Thursday, August 14, 2008

Malaysian Kelulut Honey Known for Medicinal Properties

Attracting Visitors Like Bees to Honey
The New Straits Times (Malaysia), 8/14/2008

SERDANG: A sweet tooth and a love for insects, particularly bees, is what led Norlezah Baharom to start a business involving both.

"At first it just started out as a hobby. I reared some bees to harvest the honey, as I was told that natural honey has a lot of medicinal properties," she said.

Now the 47-year-old owns and manages Trigona Bee, a company that produces bee products such as honey, royal jelly, bees' wax, propolis and pollen.

Norliza said there were many types of honey depending on the source.

"Kelulut bees' honey is popular as it is quite difficult to collect, and is known for its medicinal contents," she said when met at her booth at the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (Maha) Show here yesterday…

For background, see:

Honey in the Malay Tradition
Syarifah Anisah Syed Agil Barakhbah
The Founder and Managing Director of Nona Roguy Group of Companies
1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey, 26th - 28th August 2006

Honey is a prized delicacy to the Malays. The Malays traditionally do not farm the bees like in other community. The Malays belief that honey from wild bees is a genuine natural energizer, especially honey which drop from the comb known as madu dara (virgin honey).

There are four types of bees known to the Malays. They are the Tualang, Jungle, Cerung or Cerang bees and the Kelulut bees. All the bees except Kelulut have poisonous sting but the Jungle bee’s sting can cause death. Jungle and Cerung bees have a darker honey compared to Tualang honey. Kelulut bees are the smallest bees and are more of a ‘house bee’. The Malays considered these small bees have more medicinal powers.

For centuries honey is known to be the enemy of diseases. It is used as anti-ageing, it is able to give pleasure and enhance libido, enhancing immune system, kills bacteria, use in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, sore throat, coughs and colds. There is a special Malay recipe for treatment of asthma using egg, lime juice and honey. Honey is also restorative after serious illness. It is used in the preparation of the famous traditional Malay herbal remedy ubat periuk.

In addition honey is said to sooth pain, acts as antiseptic, hastens healing and is effective in curing burns, carbuncle, boils and diabetic wound. It is done by mixing honey with kapur sireh or selected herbal plants. Honey comb is known to cure diabetic wound. The Malays belief that the darker the honey the better as it is said to contain practically all minerals which help in maintaining hemoglobin. Kelulut honey is well known for its anti-ageing activities and in combination with honey comb is effective for treatment of tumors.

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