Referred to as Madhu in classical Ayurvedic texts, honey is one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine. The ingredient is commonly used in a wide range of internal and external applications and is most popular as a natural sweetener that can also soothe throat irritation, coughs and colds. It is frequently used as a medium for the administration of Ayurvedic Churnas and other mixtures to make them more palatable and also to reduce the side effects of certain medications. However, honey isn’t just valuable as a functional food or for internal medicine, but also as a topical application to treat various skin and hair conditions and to simply promote healthy hair and skin growth.
Health Benefits of Honey for Hair and Skin
Benefits of Honey For Skin Care
Improves Wound Healing: This is the most widely recognized of all benefits of honey for skin care, having been used since ancient times in cultures across the world, especially in Ayurveda. This traditional use is supported by modern studies that demonstrated that wound healing with honey can lower the risk of secondary infections thanks to honey’s antimicrobial properties.
Relieves Skin Inflammation: Inflammatory skin conditions including acne and psoriasis are among the most common problems that cause redness, itching, irritation, burning and other skin blemishes. With its soothing anti-inflammatory properties, honey can help to provide quick relief from most of these skin conditions.
Protects Against Effects Of Aging: Honey is one of the richest natural ingredients with powerful antioxidants that protect against free radical damage, which is the main trigger for ageing. The regular application of honey can therefore promote healthy glowing skin, reducing the risk of wrinkle formation and preserving its natural elasticity.
Reduces Scarring: One of the most popular benefits of honey on face skincare is on account of its ability to help reduce scarring, which is a common problem from facial acne. Honey can be used as a spot treatment on acne spots or can be applied over the entire face as part of your beauty and skincare routine.
Lightens Skin Blemishes: Although researchers have limited evidence of skin lightening effects, these benefits are clearly mentioned in Ayurvedic texts from observations over millennia. Its known exfoliant effects can help to reduce dead skin cell buildup, reducing dullness and giving your skin a natural glow.
Benefits of Honey for Hair
Promotes Hair Growth: Honey is known to promote cell growth, which is what makes it so effective for wound healing. As the scalp is made up of epithelial skin cells that contain ducts and follicles for hair growth, the application of honey can help by promoting the growth of these skin cells.
Natural Hair Conditioning: Conditioners are used to preserve moisture within hair and provide nourishment including vitamins and minerals. Honey works just as effectively as a conditioner, trapping moisture and also providing nourishment with its blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Fights Hair Breakage: The benefits of honey on hair are also protective, helping to reduce breakage, which can significantly affect hair quality. While essential proteins like keratin are most critical for preserving hair structure and strength, it should be noted that honey contains some amount of protein that offers benefits along with the presence of its vitamins and minerals.
Promotes Scalp Health: Healthy hair growth is not possible without a healthy scalp and scalp health can be compromised because of the build-up of dirt, grease and residue from cosmetic hair products. Honey can help cleanse the scalp and is also known to provide relief from scalp conditions such as dandruff and dermatitis, thereby promoting healthy hair growth.
Treats Hair Loss: Inflammatory skin conditions that affect the scalp, such as scalp psoriasis and eczema are common causes of hair loss and thinning. Honey’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help to relieve and also reduce the severity of such conditions, protecting your hair.
Today, the health benefits of honey for skin and hair care are widely acknowledged, making it a popular ingredient in most natural beauty products. However, as per Ayurvedic traditions, it is best to use natural honey that has undergone minimal processing as this will ensure that none of the healing properties and nutrients in honey are lost.