliminate a facial cleanser, cough syrup, shampoo or conditioner, and a moisturizer, you’ll probably come out at least $10-15 ahead. Not too shabby! And a jar of raw honey goes a long way. I’ve used mine mostly for a facial cleanser and it probably lasts for around six months. For comparison, a regular sized container of face soap that I would buy at a drugstore would likely only last for half of that time, at best.
What about you? Have you incorporated honey into your health or beauty routine? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Deal of the Day
In a post about honey, it seems only fitting that I talk about…honey, though this time I’m talking about the browser extension that saves you money on your online shopping. Once you install Honey, an icon will appear in your toolbar. When the icon changes color while you shop, it has found a coupon code or discount. What I absolutely love about it is that it compares all of the various sellers on Amazon to make sure you’re getting the best deal. I have Amazon Prime so I usually purchase items directly from Amazon to get my free shipping. Recently, Honey found me a lower price seller that still offered free shipping. It was a no-brainer to go with that option, but I never would have considered it if it weren’t for honey. Before you do anymore online shopping, go sign up!
Until next time…
Note: I am not a physician, nor do I have any kind of medical background. Nothing in this post should be construed as medical advice. You should always consult with your doctor for guidance on your unique situation.