Most of us have a jar of honey at home. But do we know how beneficial it actually is? Honey was used since ancient times in Egypt, Rome, Greece, Slavic region, India and China. It was called the food of gods, bringing health and longevity and it was the only sweet food known to people (besides fruit).
Anti aging treasure – Old Tibetan anti aging recipe includes herbal tea made with honey. Cleopatra was using honey in baths, and for her facials. In old archaeological finds there are honey vessels with the bee symbol on it. Greece and Egypt worshipped honey and bees. Honey was also part of mummy preservation protocol. 10th century Russia was importing honey and beeswax to Greece. During that time if a person damaged a hive, the fine was equivalent to the cost of one horse and nine sheep.
Honey composition and natural preservation.
When we eat honey, we sweat, as it increases metabolism, gives us energy, mobilizes body’s protective functions. Hippocrates advised on a daily honey use. Scientists found that honey resembles the human’s blood plasma in its composition. It has 92 constituents, optimal mineral ratio for human body. It has vitamins B2, B6, biotin, E, K, C, amino acids, flavonoids, enzymes, pantothenic acid. Honey is rich in calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, sulphur, iodine and phosphorus. Also silica, copper, zinc and others.
Honey is energetic, bees ferment it in their stomachs, making it a very easy product to digest and assimilate. It is highly antibacterial. Have you noticed that real honey keeps forever? It is eternal. And anything that is stored in it, preserves forever. Once there was a barley grain found in honey, the age of a discovery was 5-6th century BC. That grain grew and made seeds. No wonder it is called an anti aging elixir. There is a famous story of transporting the body of Alexander the Great and delivering it home in prime condition across the globe despite the hot weather and the length of the trip. It was submerged in a receptacle with honey. If you wish to preserve the fresh berries, you can just mix them with honey in a jar and keep it in the dark cool place.
Bee venom – great medicine.
Since ancient times people noticed that honey gatherers had healthy joints, heart and circulation, had good health and generally lived long. The interesting thing is that is was partly due to bee stings. Bee venom turned out to be an excellent remedy. My mom’s uncle in Russia was catching wild bees and making them sting his low back, that is how he cured rheumatism. My aunt goes to her early bee therapy (apitherapy). Bees are placed and sting in certain areas of the body, her blood pressure returns to normal and general health is improved. It lowers cholesterol, increases hemoglobin due to increased activity of blood vessels and capillaries. Apitherapy is used for asthma and Parkinson’s, heart and joint health. Some of the constituents of a bee venom don’t have analogy on the earth: proteins, polypeptides, biogenic amines and other things. You can boil it and freeze it, and it won’t change its high antibacterial qualities. Even diluted 1: 50.000 apitoxin stays sterile. Bee venom completely digests in a human stomach. In the old times is was a custom in Russia to wish a person to get stung by bees, which was equivalent of wishing good health now.
Approximately 2% of people are allergic to bees, so care is needed in determining possible allergic reaction.
Honey can be used on cuts and burns as antiseptic. It keeps good circulation and cleanses the wound by neutralizing the microbes, and the tissues are restored quicker.
Honey water – how did you live without it?
If you want to benefit from honey’s cleansing ways try honey water. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey in warm water until dissolved. You can add a squirt of lemon juice. Drink it on empty stomach every morning for increased metabolism, balancing weight and healthy regular stools. Drink it quickly, so it can end up in your stomach fast for the most beneficial effect.
Honey neutralizes viruses, bacterias, and other pathogens, increasing our immunity. For chronic bronchitis or sinus infections use honey water. Also, try it 30 minutes before bed if you have insomnia. Honey is beneficial for work of kidneys, so it will manage edema or bedwetting. The maximum healthy daily honey amount is one tablespoon, less for children.
Honey facials and massage.
It is great to use honey on a clean face for gentle scrub and facial massage. Just apply a small amount, gently massage and leave for 30 minutes. Honey will clean the pores, moisturize, protect the sun damaged skin, bring antioxidant and anti aging properties to your face. You can also try honey with milk or cream, yogurt, or lemon juice. Also, we do Honey body massages in Russian saunas. Just apply honey on the warmed up body and use up and down hand motions for massaging the toxins out of the skin, the mixture will turn whitish gray. Wash it off and feel your smooth truly clean skin.
Honey storage and quality.
Not all honey is created equal. Pick local/raw honey that is minimally processed and has local beneficial pollens in it, to gently adjust your body for pollen tolerance, just eat 1 teaspoon a day or drink honey water. Honey that was processed right, will crystallize in time, and that is a good sign. Just keep using it like that by scooping instead of pouring, or gently warm it by placing a jar in a warm water container.
The best way to keep honey is in the dark away from sun light. It is sealed in the dark in honey combs, I think, for a great reason. Like light bleaches the herbs, it can affect honey in a similar way and diminish some of it’s amazing properties. I usually buy a five gallon bucket of local honey that lasts me about a year. I put it in quart jars and keep it in the dark cool basement. We use it plain, in water or tea, on our oatmeal and make my husband’s famous honey-banana-raisin-peanut butter sandwiches. Store your honey in glass or wooden containers, never in aluminum as it will leach into the honey.
Buckwheat honey is very popular in Russia and Japan. It is darker color, having more iron, so very beneficial for anemia or in pregnancy for keeping blood iron levels healthy. Also, buckwheat honey protects from radiation with all the rich mineral and vitamin components. When there are several buckwheat harvests in a season, it is a very reliable kind of honey to produce. So if the weather is cold, or frost damaged flowers, more tolerate buckwheat still produces well.
Since introduction of sugar, the role of honey was greatly diminished. Let’s go back to local honey and enjoy this gift from the clever bees. Let’s have dandelions and clover in our lawns to make sure bees have enough food. They need to tap 1 million flowers to make one pound of honey. Let’s enjoy this life’s sweet moments.
You can try Yulia’s natural beeswax and honey lipbalms that she handcrafts in Cable, Wisconsin. Yulia can be reached at www.yulias.net or by phone: 715-798-3175.