For centuries honey has been discussed for its magical healing powers. Science has been slow to catch on, but now various institutions are researching the medicinal benefits. For example, everything from IBS, to wound healing to hay fever symptom relief.
Of course, we all know that Bees make honey, using nectar – a secretion from plants that has a sugary fluid texture. Therefore, honey is classified by region, depending on where the Bees have collected the plant nectar.
Not all Honey is created equally
All honey is considered to have some antibacterial properties. But much of what we might buy in the supermarket will have been highly processed, stripping out many of the health-benefitting pollen.
Studies into the amber nectar that provide health benefits are often unprocessed, eaten raw – the sort you might find from a bee-keeper. For some conditions such as hay fever folk swear by eating honey that is local to where you live for maximum benefits.
Medical or put another way ‘active’ honey is usually graded and given a number – for example +15. The higher the rating the more protective activity should be present in the honey. You might be familiar with this rating system on ‘Manuka’ honey – a New Zealand product from tea-tree bush, revered for its health properties. In these cases, the honey is given a UMF rating – Unique Manuka Factor.
- Medical grade dressings with Manuka honey have been used for burns and for reducing inflammation.
- Several types of honey have been tested against super bugs like MSRA and other wound/dangerous bacteria.
- Some conditions like helicobacter which are resistant to treatment with antibiotics have had more success when combined with honey treatments.
At Home Uses
- Honey can be added to warm water (never hot – as it kills the benefits), glucose and lemon to provide a sore throat and cough tincture.
- Honey can be used on skin, as a way to hold in moisture and as a spot prevention, thanks to its antibacterial and slight acidic properties.
- For hay fever, to boost immunity, and even fight fatigue – try taking 2 teaspoons per day of good quality honey with proven anti-bacterial properties. It’s preferable to take before meals (never give to a child under one years old). Try drizzled over porridge/toast as two perfect ways to incorporate into your diet.