When I was a kid, Dad occasionally referred to the jar of raw honey on our table as “bee vomit” in order to alarm the youngest sibling who may not yet know where honey comes from. In spite of the horrid mental image his words conjured, we all loved his cinnamon honey toast, and stood in line waiting for our share, glass of milk and plate in hand.
The list of health benefits in honey continues to grow, as scientists and home-schoolers alike discover what third world countries have experientially known for centuries.
What is Honey?
Honey is the nectar of the herbs and flowers that grow wild in the fields and woods. The benefits of hundreds of herbs are carried in the form of nectar in the stomach of the bee where it is subtly altered by the bee’s digestive enzymes in ways that modern science has been unable to explain. New compounds are created by this process before the honey is regurgitated in the hive, concentrated by evaporation, and stored in honeycomb.
Honey contains (among other things) a complex assortment of enzymes, organic acids, esters, antibiotic agents, trace minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, hormones, and antimicrobial compounds. One pound of the average honey contains 1333 calories (compared with white sugar at 1748 calories), 1.4 grams of protein, 23 milligrams of calcium, 73 milligrams of phosphorus, 4.1 milligrams of iron, 1 milligram of niacin, and 16 milligrams of vitamin C, and vitamin A, beta carotene, the complete complex of B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, manganese, high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, and formic acid... and the list goes on. Honey contains more than 75 different compounds! Many of the remaining substances in honey are so complex (4-7 percent of the honey) that they have yet to be identified.
Because of the high natural sugar content, honey absorbs moisture in wounds, making it hard for bacteria to survive. Many honeys contain large amounts of hydrogen peroxide which is regularly used to disinfect cuts and scrapes. Most raw honeys contain propolis, a compound that can kill bacteria. In laboratory tests, honey put on seven types of bacteria killed all seven.
My Honey’s Honey
A couple of months ago my husband scraped a large area of skin off of his calf muscle while playing soccer. The scrape became infected within 24 hours. He was running a fever, his leg was inflamed, and a red streak was beginning to crawl up his leg, indicating a serious problem. I had never seen an infection move so quickly. Garlic had been our cure-all for months, and Gabe began eating large amounts of it. He put garlic poultices on the wound as well, and the infection halted in its tracks. But it did not seem to be healing. The garlic treatment had to be almost continual to keep the infection down, and the healing progress was too slow. We read, Herbal Antibiotics
by Stephen Harrod Buhner, about honey being effective in treating gangrene and warmed up a bowl of raw honey. We mixed Comfrey
, Goldenseal, Echinacea
, and Garlic
into the warm honey and let it sit a few minutes before heavily coating the wound with this mixture. Gabe said the mix did not irritate the wound at all. He left it on for an hour or more at a time. Immediately, after the first treatment I noticed the wound had shrunk, and the skin color had darkened to that “blueness of a wound” that tells you the infection is gone. A few more treatments healed the wound in a remarkably short period of time. The next soccer accident was treated with honey alone, with the same good results.
What is Raw Honey?
There is a difference between raw honey straight from the hive, and processed honey which you buy in stores. Any honey is good for you, but raw honey is by far the best because it has not been through a heating process (over appr. 120 degrees) to melt the sugar, which also kills the wonderful enzymes and bacteria that are so rich in healing properties. Raw honey can be purchased by local bee farmers, and even via the internet; although shipping can be expensive due to the weight.
In India, honey and Cinnamon
is used as a "Ram Ban" (very effective) medicine for all kinds of ailments. Cinnamon powder is mixed into honey; usually two parts honey, one part Cinnamon and eaten with chappati (bread) two or three times a day. The following list (and more) is available at www.stakich.com/hfolder/honeyinmedicine.htm
Reduces cholesterol, revitalizes veins, relieves loss of breath, strengthens the heart.
Massaged on painful areas will reduce pain within a few minutes. If taken daily, will considerably reduce arthritis.
Drink with lukewarm water. Destroys infection in the bladder.
Apply paste to aching tooth 3 times daily until pain is gone (I think chewing on cloves works faster).
Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon Cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic coughs, colds, and clear the sinuses.
Stomach ache and Gas:
Honey taken with Cinnamon powder
eases stomach ache and heals stomach ulcers, combating the bacteria that causes ulcers. According to studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with Cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas. Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and aids digestion of heavy meals.
(This seemed drastic to me, but...) Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of Cinnamon powder
paste. Apply this paste on the facial skin before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it will cure acne.
Applying honey and Cinnamon powder
in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.
1/2 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey andCinnamon powder
boiled in one-cup water. Drinking this mixture regularly does not allow fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.
Personally, I love a teaspoon of honey in a cup of hot Chamomile
tea in the evening. And honey in oatmeal is a sweet breakfast experience in our house. I enjoy recipes with honey, and would love to read some of yours. Here are some of my favorites:
Combine a 1" × 1/2" strip of both orange rind and lemon rind, 1 T. fresh orange juice, 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and simmer in a pan. Strain and discard the rinds. Add to 1 c. warm honey and stir to mix. Serve over pancakes or waffles.
Cinnamon Honey Toast
Drizzle warm honey on fresh cut slices of buttered bread, sprinkle with Cinnamon powder
, and toast on a cookie sheet in the broiler.
Not for Babies
The digestive system of a baby is not ready to process honey. I don't know when it would be considered safe, but I'd guess not before the baby's first birthday.
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