From something as simple to adding a dollop to your tea, to glazing over potatoes to make honey tots in your air fryer, there is no shortage of dishes that can be spruced up with a dash of this natural nectar. But honey’s usefulness expands beyond the kitchen: A handful of studies have found honey as a useful tool in skincare, food preservation, and even wound dressing. So before you consider tossing out an unused jar, check to see if you can use it for something other than making some killer Brussels sprouts.
Haircare. When applied to your hair and scalp, honey is able to provide skin regenerative properties to the skin of the scalp. According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, “in cosmetic formulations, [honey] exerts emollient, humectant, soothing, and hair conditioning effects, keeps the skin juvenile and retards wrinkle formation, regulates pH and prevents pathogen infections.” Beauty writer Caitlin Duggan recommends using this treatment no more than once per week, and pairing it with coconut or other carrier oils.
Making a lip balm. A little bit of honey will go a long way with your lips. According to skin care professional Ildi Pekar, honey has moisturizing and soothing effects that can hydrate the skin, leaving it soft and radiant. There is no shortage of DIY recipes for a honey-oriented lip balm to be found, if you find yourself interested in taking a stab.
Healing wounds. Don’t underestimate the power of your pantry sweetener. According to a 2015 study from the Wound Care Learning Network, honey is an effective healer of wounds. It writes, “the physical properties of honey expedite the healing process: Its acidity increases the release of oxygen from hemoglobin thereby making the wound environment less favorable for the activity of destructive proteases, and the high osmolarity of honey draws fluid out of the wound bed to create an outflow of lymph as occurs with negative pressure wound therapy.”
Use it in the bath. Put away the epsom salt and instead head to the kitchen. Professional esthetician Jordana Miattoli told Bustle that honey has skin-smoothing benefits thanks to its amino acids and antioxidants. By dissolving one cup of honey in hot water before adding it to your bath, you’ll be able to come away from your relaxing activity with some nice, smooth skin.
Making mead. If you’re looking for a buzz and don’t mind waiting for it, consider making mead. Honey, along with water and yeast, are the base ingredients of mead, a dessert wine that takes anywhere from three weeks to six months to ferment, depending on how strong you want it to be. If making mead is of interest to you but you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got a guide to get you started
Doomsday prepping. So technically this one does involve eating the honey, but (ideally) not for a while. Honey is an ideal food for any Doomsday prepper simply because it does not expire. According to Science Focus, honey’s low water content and high acidity are the two main reasons it doesn’t spoil. This is because the bacteria that causes food to spoil can’t grow in these conditions. Because of this, honey is a great choice to lock away in your apocalypse bunker. Just make sure it’s not all for naught by knowing exactly what you’re supposed to do if a nuclear missile hits your city.