Honey is one of nature's most splendid gifts to mankind. It possesses unique nutritional and medicinal properties.
The sugars in honey are glucose, fructose and sucrose. Glucose is the simplest of the sugars. It occurs in the blood of live animals, in fruit and vegetable juices. It restores the oxygen that is replaced by lectic and acid when fatigue sets in. Fructose, which is also known as levulose or grape sugar, crystallises more easily than, glucose and builds up tissues. Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose. Dextrine, which is a gummy substance, is found in small amount in honey, but it makes honey so digestible.
Latest research indicates that the pollen in honey contains all 22 amino acids, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes. 14 fatty acids and 11 carbohydrates. Unfortunately much of these nutritive qualities are lost by heating the honey for commercial use.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Honey is one of the finest sources of heat and energy. Energy is generated mainly by the carbohydrate foods and honey is one of the most easily digested form of carbohydrats. It enters directly into the bloodstream because of its dextrine content and this provides almost instantaneous energy. It is a boon to those with weak digestion. All organs in the body respond favourably when honey is eaten. Honey is considered as an all-purpose medicine for all types of deseases.
One spoon of fresh honey, mixed with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of lukewarm water and taken first thing in the morning is an effective remedy for constipation and hyperacidity. Fasting on this honey-lemon juice water is highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity without loss of energy and appetite.
A mixture of honey and alcohol is believed to promote growth of hair.
Honey is easily digested and assimilated; it is the best sweet food, as it does not cause flatulence and can prevent it to a certain extent, promoting the activity of the bowels. It can be easily added to the five meals a day & recommended in cases of arteriosclerosis and of weak hearts. As it would be unwise to leave such a hard working organ as the heart without food over the long hours of the night, heart patients should take before going to bed a glass of water with honey and lemon juice in it, and also to take it when awakening at night. Honey is useful in cardiac pain and palpitation of the heart.
Honey is remarkable in building haemoglobin in the body, which is largely due to the iron, copper and manganese contained in it. It is beneficial in the treatment of anaemia as it helps maintain the right balance of haemoglobin and red blood corpuscles.
Honey is highly beneficial in the treatment of all diseases of the lungs. It is said if a jug of honey is held under the nose of an asthma patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with the honey, he starts breathing easier and deeper. The effects last for about an hour or so. This is because honey contains mixture of 'higher' alcohols and ethereal oil and the vapours given off by them are soothing and beneficial to the asthma patients. It usually brings relief whether the air flowing over the honey is inhaled or whether it is eaten or taken either in milk or water. Some authorities recommend one year old honey for respiratory diseases.
Honey applied externally, is considered useful in the treatment of wounds and sores. Honey soothes pain, acts as an antiseptic, hastens healing and is especially effective in curing burns and carbuncles.
The use of honey is highly beneficial in the treatment of irritating cough. As a demulcent or soothing agent, it produces a soothing effect on the inflammed mucus membrane of the upper respiratory tract and retrieves irritating cough and symptoms like difficulty in swallowing. For the same reason, it is used in the manufacture of various cough mixtures. Honey gargles are also useful in irritant cough.
Honey is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. It has hypnotic action in bringing sound sleep. It should be taken with water, before going to bed, in doses of two teaspoonfuls in a big cupful of water. Babies generally fall asleep after taking honey.
Honey is valuable in keeping the mouth healthy. Applies daily over the teeth and gums, it cleans and gives sparkle to the teeth. It prevents deposit of tarter at the base of the teeth and prevents decay and early falling of the teeth. Being a mild antiseptic, it prevents the growth of harmful micro-organisms. It also keeps the gums in the healthy state, increasing their vascularity. In case of ulcers in the oral cavity, honey helps in their early healing and prevents further sepsis and pyogenic infection related bad odour and pus formation. Gargling with honey water is very useful in gingivitis due to inflammation of the gums.
Honey is an excellent remedy for various eye ailments. Applied daily in the eyes, it improves the eye-sight. It is very useful in the treatment of itching of the eyes, trachoma, conjunctivitis and other similar diseases. Its regular internal as well as external application will prevent glaucoma in the initial stage of the disease.
Honey is valuable in the prevention of cataract formation. Two grams of onion juice and honey each, mixed together, should be kept safe in a clean bottle. It should be applied locally to the eyes with a glass rod. This is a very effective remedy for immature cataract. It resolves the already coagulated protein fibres as well as prevents further coagulation.
Diseases of Stomach
Honey is useful in maintaining the health of the stomach. It tones up the stomach, helps in proper digestion and prevents stomach diseases. It also decreases the over production of hydrochloric acid thereby preventing symptoms like nausea, vomiting and heart burn. When putrified faecal matter and undigested foods are present in the alimentary canal, honey acts as a laxative and emetic and clears the digestive canal of the waste matter.
Honey is specially useful in providing energy and heat to the body in old age. It dries up the phlegm and clears the system of mucus to which a person generally falls victim to in old age. One or two teaspoonful of honey in a cupful of boiling water, taken while still warm, is a refreshing and strengthening drink.