Honey has been known for its sweet taste as well as its healing abilities since the times of the ancient traditions such as the Greeks and Egyptians. It has also been used as a remedy by our grandmothers as well as traditional medicines such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Honey has been used both orally and topically to treat various ailments including gastric disturbances, ulcers, skin wounds, and skin burns before there was science to prove its mechanisms or effectiveness.
As modern medicine has developed and promoted pharmaceutical compounds, the use of honey declined as a healing substance. However, today people are seeking natural substances again, and honey is one of them. Apart from all the case studies of people benefitting from honey, modern science can explain the mechanisms behind healing as well as do studies to confirm the outcome in humans.
Why honey promotes health:
- About 95% of honey consists of sugars and water. The other 5% consists of more complex carbohydrates as well as minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Many of these compounds play a role in the metabolism of food and this could aid in energy production. It also consists of many antioxidants – the darker the honey, the more anti-oxidants are present.
- There are two by products found in honey which is responsible for its ability to suppress bacterial and fungal growth and thus increase its shelf life. These two substances are gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is present in all cells in our bodies and known for its ability to boost immune function as well as killing bacteria, virusses and yeasts.
- Drinking warm milk and honey is a known remedy for sleeplessness. The reason behind it is that honey stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone which helps us fall asleep at night. It also is a powerful antioxidant.
- Manuka honey, made from the manuka bush in New Zealand and parts of Australia, is considered the most beneficial to health due to it’s higher consentration of enzymes.
Scientific research on honey shows the following:
1. It boosts immunity.
2. Gastric infections clear up with the use of honey.
3. It promotes DNA repair after exercise as well as damage caused by toxins.
4. It promotes healing of gingivitis and oral infections.
5. Skin diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis clear up with topical application of honey.
6. It aids in the control of blood lipids.
7. It also helps with control of hormones regulating appetite and hunger in diabetics.
8. Relieves pain and bleeding of hemorrhoids and anal fissure.
9. Helps with treatment of wounds and burns.
10.Helps with treatment of sinus infections.
11. Alleviating menopausal symptoms including sleeplessness.
12.It helps in the treatment of night time cough and sleeplessness.