The oldest available medicinal literature in the world, mentions the medicinal importance of honey for its healing properties. Honey has been known to have antimicrobial properties, as well as it is also helpful in healing wounds. Since the origin of mankind, honey has been known to treat infection and honey produced by Apis mellifera (the Western honey bee or European honey bee) was always considered to be an important ingredient in the treatment of several ailments.
Honey is a sweet liquid made as a by-product of nectar from flowers and the upper aero- digestive tract of the honey bee. The use of honey can be traced back to about 8000 years ago and had been even found on paintings pertaining to the Stone Age. The ancient literature pertaining to the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans have all used honey for its medicinal properties. ( Bansal V, Medhi B, Pandhi P. Honey -A remedy rediscovered and its therapeutic utility. Kathmandu Univ Med J. 2005;3:305–309). The Vedic civilization in India considered honey as one of the most useful medicinal that have been provided to mankind by nature. It has been emphasized that honey is also used to treat an irritating cough. Honey also has been known to improve the eye- sight and prevent cataract.( Honey in history. 23 October 2008, Available at:http://www.mapi.com/newsletters/maharishi_ayurveda/august_2008).
Properties of Honey
Research on honey has revealed that it contains glucose, fructose, and minerals such as iron calcium, phosphate, sodium chlorine, potassium, and magnesium. Depending on the amount of water content, the physical properties of honey vary. The types of flora, temperature also have an effect on the composition of honey. However, almost all natural honey contains a huge amount of flavonoids such as apigenin, pinocembrin to name a few. Honey prepared naturally also contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is used to cure diseases like:
- Acid Reflux: Honey has been known to cure acid reflux in humans.( John de Caestecker Oesophagus; heartburn. BMJ.2001; 323, 736- 739( 29 September )).
- Infantile gastroenteritis: Extensive tests have revealed that honey has been used to treat bacterial diarrhea in infants.It can also be used to substitute for glucose as an oral rehydration solution.( Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)1985; 290 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.290.6485.1866 (Published 22 June 1985)Cite this as Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1866)
- Treat Wounds and Burns: It has been found that in certain cases honey has been known to heal burns and cure wounds.( Jull AB, Rodgers A, Walker N. Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2008, Issue 4).
- Cold Relief: Honey has been recommended by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics as a natural remedy for a cough.( Estevinho L, Pereira AP, Moreira L G. Dias L, Pereira E. 2008;46:3774–3779).
Branolia’s Honey Guard, enriched with the natural goodness of honey, tulsi, sunth, jostimadhu, ashwagandha contains anti-bacterial properties to fight diseases. It also has antibiotic properties that fight indigestion and prevents a cough and cold.
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