HEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY

‡ Honey is a delicious viscous sweetener made naturally by bees for their own nourishment. Its flavor and texture vary with the type of flower nectar from which it was made. While the most commonly available honeys are made from clover, alfalfa, acacia flowers and lime flowers, honey can be made from a variety of different flowers, including thyme and lavender. Honey comes in a range of colors including white, amber, red, brown and almost black. Color of honey is a very useful tool to judge its quality. Light colored honey is more valued than dark colored honey as the former has a delicate flavor. It is also believed that polyfloral honey provides more benefits than monofloral honey.

as well as to embalm the deceased. its use in cooking was reserved only for the wealthy since it was so expensive that only they could afford it. both as a food and as a medicine. all over the world. dates back to at least 700 years BC.Natural honey has been used by mankind since the past 2. Apiculture. the practice of beekeeping to produce honey.500 years. For many centuries. . Honey was also used for a variety of medicinal and cosmetic purposes. It was used mainly in religious ceremonies to pay tribute to the gods. honey was regarded as sacred due to its wonderfully sweet properties as well as its rarity. For a long time in history.

cinnamon and other herbs to make a medicine. ‡ What makes honey so popular? It is the easy with which it can be consumed. mix it with juice or any drink instead of sugar. much of its use has become focused on its medicinal properties and its use in confectionary. Since then. . lime juice. Once these became more widely available. With their growing popularity. It is savored by all due to its taste as well as health benefits.‡ The prestige of honey continued for millennia until . although honey is still used for sweetening. While the numerous health benefits of honey have made it an important aspect of traditional medicines such as Ayurveda. put it on bread like a jam. honey became displaced by sugar for culinary use. especially in healing wounds. One can eat honey directly.the "discovery" of refined sugar made from sugar cane or sugar beets. they were in great demand since they provided a relatively inexpensive form of sweetening. or mix it with warm water. scientists are also researching the benefits of honey in modern medicine.

Honey is the ideal liver fuel because it contains a nearly 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose. insulin resistance. to impaired glucose metabolism. Repeated metabolic stress from cortisol produced when less than optimal liver glycogen stores are available during sleep. Honey is an excellent sweetener: Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food and drinks. When glycogen stores are insufficient. ‡ Proper fueling of the liver is central to optimal glucose metabolism during sleep and exercise. Honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose enabling it to be used as a sweetener. Fructose "unlocks" the enzyme from the liver cell's nucleus that is necessary for the incorporation of glucose into glycogen (the form in which sugar is stored in the liver and muscle cells). . the brain triggers the release of stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol .Among the health benefits of honey are included the following: ‡ 1. and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity. An adequate glycogen store in the liver is essential to supply the brain with fuel when we are sleeping and during prolonged exercise. leads over time. diabetes.in order to convert muscle protein into glucose.

diabetes. ‡ British researchers have discovered that honey slows the oxidation of 'bad' LDL cholesterol. highblood pressure. it helps to maintain and protect teeth! Its anti-microbial activity has been tested on several species of dental plaque bacteria. sufferers of heart-disease. or hardening of the arteries. thus killing the bacteria responsible for dental caries. Studies show that honey has been proven to sharply reduce acid production. The body's tolerance to honey is significantly better than to sucrose or glucose alone. and blocking the growth of oral bacteria. which is responsible for causing arteriosclerosis. showed significantly better tolerance to honey than sucrose. ‡ Although honey is sweet. stroke and others. This is beneficial for those of old age. Individuals with greater glucose intolerance like those with mild diabetes and Type 1 diabetes.‡ Experimental evidence indicates that consumption of honey may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to other sweeteners. Pure honey taken with food daily (instead of white sugar) relieves complains of cholesterol. .

endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. because honey eaten before is digested easily and released into the system at a steady rate for use by the body. Its natural fruit sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 2. honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance. honey when consumed with warm water helps in digesting the fat stored in the body. Studies at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory found that honey may be one of the most effective forms of carbohydrate to eat just prior to exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost. muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout. Further the sugars in honey can be easily converted into glucose by even the most sensitive stomachs. Though honey has more calories than sugar. while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. Similarly honey and lemon juice and honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. Honey is a source of complex carbohydrates The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. . One tablespoon of sugar will give you about 50 calories. Honey facilitates in maintaining blood sugar levels. Honey is an energy source: Honey is also used by many as a source of energy as it provides about 64 calories per tablespoon.

the most important elements identified in dark color honeys . The inorganic contents of honey. potassium. For example. iodine. glutamine. Honey also contains more than 18 different organic acids (gluconic. chlorine. citric. formic. sodium. methionine. The level of amino acids present in honey is a reliable indicator of the honey's antioxidant capacity. recent research supports the claim that dark colored honeys have larger amounts of antioxidants.‡ 3. calcium. manganese. malic. and E vitamins. honey keeps well. it is probably the only food that never expires! The vitamin and mineral content of honey depends on the type of flowers. This is not equally true of vegetables and fruits. Among trace-elements . zinc and high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. In fact.are iron. cysteine. Fruits lose some of their vitamin content during storage. magnesium. and tyrosine. etc. For example. minerals and other trace elements. honey is appreciated as an excellent tonic and helps people suffering from constipation and other enteric problems. spinach loses 50% of its vitamin C content within 24 hours after being picked. histidine. copper. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . Owing to its choline content. lysine.). In contrast. Essential amino acids found in honey are: tryptophan. phosphorus. sulfur. The composition and nutritional value of honey differ in relation to the floral sources honeybees have visited. All varieties of honey are rich in amino acids. play a significant role in human metabolism and nutrition. in a variety of B vitamins and also A1. Honey is a source of vitamins and minerals: ‡ Honey contains more than 180 different substances with complex interrelations which makes artificial production of honey impossible. alcohols and essential oils. Honey is an excellent source of vitamins. D. Honey is high in vitamin C. Honey also contains hormones.

They believed that cataracts yielded to treatments with honey. The ancient Egyptians used it as a surgical dressing." He highly praised the ³Unguentum Aegyptiacum´ which was made by boiling honey. would "open. plain or mixed with other ingredients. Honey dropped into the eyes was supposed to have cured inflammations and other ailments of the eyelids. Honey has a distinct bactericidal power which is mainly due to its hygroscopic property. especially for extensive sores of animals. This plaster. according to Butler. Galen (129-200) thought that "Honey warms and clears wounds and ulcers. attenuates and unloose excrescencies in any part of the body. When bacteria come in contact with honey they are deprived of the vital moisture and perish. During the Middle Ages honey was extensively used in the form of ointments and plasters for boils. dry and digest all inflammations and resist putrefaction. The Papyrus Ebers recommended that wounds be covered for four days with linen dipped in honey and incense. wounds." ." The Talmud recommended honey for ulcerated wounds. sometimes called the Father of English Beekeeping) thought that honey "will knit together hollow and crooked ulcers and likewise close other disjoined flesh. Charles Butler (1560 -1647. The Chinese and Hindus cover the entire bodies of their small-pox patients with honey to hasten the termination of the disease and also to prevent the formation of scars. The acid reaction of honey is also an unfavorable medium for the bacteria to grow in. Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and hence it can be used as a natural antiseptic. All living organisms require a certain amount of moisture to maintain their lives. Most micro-organisms which affect the human body are destroyed in honey.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 4. The external application of honey has an age-old history. clean. vinegar and wintergreen. burns and ulcers.

