Honey, the thick golden liquid, is the sweet and divine nectar of the flowers extracted by the bees. Honey is also known as ‘Madhu’ in Sanskrit which means sweet. Just as the word is, both the taste and effects of honey are sweet. It is used as a sweetener in food. For more than 5000 years, Indians have been using honey as a medicine. Honey plays a very crucial role in Ayurveda even today.
Different types of bees collect different types of honey. According to ancient Ayurveda, there are eight different types of honey. Almost 700 Ayurvedic medicines contain honey. The only reason why honey is so important is its multiple health benefits. This natural sweetener has a high nutritional profile and hence, medical science has proven that it is a panacea for thousands of diseases.
If you’re wondering how honey is made, you’re not alone. Many people do not know how bees can make honey. First of all, bees collect nectar from various flowers. Then, they take it to their hives, eat and digest it. In the end, they expel it from their digestive tracks. And, the end product is known as ‘honey’. Though the process might not seem very interesting, the health benefits will surely leave you stunned.
- Burns: Applying honey to the burnt area directly seems to improve the healing. It heals the infected area quite quickly and cures ulcers and relieves pain.
- Cold and Cough: Taking a few drops multiple times a day, especially during bedtime, can help to calm a cough and reduce cough spells. Honey promotes the mucus which wets the throat and relieves the pain. It is very helpful in subsiding the symptoms of cold and cough.
- Boosts your memory: Honey is one of those food elements that help us sustain our health even in old age. Consumption of honey prevents metabolic stress, which helps in boosting the memory as well as brain power. If you’re looking for a memory booster for your child or yourself, honey is undoubtedly the best.
- Dandruff: Honey provides nourishment and makes hair smooth. Applying honey regularly helps to cleanse the scalp. And, using honey as a hair mask can help reduce dandruff.
- Insomnia: As per ancient Chinese and Indian medicines, having honey before going to bed can help one cure insomnia. Honey can also be known as a sleep inducer.
- Sinusitis: With an increase in dust and air pollution, people have started suffering from a lot of headaches. One of those deadly headaches is ‘sinusitis’. Instead of taking a high powered medicine, try taking honey. Honey is an anti-bacterial element which reduces inflammation and cures sinusitis.
- Dental problems: The infection healing properties of honey can heal gums and whiten teeth. As honey acts as an anti-microbial agent, it prevents the growth of any bacteria inside your mouth. So rubbing some honey lightly on your gums, tongue, and teeth can actually be very helpful.
- Fatigue: Honey has the properties of unprocessed sugar, which can be very helpful to cure fatigue. Including honey regularly in diet can boost one’s energy.
- Digestion and constipation: Adding honey to the diet can result in smooth digestion and perfect bowel movements. According to Ayurveda, honey can cure constipation quite easily as it smoothens the digestive tracks.
- Diabetic foot ulcers: Tropical raw honey can speed the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Since diabetes can slow down the healing process in the body, honey can cure diabetes and also boost the healing process.
Apart from these main benefits, it helps in many other problems like cataracts, infertility, sunburn, herpes simplex, diabetes, hay fever and so on.
However, in some cases, using honey can be harmful too. Or you can say that it has some side-effects too!
- Food poisoning: Using unpasteurized honey can lead to serious digestive problems like food poisoning.
- Allergic reactions: Raw honey can give mild to moderate allergies. One must look for symptoms such as swelling, itching, rashes, puffiness, cough, asthma, etc.
- Raise sugar levels: If daily consumption of honey is not controlled, one may raise his sugar levels. That can also result in diabetes.
- Lowers blood pressure levels: Honey consists of oligosaccharides, which is a type of carbohydrate with certain types of antioxidant properties. This property can reduce the blood pressure level up to a large extent.
- Heart problems: When honey is produced from the nectar of Rhododendrons can be toxic if taken orally. In some cases, it can lead to serious heart problems too.
- Tooth decay: Not all types of honey, but some can cause tooth decay. Just like too much of sugar can be harmful to your teeth, the same way honey can be proven harmful. One should limit the amount of honey they consume.
Honey is likely safe for most adults and children, however, excessive intake of raw honey can be very harmful. Every good thing has benefits when taken in a limit. One should consume honey based on his body type and check if he has allergies. You must avoid honey if you’re allergic to pollen. If you’re allergic to pollen, consuming honey may cause allergies.