Man has prized honey as a sweetener and food since the days of the Stone Age hunter gatherers. The viscid liquid is produced by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers a single table spoon of honey requiring the nectar of some eighteen thousand flowers. The praying bees carry the nectar, a mixture of sugar and water, together with pollen, back to the hive. There, worker bees add enzymes that reduce the water content to less than 20% and break down the larger sugar molecules. The honey is then sealed in the honey comb, and later fed to the larvae or saved for winter food.

The smaller sugar molecules, including glucose and fructose are readily absorbed by the human digestive tract, so honey soon gained a reputation as an instant high energy food. The ancient Egyptians, Persians and Chinese all knew its value. King Soloman recommended it, saying “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honey comb which is sweet….” The Greeks and the Romans called it ambrosia and thought it was the food of the Gods that ensured their immortality.  In Ayurveda we find many references about the honey as a best medicine.

The honey sugars break down in to substances that inhibit the growth of Bacteria and the ancient used it to treat wounds, burns and skin problems a practice that continued in to the middle Ages.

Besides sugar (about 75%) and water, honey contains small amounts of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Sulpher,   Phosphorous and Potassium.

Traditionally, honey has been used as a “tonic” or “pick-me-up” and in the treatment of Anemia, Kidney complaints and Circulation problems. Its soothing effects are well known. Try a glass of warm milk with a tea spoon of honey for a sore throat, and Influenza. A glass of warm water with 2 spoons of honey and the fresh juice of half a lemon is a soothing bed time drink, the same formula holds good for loosing weight if taken in empty stomach in early morning. Use honey as a skin softener and conditioner: spread it over the face and hands, leave for 15 minutes and then wipe off with a damp washer.

Honey may also help Hay fever victims. But to be effective it must be gathered in the area where you live, so that you ingest local mix of pollens. When taken regularly through the winter and early spring, the pollens may give a measure of desensitization to the same pollens in the air during the “season”. Chewing small pieces of honey comb, also pollen rich may help too.