Honey has long been used as a sweetner, but few people know of its' therapeutic and healing benefits. Honey is produced by bees that transform flower nectar into an edible, concentrated form of sugar. Acting like biological filters, bees that extract nectar containing environmental toxins often die before reaching the hives. As a result, honey contains only slight traces of environmental pollutants.
The therapeutic application of honey is referred to as apitherapy and has been found to provide a variety of healing benefits:
- relaxes the mind and nervous system, and promotes better sleep
- useful for treating headaches
- increases energy and stamina
- relieves indigestion
- has demonstrated healing properties for respiratory problems by reducing mucous formation
- acts as a natural disinfectant and can be applied to minor wounds, skin irritations and chapped lips
Honey is composed of fructose and glucose, simple sugars common in fruits. Also contributing to its' consistency, honey contains water, organic acids, pollen, enzymes and other proteins. Like other simple sugar products, honey is easily absorbed by the digestive system, therefore it should be taken in moderation to avoid excessive consumption of calories and overloading of the blood stream with blood sugars.
Additional Tips for Using Honey:
- Infants should not be fed unpasteurized honey as it contains bacteria that can be harmful to the health of infants younger than one year old.
- Honey contains pollen which may work to reduce hay fever symptoms and other allergies (when locally produced honey is consumed).
- Honey can reduce inflamation of upper respiratory tracts: Mix 1tsp of thyme with a little honey to help relieve coughing due to minor respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma.
- Honey contains a natural disinfectant called inhibine which prevents infections. Honey can be applied to minor wounds to enhance healing. This application can also reduce swelling of minor cuts and abrasions by drawing excessive water from the applied region.