Honey derives its name from the Hebrew word meaning enchant and people in Biblical times kept bees to enjoy both the sweetness and medicinal benefits of the honey they produced. The ancient Mayans set up beehives at the edges of the jungles around their magnificent cities, using the honey as an ingredient in a fermented beverage they prized. 17th-century settlers brought the European honeybee to the New World and used its handiwork in everything from food to furniture polish.
Today, alternative medical practitioners use honey in a wide variety of practices, known as Apitherapy, and the results of studies employing bee products in the fight against certain types of cancer have been so exciting that even traditional western medicine is starting to take notice. At Lavender Bee Farm, we produce raw honey as it has been done for centuries. Raw, unprocessed and unfiltered, it offers the maximum health benefits and superior taste that humans have valued for millennia.
Commercial honey is heat-treated, filtered and frequently doctored with added sweeteners like corn syrup. The result is a very inferior finished product, but natural raw honey’s main components are the simple sugars, fructose, and glucose which are very easy to digest. Water, pollen, enzymes, organic acids and proteins are the other ingredients in pure honey. This unique combination of properties results in a substance which is both antibacterial and antibiotic.
When you were a child and had a sore throat, did your mother make you a honey-lemon tea to soothe you? Mother knew that honey helps to dissolve mucus, but what she may not have known is that the honey was also fighting the infection in your throat with its natural antibiotic composition.
Honey also contains an antiseptic substance called inhibine which, if applied to wounds, prevents them from becoming infected. It may also promote faster healing of cuts and burns. Add 1 tsp. minced thyme to 1/4 cup of honey and take the mixture orally when suffering from a bad cough or bronchitis. The anti-inflammatory properties of raw honey will soothe lungs and the irritated airway.
Apitherapy has also incorporated the thought behind homeopathy that if something irritates a person’s body, you give them a little bit of the irritant consistently over a long period of time to enable them to become immune to it. Because honey contains traces of pollen, apitherapists employ it in the treatment of hay fever and other allergies. Reports indicate that, over time, the sufferer becomes desensitized to the springtime irritants found in nature.
It is also believed that honey has a somewhat soporific overall effect on the body. People troubled with insomnia will add 1 T. of honey to a glass of hot water, stir it up and then pour it into bath water. A bath taken in the water may help you gain the drowsiness you’re looking for at bedtime. Beekeepers, apitherapists, and alternative medical practitioners are studying the effects of honey on people with compromised immune systems. It may be that using honey as a daily medicine may help to build up the immune system’s tolerance to illnesses.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We want to be sure to mention that honey of any kind must not be given to infants or toddlers whose digestive systems are not yet ready to process certain types of bacteria found in honey, but older children and adults can find hundreds of ways to enjoy honey.
As the U.S. begins to become more focused on environmentally-sound methods of eating and living, we are re-discovering that various substances offer a wonderful variety of uses to us. Good old vinegar perks up salads and makes windows spotless. Olive oil is as good for your stir-fry as it is for your skin. And now we are finding out what our ancestors always knew about honey – that it is an amazing boon to both baking and health. Why not do what the beekeepers do? Keep a jar of honey in the kitchen for eating and another in the medicine cabinet for natural first aid. Prized through the ages both as a sweetener and a medicine, raw honey is here to stay.
Lavender Bee Farm currently produces Lavender Blossom Honey here in beautiful Sonoma County, California.
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