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Health Benefits of Honey

The Many Health and Nutritional Benefits and Uses of Honey

Honey is one of nature’s most versatile and most amazing products, available in most of the countries of the world. There are numerous health benefits of honey, in addition to the many other uses for nutritional and medical purposes.

 

Honey contains minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that are all considered essential for good health. It can be even added to diabetics diet, as long as it fits within the diabetic’s own medical regimen and diet instructions.

Unprocessed and dark honeys offer greater health benefits. Unprocessed honey contains enzymes, while dark honey has more antioxidants – all considered fundamental for good health.

A spoonful of honey
There are many health benefits and nutritional uses of honey. From using honey for medicinal purposes to drinking honey wine - known as mead. Honey is a true 'nectar of the gods'.

Mead – honey wine

Honey wine, a fermented alcoholic beverage made of honey, water and yeast, is known as mead. Drinking mead is one of the oldest customs in many diverse cultures, from Hindu, Arabic, and Greek, to the North European custom of drinking mead at weddings.

Did you know that the word "honeymoon" comes from this old European custom of newlyweds drinking honey wine!? At a wedding, the bride’s father would provide her with enough mead for a month’s long celebration in honour of the marriage.

Many different, old and recent, cultures have created their own versions of mead, often mixing it with spices, herbs and fruit. Some of the spices used are cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, while herbs used are ginger, tea, coriander and vanilla.

The fruits used to mix with honey were red and white grapes, apples or apple juice, pears, orange peel and various berries.

Nectar of the gods

Known since Ancient Greece as the "nectar of the gods", honey beverages are mentioned by the well known Greek philosopher Aristotle in his writings. Hindus sacred book, the Vedas, also cites honey as a sacred item.

Apart from India and throughout Europe, there’s also evidence that mead was made throughout Asia and in Central Africa. There are dozens of known varieties of mead, used in different countries and each one uniquely prepared and mixed.

Mead’s use throughout the ages has been for various customs and celebrations, and also for honey’s health benefits. Some of mead varieties contain alcohol, while others don’t.

The use of honey in Ayurvedic medicine

Honey bee on flower
Honey bee doing its work on a flower
Some of the earliest known uses of honey as alternative medicine have been recorded in Ayurvedic and Yunani medicines.

Ayurvedic medicine is form of holistic treatment, originating from India. It was developed by Brahmins about 4,000 years ago. This unique form of medicine focuses on establishing and maintaining an internal balance, adjusting its health regimen for the individual. Ayurvedic medicine has proven to be effective in treating diabetes, as confirmed by several modern research studies.

Yunani medicine is another form of holistic treatment, most likely originating in Greece, but widely used in Arabic countries. The word Unaani or Unani means Greek in Arabic languages. It’s a healing system very close to Ayurveda, often using honey as its healing base, because of its healing properties.

Both Yunani and Ayurveda hold that the human body holds 4 elements: water, air, earth, and fire. The balance of these 4 elements in our bodies lead to good health, while the imbalance of these elements leads to illness. Ayurveda is associated with Vedic (Indian) culture, while Yunani is associated with Islam (Arabic) culture.

Modern uses of honey for health benefits

People have used honey throughout the ages for all kinds of health, taste, and medicinal purposes. So it’s not surprising that honey’s good name continues in our modern world, where these days honey tends to be used more for the taste and health benefits. While there are many customs and myths associated with the healing powers of honey, some of the recent western medicine findings have supported or confirmed the many health benefits of honey.

As one of the oldest folk and natural remedies, honey is nowadays used to:

  • Add honey to your beverages
    Honey is a very versatile product that can be consumed on its own, or combined with other foods and drinks for taste and health benefits
    end coughs 
  • fight acne  
  • combat infection 
  • fight colds 
  • treat burns 
  • reduce cholesterol 
  • clear bladder infection 
  • recede arthritis pain 
  • sooth toothache 
  • clear sinuses 
  • help fertility 
  • aide digestion 
  • fight fatigue 
  • help with weight loss 
  • strengthen immune system 
  • and much moreā€¦ 

For example, if you’re suffering from cold or a sore throat, boil a cup of hot water and add fresh lemon juice and honey. This will have a soothing effect on your throat and your body.

If you are a milk drinker, add a teaspoon of honey to your hot milk before bedtime, for a good night’s sleep. Or, add honey to your cup of chamomile tea before bed for a sound sleep.

If you’re a diabetic, do the same with your cup of chamomile tea before bed, but add a twist or two of fresh lemon juice to keep that glucose level down. In general, adding lemon or lime juice to your salads or meals is a smart, healthy way to reducing your blood sugar levels.

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