7 Surprising Benefits of Honey and Milk

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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Milk and honey have known benefits when consumed individually. Combined them and together, they provide surprising health benefits. The health benefits of honey and milk include advantages in skin care and an increased stamina. Jerusalem is referred to as ‘the land of milk and honey’ in the Old Testament. The benefits of honey and milk on the human body are so enormous that the phrase “land of milk and honey,” meaning “a place which has plenty” is rightly used.

Honey is traditionally used for health due to its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, as well as its soothing, anti-inflammatory effects on respiratory issues. Milk, on the other hand, has traditionally been praised for its vitamin and mineral content, including fat-soluble vitamins vitamin A and D B vitamins, and calcium, as well as its animal protein, and lactic acid. However, these attributes can combine when milk and honey are taken together, resulting in some unique and desirable benefits.

Health Benefits of Honey and Milk

Health benefits of honey and milk include the following;

Skin Care

Both honey and milk possess antimicrobial and cleansing properties. Use of honey masks are effective for relieving acne. These properties are used when the two are taken together. Numerous cleansers are prepared using milk and honey because the mixture gives the skin a healthy glow. One can also enjoy a bath of milk and honey, by mixing them in equal quantities in water. The combination is often used in spas throughout the world.

Aids in Digestion

Honey is a good source of prebiotics, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Prebiotics are nutrients that stimulate the growth and development of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria growing and developing in our intestines and digestive system.

Prebiotics has demonstrated a stimulatory effect on bifidobacteria, a type of probiotic found in milk. The carbohydrates and oligosaccharides in honey help promote healthy and proper function of these beneficial bacteria, which are are essential for the healthy maintenance and function of the GI tract. When the bacterial balance in the digestive tract is good, it eliminates a number of irritating conditions including constipation, cramps, and bloating.

A glass of fresh milk with a bowl of golden honey on a white wooden table

Boosts Stamina

A glass of milk and honey every morning is thought to improve a person’s stamina. Milk contains protein, while honey contains the necessary carbohydrates required for an effective stimulus of metabolism.

Animal proteins from milk are broken down into basic amino acids by enzymes and are then reformed to create usable proteins for humans. The excess material in this transformation is then oxidized as usable energy. Proteins are an essential part of the human diet, and honey helps to stimulate their metabolism.

Bone Health

As research on honey continues, it is gradually becoming clear that honey acts as a carrier and transporter of nutrients from food throughout the body. Specifically, honey has shown itself to be integral in the body’s acute uptake of calcium, of which milk is a rich source. This is noted by a study performed on rats by Dr. Merlin Ariefdjohan of the University of Colorado in the United States.

So, consuming honey and milk together will not only give your body the necessary nutrients (i.e. calcium) to benefit your bone health, but will also maximize its absorption in the body. Proper calcium levels can prevent conditions like osteoporosis and inflammation of the joints.

Reduces Insomnia

Honey and milk have both been used as remedies for insomnia and sleeplessness in alternative medicine. Individually, they are both effective, but the effects are strengthened when taken together. Honey is one of the rare sugary foods causing a controlled increase in the amount of insulin being secreted, which also promotes tryptophan to be released into the brain.

Tryptophan is normally converted into serotonin, which induces a feeling of relaxation. Furthermore, serotonin is commonly converted to melatonin, a well-researched sleep aid. A negative impact of tryptophan depletion on sleep continuity is well demonstrated in one study published in Psychiatry Research. Thus, honey and milk can be used to reduce sleeplessness.

Health benefits of milk and honey - infographic

Anti-aging Properties

People in many ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Indians, drank milk and honey to preserve their youth.  It is thought that the combination of milk and honey impacts the whole body, by making it agile and youthful. Since milk and honey can help ensure a long life, their combination was known as “the elixir of life.”

The antioxidant properties that occur when milk and honey are combined are great; antioxidants attack the free radicals, one of the primary causes of skin degradation, wrinkles, and blotches. Dr. Brendan Niemira, research leader at the USDA Research Center, confirms the antioxidant property of honey in one of his research studies.

Antibacterial Properties

Research has shown that milk and honey have a more pronounced effect on Staphylococcus bacteria than either milk or honey when taken on its own. It is also believed that honey, added to warm milk, cures flatulence, constipation, and intestinal disorders. It is also good for treating respiratory disorders such as cold and cough.

Does Honey Become Toxic In Warm Milk?

Honey does not become toxic when added to warm milk. However, honey should not be heated to temperatures higher than 140 degrees, according to a study published in the Ayurveda journal Ayu. According to the researchers, the honey, when heated, produces a toxin called hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF). It is recommended to add the desired amount of honey in warm milk, rather than hot milk, to get the full health benefits of this combination. So enjoy your cup of honey and milk!

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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