Allah the Most Exalted mentions honey’s healing quality;
“There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colours, in which is a healing for people. Indeed, in that is a sign for people who give thought.” [16:69]
Imam Ibn al Qayyim (rahimullah) mentions that natural [organic] honey is the best of all nutritive sweeteners. Light-coloured honey which has had the minimum of processing and comes from mountainous or wooded areas is better than other types of honey. Honey contains detergent and tonic properties. Taking a spoonful of honey in the mornings helps dissolve phlegm, gently warms and strengthens the stomach and increases a person’s appetite. Drinks sweetened with sugar rather than with honey yield more harm than benefit. A cold drink of honey and water insha’Allah strengthens the body,preserves its youth, as well as refreshing the heart.
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam’s) fondness for Honey;
It has been narrated by A’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) that “Allah’s Apostle was fond of honey and sweet edible things and (it was his habit) that after finishing the ‘Asr prayer he would visit his wives and stay with one of them at that time. Once he went to Hafsa, the daughter of ‘Umar and stayed with her more than usual. I got jealous and asked the reason for that. I was told that a lady of her folk had given her a skin filled with honey as a present, and that she made a syrup from it and gave it to the Prophet to drink (and that was the reason for the delay). I said, “By Allah we will play a trick on him (to prevent him from doing so).” So I said to Sada bint Zam’a “The Prophet will approach you, and when he comes near you, say: ‘Have you taken Maghafir (a bad-smelling gum)?’ He will say, ‘No.’ Then say to him: ‘Then what is this bad smell which i smell from you?’ He will say to you, ‘Hafsa made me drink honey syrup.’ Then say: Perhaps the bees of that honey had sucked the juice of the tree of Al-‘Urfut.’ I shall also say the same. O you, Safiyya, say the same.” Later Sada said, “By Allah, as soon as he (the Prophet) stood at the door, I was about to say to him what you had ordered me to say because I was afraid of you.” So when the Prophet came near Sada, she said to him, “O Allah’s Apostle! Have you taken Maghafir?” He said, “No.” She said. “Then what is this bad smell which I detect on you?” He said, “Hafsa made me drink honey syrup.” She said, “Perhaps its bees had sucked the juice of Al-‘Urfut tree.” When he came to me, I also said the same, and when he went to Safiyya, she also said the same. And when the Prophet again went to Hafsa, she said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Shall I give you more of that drink?” He said, “I am not in need of it.” Sada said, “By Allah, we deprived him (of it).” I said to her, “Keep quiet.” ‘
Recorded by Bukhari
Honey as a medicine.
The use of honey as a medicine is directly traced to the Sahih Sunnah and therefore should be strongly promoted;
It was narrated by Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Healing is in three things: cupping, a gulp of honey or cauterization, (branding with fire) but I forbid my followers to use cauterization (branding with fire).”
Sahih al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 71, Number 585
It was narrated by Sa’id Al Khudri (radhi Allahu anhu) that a man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and said, “My brother has some abdominal trouble.” The Prophet said to him “Let him drink honey.” The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, ‘Let him drink honey.” He came for the third time and the Prophet said, “Let him drink honey.” He returned again and said, “I have done that ‘ The Prophet then said, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.
Sahih al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 71, Number 588
The most anti-bacterial honey is ‘Manuka’, which is produced in New Zealand. It is renowned as the ultimate healing honey and comes in three main strengths, Active 5+, Active 10+ and Active 15+; the higher the numeric factor, the higher the anti-bacterial and antiseptic powers of the honey. Active 5+ or similar should be adequate to help treat digestive disorders, sore throats, acne, eczema and sunburn, and it can also help in the fight against gum disease.
I have personally found that the best honey for general consumption is that which is produced locally to where the patient lives and is unfiltered and organic. Local honey mixed with bee pollen is also an excellent treatment for the patient’s summertime allergies like hayfever.
Honey can also be used to treat wounds due to its anti-bacterial properties and it can also be used in skin treatments since it has the ability to soften, absorb and retain moisture. A very effective face pack can be made with one tablespoon each of besan (gram flour), honey, lemon juice and milk, mixed together and applied for 30 mins before washing off. This in sha’Allah helps soften skin and even out brown spots.
Honey should be excluded from the diets of infants under 12 months of age.