An Ounce Of Prevention: The Honey Bee - A Sweet Healer
The Gleaner, September 29, 2015
Honey, the main product of the honey bee, is composed primarily of sugars and water, along with small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
On average, honey is 17.1 per cent water; 82.4 per cent total carbohydrate; and 0.5 per cent proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The main sugars are fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose.
Honey also contains a variety of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals and, generally, darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys. Because honey contains so many nutrients that are lacking in refined table sugar, it is a much healthier sweetener.
Honey As An Antibiotic
Another important property of honey is its antibiotic action. It has even been shown to be superior to some conventional antibiotics in treating certain infections. Experiments with honey show that its bacteria-destroying properties doubled when diluted with water. Interestingly, newly born bees are nourished with diluted honey by the nurse bees responsible for their care as if they know this feature of the honey.
Honey is valuable in treating burns, infected wounds, and ulcers. A study in West Africa showed that many surgeries like skin grafting, surgical debridement, and even amputation were avoided by local application of honey to wounds.
Honey For Coughs And Colds
Honey has been used as a home remedy for centuries to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a common cold. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have published a study comparing honey to over-the-counter medicines for relief of cold symptoms such as a cough. In several instances, honey outperformed the modern drugs.
Honey And Digestion
Honey has traditionally also been used for heartburn and stomach ulcers. In fact, Western research now indicates that honey may halt the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for many cases of gastritis and stomach ulcers.
Bifidobacteria are a group of 'good' bacteria considered important to the health of the digestive tract. Honey acts as a probiotic to promote the growth of the bifidobacteria and heal the stomach. It can even help counteract constipation. Drink 12 oz. of lukewarm water with one tablespoon of honey in the morning on an empty stomach.
Although honey is sweet, it helps to maintain and protect teeth. It shows antimicrobial effects against several species of dental plaque bacteria. Honey has been proven to sharply reduce acid production, while killing the bacteria responsible for dental caries and blocking the growth of oral bacteria. Honey holds promise for the treatment of periodontal disease, mouth ulcers, and other diseases of the mouth.
Honey For Insomnia
Honey helps in nervous disorders like insomnia and acts as a tonic in recovery of any damage to the human nervous system. In cases of sleeplessness, one should drink a teaspoon full of honey mixed in lukewarm water at bedtime to help in improving sleep....