Honey's antiseptic qualities also help prevent infections from moving to other wounds. helps shed dead tissue. The ancient Greeks often refer to "epomphalia". and stimulates the development of new blood cells. a navel ointment made from honey for the newborn. *It is osmotic and attracts water. The Grossly Underutilized Anti-microbial was presented to the First International Symposium on Honey and Human Health on 17 January 2008. Fungi (Candida and Tinea). "Honey ointment". Old mead. well mixed with a little water. Besides its antimicrobial properties. bio-films. Dr. which is almost extinct today. Shona Blair from the University of Sydney tested the antimicrobial capability of honey using problematic pathogens such as: Antibiotic resistant micro-organisms. Anaerobes (60 species). It creates a moist environment by drawing serum up through the skin tissues that helps ³moist scab´ formation. Bacteria are further inhibited by honey because honey produces hydrogen peroxide and is acidic. was also used as an antiseptic lotion. Her paper entitled. honey is a powerful wound healer because: *It topically numbs pain. it is sucked dry in the presence of honey. had a wide usage. *It activates the immune response by providing glucose for the white blood cells. *Honey also reduces inflammation. especially that of the Slavic countries.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ The rural populations of the European continent. A good ointment should be more solidified than too liquid. . *It speeds up the healing process. used honey for all kinds of wounds and inflammations. Since bacteria are mostly made of water. consisting of equal portions of honey and white flour.

Honey is an antioxidants source: Honey contains nutraceuticals. allowing honey health benefits to manifest in a myriad of ways. As a result. This process also releases free radicals. Antioxidants slow down aging by neutralizing these free radicals. ‡ Honey contains antioxidants. ‡ Natural antioxidant from honey can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents which have been linked to many diseases such as cancer. powerful compounds which fight free radicals and reverse ageing. oranges or strawberries. apples. These precious honey properties help protect the skin under the sun and help the skin to rejuvenate and stay young-looking. which are effective in removing free radicals from our body. As such. and even the sunlight. Free radicals are everywhere in the air we breathe. our body immunity is improved. the food we eat. Every moment.‡ 5. A 2004 study conducted by the University of California concluded that honey contains as many antioxidants as spinach. there have been an increasing number of manufacturers of honey skincare products such as sunscreens and facial cleansing products for treating damaged or dry skin. the body absorbs oxygen and turns it into energy in a process called oxidation. . They perform healing at the deepest cellular level.

creams. Like other humectants. scrapes and burns. If skin loses its ability to retain moisture then it appears wrinkled and dry. It does not only attract water but it retains it in skin. minerals. shampoos and conditioners. . It maintains skin suppleness and elasticity. cleansers. honey binds moisture to the skin and helps it stay hydrated. ‡ *It is rich in vitamins. making it an effective moisturizer. it is used in moisturizers. and amino acids. ‡ *It is rich and thick. ‡ Due to its humectant qualities. and helps disinfect and speed the healing process in wounds. which are wonderful beauty aid that nourish the skin. honey it will prevent wrinkles and dryness. In this way.‡ There are at least four reasons why it is so effective in beautifying the skin: ‡ *It is a well known antibacterial and antifungal agent. ‡ *It contains powerful antioxidants which fight free radicals and reverse ageing.

Since over-the-counter medicine may be harmful to children. ‡ Honey¶s soothing qualities may help relieve sore throats and nighttime coughs in children.6. These findings are especially notable since an FDA advisory board recently recommended that overthe-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines not be given to children less than 6 years old because of their lack of effectiveness and potential for side effects. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties. honey not only soothes throats but can also kill certain bacteria that cause the infection. a 2007 study by a Penn State College of Medicine research team found that honey may offer parents an effective and safe alternative. Professional singers commonly use honey to soothe their throats before performances. Honey can cure children night cough ‡ One of the better known health benefits of honey is that it is able to help treat sore throats. .

honey contains large amount of enzymes. Tobias Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez from Lund University in Sweden showed evidence from their research that different varietals of honey possess a large amount of friendly bacteria: viable lactobacilli (6 species) and bifidobacteria (4 species). which may explain the "mysterious therapeutic properties of honey." Honey also contains complex carbohydrates which are probiotic. . All these means eating honey will aid digestion and increase energy. Also. Honey aid digestion ‡ Eating honey is good for stomach and digestion. Consuming them encourages the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria in body.7. Dr.

