10% off £25 OR 15% off £35

Code:EXTRA
 

10% off £25 OR 15% off £35

Code:EXTRA

🏷️ 3 for 2 Mix & MatchOffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 Free1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceIntroductory Offer3 for £3 Mix & MatchShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchLast chance to buyVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & Supplements3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy 1 Get 1 FreeShort DatedHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarWeledaNew NordicBioglanBach Original Flower RemediesBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Dairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesTeaCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete Food3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdManuka DoctorGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSulphites FreeCelery FreeKiwi FreeMustard FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDFoodspringSiSHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual Wellness3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceLast chance to buyDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein Bars3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterApplied NutritionNatures AidNew NordicDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & Relaxation3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettWeledaVitabioticsDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintOptimum NutritionNew NordicHeath & HeatherBeurerDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeWheat FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessMuscle & Joint PainImmunityGut HealthMenopauseWomen's HealthFood & DietSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthChildren's HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
honey pot with wooden spoon

7 benefits of honey

21 Sep 2021 • 2 min read

Honey is as old as time. It first appeared in written history in 2100 BC and was the first widespread sweetener known to man.

Today, we know it comes from bees, we know it’s a natural sugar alternative, it supports the stomach and it can adapt itself to many cooking methods.

But what do we know about the benefits of honey? Is honey healthy?

In this article, we’ll find out exactly what the buzz is all about – whilst trying to keep the bee puns to a minimum.

What is honey?

Honey is the thick, golden liquid that bees produce by using the nectar of flowering plants.

The taste, smell and texture of honey can differ depending on the type of flowers that bees visit to extract pollen. This results in different varieties, such as:

Popular honey varieties in the UK

  • Acacia
  • Clover
  • Honeydew or forest
  • Manuka
  • Orange blossom
  • Wildflower

How is honey made?

The National Honey Board states that honey starts as flower nectar is collected by bees, which is then broken down into simple sugars that are stored inside the honeycomb.1

The design and shape of the honeycomb, along with the constant fanning of the bees’ wings cause evaporation, which creates sweet liquid honey.

The colour and flavour of honey vary based on the nectar collected by bees.

For example, honey which is extracted from orange blossom nectar is likely to be light in colour, where honey from wildflowers may have a dark amber colour.2

7 benefits of honey

It may well be known as liquid gold, but honey has more to it than just being a sweet treat that you stick on your toast as a snack.

In fact, it may have health benefits and unique healing properties. 

  1. A great alternative to sugar

Honey has a lower GI value than sugar, which means it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly.3

Honey contains around 40% fructose and 30% glucose, with the other 30% being made up of water, pollen and trace minerals, which includes potassium, calcium and magnesium.4

By comparison, refined sugar contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose.

This does not necessarily mean that honey is low in sugar, it is more that honey has a better GI than refined sugar.

It’s worth keeping in mind that honey counts as a ‘free’ sugar and each teaspoon contains around 5.6g of sugar, so it's worth taking on NHS advice for adults and have no more than 30g of free sugars per day.

With that said, honey is a great substitute for sugar. While it may be higher in calories, it also has a sweeter taste which would normally mean you use less.

  1. May help with hayfever and other allergies

It may well be an old wives’ tale,  but eating local honey has long been thought to help with hayfever and other allergies.

In all honesty, there isn’t a lot of research to support this.

However, one 2011 study looked at a birth pollen allergy in Finland. Patients were given honey with added birth pollen prior to the hayfever season from November to March, and then recorded their symptoms from April and May.

Results found that a 60% lower total symptom score and twice as many days without symptoms when comparing results with people using conventional medicine.

However, it’s fair to say that more evidence is needed on this to provide a clearer conclusion.5

  1. May soothe sore throats and coughs

Again, traditionally honey has always been considered a natural way to soothe a sore throat or contain properties that may help a cough.

One 2016 study found that honey may be better than ‘no treatment’ for symptoms relating to a cough.

Although it was not found to be better than cough mixtures or medicine bought at a pharmacist.6

For the best guidance on this, you should speak to your GP for coughs and respiratory tract infections.

  1. Natural antibacterial properties

Honey is a rich source of flavonoids that are well researched and found to have antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties.7

There have been both lab and clinical trials that have found honey to be effective for a number of antibacterial activities.8

  1. Natural wound healing

There is also the consideration that honey may help encourage the growth of new tissue and minimise the scarring, which is great for non-serious wounds, ulcers and burns.9

  1. It may help your skin

Due to these antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey is effective to help calm and soothe irritated skin.

One study into dermatitis found that 30 patients who had seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, face and chest were asked to apply diluted honey every other day for three hours.

After four weeks, all 30 patients found there was improvements in their condition.

  1. Good for an energy boost

As a carbohydrate made up of fructose and glucose, the sticky stuff makes for a high-powered, natural energy snack.

Unlike refined sugar, it also contains small amounts of proteins and minerals such as B6, riboflavin and amino acids; compounds that help the body metabolise bad cholesterol and fatty acids.

While whizzing a spoonful into your smoothie won't do any long-term harm, it's important to remember to eat honey in moderation.

Honey nutrition

A 100g serving of honey contains:

  Energy Fat Carbs Fructose Glucose Protein
Amount 288kcal 0g 76.4g 41.8g 34.6g 0.4g

Is honey vegan?

No, honey is it not vegan. It’s produced by bees and is, therefore, a product of animal origin.

Side effects of honey

While there are no serious side effects related to honey, there is some concern around infant botulism.

This is very rare, however, you should follow NHS guidance and not allow children under one year old to have honey.9

You should also limit your honey intake to avoid tooth decay and other teeth-related problems.

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 21 September 2021

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.