Health Uses of Honey
Health Uses of Honey
Honey is a unique sweetener. It contains sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. To produce a pound of honey requires around 60,000 bees traveling up to 55,000 miles, and gathering nectar from more than two million flowers.
- Honey can effectively treat wounds.
Applied topically, raw honey can accelerate healing for minor burns, wounds, rashes and abrasions.
- Honey can treat ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent studies show treatment with honey can help heal ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. Take a tablespoon or two for indigestion. Honey does not ferment in the stomach.
- Honey may be a good cough medicine.
Honey, especially buckwheat honey, helps lessen coughs. In one study of 110 children, one dose of buckwheat honey was as effective as a single dose of the cough medicine dextromethorphan in relieving nighttime coughing and facilitating proper sleep.
- Honey can assist to treat pollen allergies by reducing one’s sensitivity.
- Honey has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and assist the medication being used. Check with your doctor before using.
- Honey treats urinary tract infections (UTIs) through its antibacterial properties.
- Honey has shown to provide prebiotic support to facilitate growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
- Honey may help prevent cancer and heart disease.
The flavonoids and antioxidants in honey are effective in removing free radicals from the body. This improves your body’s immunity against many health conditions, even serious ones such as cancer and heart disease.
- Honey and milk are a boon to skin care and help to create smooth skin.
Warnings about Honey
- Honey is all natural and harmless for adults. However, pediatricians say you should never give honey to infants under a year old, because there is a risk of botulism. Jatinder Bhatia, M.D, a Georgia neonatologist, heads the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition. Dr. Bhatia explains:
THE SPORES OF THE BOTULISM BACTERIA ARE FOUND IN DUST AND SOIL THAT MAY MAKE THEIR WAY INTO HONEY. INFANTS DO NOT HAVE A DEVELOPED IMMUNE SYSTEM TO DEFEND AGAINST INFECTION.
- Honey is a sugar, and it is high in calories. Eat it in small amounts to protect your health, avoid sugar highs and lows, and prevent weight gain.
Honey Bee Facts
Did You Know?
Approximately one third of all the food Americans eat is directly or indirectly derived from honey bee pollination. Some crops pollinated are cucumbers, almonds, carrot seed, melons, apricots, cherries, pears, apples, prunes, plums, pluots, seed alfalfa, cantaloupe, seed onions, avocados, kiwi, blueberries, cranberries, etc.
There are three members of a honey bee colony:
Queen - mother to all the bees in the colony; she is a fertile female.When a queen is five to six days old, she is ready to mate. She puts out a pheromone scent to attract the males and takes off in the air. The males from miles around smell the scent and instantly volunteer in the mating chase, which is performed in the air.
Worker - an infertile female that performs the labor tasks of the colony, including feed preparation, guarding the hive, feeding the queens, drones and brood, and heating and cooling the hive.
Drone - the male that starts out as an unfertilized egg. Its only purpose in the colony is to mate with a virgin queen. They live to mate with the queen, but not more than one in a thousand get the opportunity to mate.
On average, a worker bee in the summer lasts six to eight weeks. Their most common cause of death is wearing their wings out. During that six to eight-week period, their average honey production is 1/12 of a teaspoon. In that short lifetime, they fly the equivalent of 1 1/2 times the circumference of the earth.
The peak population of a colony of honeybees is usually at mid-summer (after spring buildup) and results in 60,000 to 80,000 bees per colony. A good, prolific queen can lay up to 3,000 eggs per day.
When processing honey from a beehive, a good rule of thumb is for every 60 pounds of honey produced one (1) pound of beeswax will be made (1 to 60 ratio).
In order to manipulate population dynamics, the timing of hive management is critical, such as:
- Splitting of Hives just prior to swarming season. Also, feeding syrup and pollen supplement at least 21 days prior to a pollination inspection or honey flow induces the queen to lay eggs.