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6 Major Side Effects Of Honey That You Should Know About

Honey has been a part of our lives for centuries. It has been used in Ayurveda, Food and Beauty industry all over the world. Honey is found in every household and is used as a sweetener and substitute for sugar. Read on to know about the side effects of honey.

Side Effects of Honey

It is considered to be nature’s gift to mankind with numerous health benefits. Honey is loaded with antioxidants and can heal wounds faster.

However, honey has a few side effects that can cause immense trouble if not taken in an adequate dose or in the proper manner. Therefore, the consumption of honey must always be in a restricted manner, only a certain amount incorporated in our diet.

Here are the 6 main side effects of honey.

Infant Botulism


As the name suggests, infant botulism is a disease that a baby gets when it is affected by botulism spores. Honey is made by bees that fly over flowers and thus may contain these particular spores. These spores cause the release of toxins that the baby’s immune system cannot fight against.

Infant botulism may result in constipation, floppy movements of muscles, unable to hold their head, weak cries and sometimes to respiratory failure. Feeding honey to infants, especially to those below one year must be restricted and be done strictly under the prescription of a paediatrician.


Tooth Decay

As honey is a sweet product, it contains sugar, although, in a low quantity, that acts as food for the bacteria living in the gums. If the honey is not properly rinsed after consuming, it gets stuck to the teeth and gums to increase bacterial activity. This might lead to tooth decay and cavities. Cavities result to bad oral health and promote tooth decay.

Increases Weight

Although honey is often taken with water to lose weight or is used as a substitute for sugar, one tablespoon of honey contains about 64 calories. So, consuming honey in a large quantity can add to the calorie intake. There are many common foods that are treated with honey during their production. To avoid extra calories, these foods must be consumed in a controlled fashion.

Honey is a thermogenic in nature, which means it makes the body warm when consumed. Sometimes this leads to gas and acidity, which often leads to bloating.

Increases Blood Glucose Level

Though honey acts as an anti-diabetic agent when consumed in a restricted small amount, it surges the blood sugar level if taken in a high quantity. Honey contains a high level of sugar that will subsequently increase the level of glucose in the bloodstream and then result in different complications.

If you are already suffering from high blood sugar, then you must avoid the consumption of honey as it will result in a sudden spike in the blood glucose level.

Also read 8 Health and Beauty Benefits of Curd


It is often noticed that people who are allergic to pollen grains and spores often show a reaction to honey too. This is very common as honey is processed from these pollen grains by the bees. It contains minute pollen and spore particles that might lead to allergy. Mild symptoms like sneezing, facial swelling, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes shock can result from honey allergy.

Allergy of honey generally occurs due to the presence of propolis. Propolis is a substance that is used by the bees to build their hives. As it is a contact allergen, it gets stuck with the honey and later causes allergy when we consume it. If you have had a history of pollen allergy, then you must consult your doctor before consuming honey.

Related Read 17 Immunity Boosting Foods That You Should Include in Your Daily Diet

Food Poisoning

Honey is a sugary semi-liquid that provides an atmosphere for microorganisms like bacteria and some yeast to survive in it. If the honey is pure and not processed, then the microbes can thrive in it. Spore forming bacteria in the honey can cause allergy and itching reactions. 

Yeast and bacterial colonies growing in the honey can sometimes result in bacterial infections in the gut and digestive system that might lead to food poisoning and diarrhoea.

External factors like wind and dust may also contaminate honey that might deteriorate its quality and lead to various digestive problems. Overconsumption of honey may lead to gastritis and heat up the stomach as honey in itself is a thermogenic product.

Though honey has a few side effects, it has numerous nutritional values that cannot be ignored. Its vast use in the medicinal field has shown it to be an effective remedy against various diseases from the common cold to healing old wounds. 

Honey is also used in facial masks, packs and creams to make the skin more glowing and soft. As it is a good moisturizing agent, it is used to treat broken skin on heels and lips.

There are numerous recipes that involve the use of honey as a key ingredient. Its unique taste and slurry texture have made it a popular product in cuisines. However, it has a few side effects that must be kept in mind before consuming honey.


Hope you liked this article on the side effects of honey. Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


Parvesh Maurya
Parvesh Maurya
Parvesh Maurya, has 5 years of experience in writing Finance Content, Entertainment news, Cricket and more. He has done BA in English. He loves to Play Sports and read books in free time. In case of any complain or feedback, please contact me @
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