The effects of honey on your health range from preventing atherosclerosis and aiding digestion to wound healing and inhibiting bacteria such as ecoli.
Honey has been used throughout the ages in religious ceremonies, as an offering to fertility gods and as a substitute for gold to pay taxes. The ancient Maya used honey for culinary purposes and it is still used that way today. Honey is a highly concentrated source of essential nutrients and is considered to be a complete food.
Health Benefits of Honey
The lesser known benefits of honey are medicinal. One of the older medicinal uses of honey is as an agent to assist lymph drainage. When lymph drainage is slowed or blocked the body loses valuable minerals and microorganisms are free to invade the body systems.
Other uses for honey both internal and external include:
- inhibits bacteria growth of ecoli, salmonella and shigella
- aids digestion
- dry cough
- sore throat
- increases energy
- builds immune system
- insomnia (with hot milk)
- metabolism of fats
- wound healing
- nail fungus
- athletes foot
- bites and stings
Wound gels containing antibacterial raw honey are now approved and available to assist conventional medicine with drug resistant strains of bacteria MRSA.
Antioxidants and Honey
Current research is finding that the antioxidant properties of honey have a mild preventative effect against cellular damage and the development of chronic disease. Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of honey are highly effective against LDL peroxidation.
While darker honeys are generally higher in antioxidant compounds than lighter honeys much depends on the floral source of the honey.
This is the honey produced by bees which collect nectar from the Manuka Bush or Tea Tree. This type of honey includes an ingredient that gives it a powerful properties including:
A study conducted by Dr Thomas Henle head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden “unambiguously demonstrates for the first time that Methylglyoxal is directly responsible for the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey”.
Weight Loss and Honey
A current internet phenomena is the information that honey and cinnamon can help with weight loss. There is evidence that this is a valid piece of information. Cinnamon and honey assist with the metabolism of stored fat.
Honey and hot water as well as lemon and honey are also beneficial in boosting the metabolism by speeding up the liver’s ability to convert fat.
The most beneficial honey other than Manuka is that which is raw and unpasteurized. Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey. Raw honey has the most nutritional value because when honey is heated, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.
The one caution regarding honey is that infants under the age of one year should not consume honey. The natural existence of botulinum endospores means that the undeveloped digestive systems of infants are susceptible to this danger whereas the more fully developed digestive systems of adults generally destroy the spores.
There is no doubt that honey is a wonderful treat and now it is also clear that the health benefits of honey increase daily.