Saturday, July 28, 2012

Health Benefits of Honey

The medicinal and healing properties
of honey have earned it a reputation as one the purest and most natural
remedies for over 5,000 years. And because it contains so many
therapeutic qualities, honey is used to treat a wide range of ailments
and complaints.
Health Benefits of Honey

Manuka honey
Manuka honey is produced by honeybees
which gather nectar from the flowers of wild Manuka bushes that are
indigenous to New Zealand. This particular honey is distinctively
flavoured, with a rich taste and dark appearance.

Although all types of honey contain hydrogen peroxide (particularly
known for its antibacterial properties), Professor Peter Molan of the
Honey Research Centre at Waikato University in New Zealand has
undertaken extensive research into maunka honey and believes it contains
unique properties which provide additional support to the body's
natural healing process.

Molan's research has shown that manuka honey has a high antibacterial
potency which heals a range of conditions, from external skin infections
to aiding digestion. Molan has also shown that manuka honey can help to
fight throat infections and reduce gum disease. When eaten regularly it
can aid memory, increase energy levels, improve well-being and reduce
feelings of anxiety.

The essential elixir

Honey is an all-round healing elixir
which can promote general health and well-being. A daily dose of honey,
whether as a sweetener in hot drinks, by the spoonful or spread on
toast, will boost the body's supply of antioxidants - essential for
protecting the body against free radicals.

Flush out your system and give yourself a daily boost with this
cleansing tonic: mix a spoonful or two of honey and the juice of half a
lemon into a cup of hot water and drink each morning before breakfast.

The energy provider

Next time you go to the gym, have a
spoonful of honey beforehand. Honey is a source of natural unrefined
sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body,
providing an instant energy boost with long-lasting effects. For this
reason, many athletes include honey in their daily diets. It was even
used by runners in the original Olympic Games in ancient Greece.

Coughs and colds

Honey is widely used as a
complementary remedy for the relief of the symptoms of colds, coughs,
sore throats and 'flu. For a sore throat, take it on its own or gargle
with a mixture of two tablespoons of set honey, four tablespoons of
cider vinegar and a pinch of salt.

A traditional drink made from hot water, lemon juice and honey will help
to soothe cold and flu symptoms. Adding a little eucalyptus oil or root
ginger will help to ease congestion and, to help enhance sleep, try a
drop of whiskey in the mixture.

Health Benefits of Honey
Health Benefits of Honey

Cuts and grazes

Honey is a mild antiseptic and can
help to keep external wounds, such as cuts and minor burns, clean and
free from infection. By absorbing the moisture around the wound, honey
can help to prevent the growth of bacteria.

A digestive healer

It was the Romans who first discovered
the beneficial effects of honey on digestive disorders when they would
prescribe honey as a mild laxative. Funnily enough, honey has also been
used as a treatment for diarrhoea. The principle behind these theories
is that honey is believed to help destroy certain bacteria in the gut by
acting as a 'preserving' agent.

Health Benefits

Honey has long been recognized as a
natural remedy and has been used as a medicine for thousands of years.
It has antiseptic properties and can be used as a remedy for ailments
from sore throats to burns and cuts. This is endorsed by research which
has shown that its bactericidal properties can be used to good effect in
treating digestive problems such as peptic ulcers as well as external
lesions.(see page on medical refrences for detaied bibliography)

For a soothing drink for sore throats, mix honey with the juice of half a
lemon, add boiling water and stir. If you¹re feeling low, try a
spoonful of honey as a pick-me-up. The fructose and glucose in honey are
quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Honey in Cooking

You can use honey in cooking instead
of sugar. Because it is sweeter than sugar, you need to use less.
If you are experimenting with honey in a recipe, try replacing half the
sugar with honey as the flavour can be very strong. Honey is hygroscopic
(meaning it attracts water) so it is good for baking cakes as it keeps
them moister for longer. Look on our recipe pages for some delicious
recipes using honey.

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