For thousands of years, honey has been considered as a special substance. The ancient Greeks thought it was food for the gods of Olympus. Ancient Indian civilizations used it for medicinal and spiritual purposes. The Egyptians used it for mummification and stored jars of honey in royal tombs.
Needless to say, honey’s advantages transcends generations. If archaic people across the world found multiple uses for this sweet and sticky substance, what’s stopping preppers from doing the same? Here are 9 reasons why you should hoard honey for your survival stockpile.
1. It Can Last Forever
Remember those ancient Egyptians? They packed jars of honey into royal tombs, so the pharaohs can have something to eat in the afterlife. Well, the jars sadly didn’t make it to the afterlife; instead, they were unearthed by a group of archeologists after 3,000 years.
The shocker: the honey inside the jars was still completely edible.
After 3,000 years.
Let that sink in.
If you can still eat it after that amount of time, the odds are it’s pretty good survival food.
The compounds in honey hinder the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage, giving it an indefinite shelf life. Other food products like salt or white rice also have an indefinite shelf life, but they need to be cooked, added to other foods or processed further before you can enjoy them. In honey’s case, it’s edible as it is. Given the right conditions and proper storage, honey can stay edible for, well, a very very long time.
2. It’s High-Energy Food
This sweet substance is a powerhouse. A single tablespoon of honey already contains 64 calories. Honey is also 82% carbohydrates. This means a small amount can lend you the energy you need in a survival situation. A little can go a long way.
Raw honey can also be given as first aid treatment to people suffering from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
3. It’s Got Antibacterial Properties
Ever heard of food that actually fought germs? Honey has antibacterial properties that are quite unique to it. When bees create honey, they produce hydrogen peroxide, a compound that deters the growth of microorganisms. This compound makes it nearly impossible for germs to grow.
Take Manuka for example. It is a special type of honey grown from the Manuka bush in New Zealand. It contains high concentrations of a compound called methylgloxal (MG), which can kill a wide range of bacteria.
4. It Can Heal Wounds And Burns
Because Manuka contains high concentrations of MG it’s usually used as a topical medication to treat minor wounds and burns. The methylgloxal in Manuka has been known to combat microorganisms like E.Coli and S. Aureus. Studies have shown that the application of this type of honey improves the healing of mild to moderate burns. It provides an ideal environment for skin regeneration and healing and is pretty useful in treating skin ulcers, too.
5. It Can Get Rid Of Cough And Sore Throat
For centuries, honey has been widely used as a home remedy for coughs. This can be attributed to those unique antibacterial properties. The Mayo Clinic points to a study that honey may be as effective as over-the-counter cough medications. The upside is it’s cheaper, more widely available and is all-natural. The World Health Organization also recommends the use of honey and some lemon to ease scratchy throats.
6. It’s An Awesome Food Preservative
Honey may be known as a natural sweetener and cough suppressant, but did you know that it’s also a natural food preservative? The compounds found in honey inhibit the growth of microorganisms that cause food spoilage. Its high sugar content also helps in the preservation process.
Before the invention of refrigerators, people used to store meat in jars of honey to keep them from going bad. It’s so effective that ancient people even used honey for mummification. These days, we’re not so big on mummies, but we do want our food to last, especially in a survival situation where food shortage is a huge possibility. If you want to fight spoilage, look no further than that jar of honey.
7. It Lifts Your Spirits
For many, honey is a comfort food often associated with hearty breakfasts and sweet desserts. Having comfort food brings back a state of normalcy and can boost your morale in a survival situation. Much like chocolate, honey can lift your spirits, and improve your mood and mental health. Many may choose to overlook it, but meeting your mental health needs is just as important as meeting your physical ones. Get a jar of honey and give yourself a sweet break from time to time.
8. It’s Good For The Skin
Honey is a natural humectant, which means it has the ability to absorb moisture from its environment. Because of this, many cosmetic companies incorporate honey in their products. The truth is you can actually use honey without the added chemicals. You can apply it on your skin, particularly on the face to keep it healthy and hydrated. You can also use it to treat chapped lips, dry elbows, and even brittle hair.
9. It’s Got Tons of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have been known to increase overall wellness by getting rid of dangerous free radicals that destroy healthy cells. Antioxidants reduce the possibility of heart attacks and certain cancers, lower blood pressure and improve general health. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to get them. Honey is brimming with antioxidants so keeping a jar or two at home can really do wonders to your health.
However, Not All Honeys Are Created Equal
Before you go hoarding all that honey though, you should take note that not all honeys are created equal. A lot of commercially made “honey” may not even be pure honey anymore. Additives like water, sugar and even antibiotics have made their way into those amber-colored jars and bottles. Other commercial manufacturers pasteurize honey to remove botulinum spores that can cause botulism. The process, unfortunately, zaps out all the health and medicinal benefits of honey.
To ensure that you’re getting the complete benefits of honey mentioned above, make sure that you only buy raw and organic. Raw honey comes straight from the extractor and is not heated, pasteurized or further processed. Since it is not filtered, you may even find pollen in the honey. Raw honey has all that natural goodness, sans unnecessary and even harmful extenders.
Take note though that since raw honey is not pasteurized, it can pose a threat of botulism, so make sure you don’t give it to children younger than one year of age.
Your survival stockpile should be comprised of shelf-stable, multipurpose items. Honey checks those boxes…and then some. This amber substance has been aiding mankind for thousands of years and it continues to amaze us with its unique properties. It’s not only useful in food preparation and general health… it also kills bacteria and helps damaged skin to heal itself. If we’re being really honest, honey shouldn’t only belong to your survival pantry, it deserves a spot in your medicine cabinet as well. Either way, it’s definitely a must-have for every household.
What’s your favorite way to use honey? Let us know in the comments below!