Honey can cure acne conditions A 2008 study conducted by University of Amsterdam investigated the antibacterial capability of medical grade honey (Revamil). . Honey is one of the best natural acne fighting ingredients. Honey also soothes the skin and nourishes it providing a healthy glow to the skin. It treats the inflammation associated with acne and calms the skin. Honey also has anti inflammatory properties.8. including those caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria". This is because honey actually kills the bacterium that causes acne. The researchers concluded that honey "is a promising topical antimicrobial agent for prevention or treatment of infections.

. melatonin is a well-known cure for sleeping disorders. eating a tablespoon or two of honey at bedtime can improve sleep quality without causing weight gain. It causes a controlled increase of insulin. It also enhances the quality of restorative sleep. serotonin is converted into melatonin in the pineal gland. Honey can cure insomnia ‡ According to Michael McInnes of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It is widely used for treating insomnia symptoms for elderly and depressive patients. tryptophan is converted into the hormone serotonin. Now. In brain.9. which promotes relaxation. In darkness. which causes the amino acid tryptophan to enter the brain. eating honey raises the blood sugar level slightly. Unlike other sugary food.

itching and hair loss. 11. On the other hand. but pollen in the honey usually has the opposite effect. The recommendation is to start two months before the hay fever season to eat 2 tablespoons of honey a day and chew the beeswax for 5 to 10 minutes. Honey is a treatment for allergies It may seem odd. you may want to take extra precautions when consuming honey or strike this sweet condiment from your diet altogether. it can desensitize the immune system to local pollens. Therefore. rinses and pomades. there are more than 300 types of honey. Traditional use of honey on hair has been widely known throughout the ages. and the pollen of one or more plants is likely present in the honey you consume. Recent studies show that raw honey is an excellent treatment for 90% of all allergies. if you are highly allergic to various flora. It must continue until the hay fever season is over.‡ 10. A highly appreciated old remedy for hay fever is local honey and honeycomb.dermatitis and dandruff treatment Honey is a natural conditioner for hair. By eating raw honey produced by local bees. because pollen often triggers allergies. Honey is useful for hair . A 2001 study conducted by the Dubai Specialised Medical Centre discovered that honey may be used to treat scaling. ‡ ‡ . It can be added to conditioners.

others. Some call honey a sweet medicine of heaven. It is a powerful antioxidant. contains natural antibiotics. the food of foods. 22 amino acids and 27 minerals. Raw Honey contains 5. and the remedy of remedies. antiviral.12. the drink of drinks. what is most impressive is that it can be a powerful immune system booster. . and extolled the virtues of honey. Romans and Egyptians all kept honeybees. a full range of vitamins. Honey is an immunity system builder ‡ Honey is considered from ancient times. elixir of long life. ‡ Amongst the many health benefits of honey. The ancient Greeks. Honey¶s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help stay healthy and fight disease.especially when combined with apple cider vinegar. stimulates the immune system into action and helps to fight respiratory conditions.000 live enzymes.

and bones during storage and transport. blood vessels. surgical wound infections. In fact. honey is such an excellent preservative of living tissue that it was commonly used to keep dead bodies from decomposing while being transported back to their homeland for burial. Manchester are planning to use honey for faster recovery of cancer patients after surgery.‡ Honey is proven more effective than any pharmaceutical antibiotic in the treatment of stomach ulceration. 2006 that doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury. The Waikato Honey Research Unit provides details about the world-wide research that is being carried out on the benefits of honey in medicine. ‡ The healing powers of honey are not hyped. BBC reported in July. Honey is unsurpassed for the protection of skin grafts. corneas. and speedy healing of surgical incisions. gangrene. Further. . Such research will provide scientific evidence to the so-called beliefs held by honey lovers all over the world and help in propagating benefits of honey to more people.

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