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Veterinarian Reviewed on January 14, 2014 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Honey is a naturally sweet, sugary-thick substance produced by honeybees from nectars and other plant secretions. Its major components are glucose, fructose, and water. Other contents include amino acids, Vitamins, minerals and special enzymes. Honey has various types of flavors and with different colors depending on its aging and source. It is commonly utilized as a food for consumption and as a medicine.

History and Origin

Honey is an ancient substance particularly known to be useful for food, medicine, cosmetics, preservative, and cooking. It is significantly used in mythology, religion literature and scientific studies. The oldest reference of honey is in 5500 BC in Egypt. The lower part of Egypt was referred to as “Bee Land”, and Egyptians used honey for medicinal purposes. The Aryan invaders took the honey in India, which the later used for their religious rites. Honey is also found written in the ancient submarine clay tablets that are believed to be much older than that of the Egyptians. Later, the Babylonian tablets yields recipes for “electuaries”, a honey-based medicine. Incidentally, a Roman writer named Pliny the Elder, mentioned honey in an electuary that includes powdered bees. It is believed to cure dropsy as well as bladder stones. Archeologists in the eighteen hundreds found a big honey jar while working in Egypt. They found out the honey tasted perfectly even though it aged thousand of years. Honey is mentioned in the Koran of the Muslims, and even in the Christian Holy Bible.

Ancient Uses

The healing attributes of honey has been known for thousands of years. It is effective in healing cuts, correcting health disorders, curing many ailments and diseases. Honey is traditionally used as a natural cure and as an alternative medicine for the most usual health problems including athletes foot, bad breath, arthritis, Hair Loss, yeast infections, acne and sleep disorders. The most renowned honey, specifically the UMF Manuka, has a natural medicinal value. It aids in the healing of tissues and helps fight off infections. Oftentimes, honey is utilized as a treatment for problems of the digestive system including indigestion, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and stomach ulcers. In addition, it is helpful in reducing scarring and inflammation.

Modern Uses

Experts continually discover the many uses of honey. Honey has beneficial properties useful for the body with its antiseptic, cleansing and antioxidant properties. It is useful in treating asthma, hay fever, and coughs. It possesses healing capabilities for the entire human body from athlete’s foot up to eye conjunctivitis. Honey is a skin care and total beauty product for women. During exercises, honey can be a rich source of carbohydrates. It also has diversified uses in food preparation depending on their varieties and sources.

Side Effects

In the event of collection, production and processing, germs from bees, plants and dust may contaminate honey. However, its germ-fighting capabilities ensure that these common contaminating elements will not be able to reproduce. Although bacteria that uses spores to reproduce such as bacterium may stay. In solving this concern, irradiation is done to medical-grade honey for the bacterial spores to be inactivated. Standardization is also applied to achieve consistency of medical-grade honey in fighting off a variety of harmful germs.

Read also: Collagen Type II

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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