Health Benefits of Honey

In today’s complex world we sometimes forget that the simplest things in life can sometimes be the best things in life. Honey is one of our all too often overlooked miracle foods.

Its sweet nectar has been used for thousands of years to treat everything from the common cold and asthma, to intestinal upset, skin lesions, and burns. It is one of our oldest skin lotions and was long ago used to heal wounds. Honey is a natural medicinal product with many uses. It is a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial properties and is well deserving of a more prominent role than it currently occupies in the treatment of everyday health issues as they arise. Honey could sit as comfortably in our medicine chest as it does in the kitchen cupboard. 

Composed of natural sugars honey is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphate, as well as vitamins C and B. It is more easily digested than complex refined sugars with approximately forty percent less calories than other sugar sources provide. The sugars within honey reduce fatigue and fuel the body with an overall increase of energy and brain function.

Studies show that honey can be just as effective as many over the counter cough syrups for the relief of the common cold. A teaspoon of honey dissolved in warm water will effectively diminish cough symptoms and sooth an inflamed throat. 

Locally produced honey has an added benefit as well. It may provide relief from seasonal asthma symptoms. Bees gather pollen from local flowers and tree blossoms and small amounts of this remain within the honey. Studies suggest that when you consume this sweet nectar it begins to adapt your system to the potential allergy causing elements in your area. Some degree of protection should be acquired the first year that local honey is consumed but the full benefit may take two to three years to become apparent.

Honey also has strong antibacterial properties so when it is applied as a salve on open cuts the wound is more likely to heal without the risk of infection setting in. Honey has been termed a natural antiseptic. The antibacterial properties within honey are also believed to improve the health of the digestive system much alike a pro-biotic yogurt will. Eating honey can help to improve the health of your intestinal tract. The strong antioxidants within honey can help to decrease or prevent the development of arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and other age or stress related illnesses.

Antioxidants are an amazing super food when it comes to increasing the power of your immune system. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is one of the most wonderful things that you can do for your body and your future health. A bee's nectar can be used in your beauty regime as well. Honey nourishes dry skin and damaged hair so when used as a lotion on either of these it replenishes the moisture that day to day living removes.

It is indeed one of life’s miracle foods. Jars of this sweet nectar have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and shocking to the discoverer was the fact that it was still edible. Honey doesn't spoil. Its low water content and rich sugar content give it the ideal composition to last virtually forever without going bad.

Consider keeping an ample supply of it in the medicine cabinet as well as in your kitchen cupboard. You never know when you will need the protective properties that this sweet gold holds within it. When purchasing honey to be used as a medicinal aide it is recommended that locally produced honey be purchased rather than other commercial brands. Health Note: Honey should not be given to children under one year of age.

Bees, butterflies, flies, and beetles are known as pollinators. These small creatures aid in the pollination of flowers, berry bushes, and fruit trees. They are vital to the survival of many species of plants and a valuable natural helper for many of our food crops.

Lately our pollinators have been having a very rough time surviving our modern world. Pesticides, pollution, and disease have hit their populations hard but you can help. Dandelions are one of our earliest spring flowers and bees use them as a valuable food source. When you use pesticides to poison the plants you classify as weeds you also poison the bees who gather nectar from them. Pets and small children are also exposed to these poisons so please be very restrictive in their use. 

If it is important for you to remove the dandelions from your lawn and garden please do so by cultivating, mowing to prevent bloom, or hand removing the plant by digging it out at the root. Plant other flowers to replace this food source. By planting other early spring flowers to bloom in their place you will help our bee populations out when they are most in need of an additional food source. Our pollinators will be very thankful for the helping hand.

Most of us will tolerate local bees but have no desire to allow wasps to house in our yards when they show up. If you have difficulty distinguishing bees from wasps there is a simple rule to keep in mind that can help you tell the difference between the two. Bumble and honey bees are furry and wasps are not.

Honey bees can be a little more difficult to distinguish as they have fur generally visible on the upper part of their body rather than a full body covering like the bumble bee. The fur on the pollinator's body helps the pollen adhere to them. It is Mother Natures way to help care for the bees who have been so helpful in tending her fruitful garden. Being bee friendly is good for all of us.

If you discover bees in your yard that you do not want there please contact your city hall or local environmental office to ask for someone to relocate the hive. If we work together we can reverse the damage done to their habitat and begin to help the bees and butterflies increase their numbers. You can also be pollinator friendly by planting an assortment of wild flowers to insure they bloom from early spring to late fall. Increasing the bees food sources during this time will help to insure that ours is cared for as well.

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