Due to a splendid variety of useful properties of honey, some people even call it an elixir of life. Honey is also a symbol of health, fertility, well-being and of course beauty. As you may have already guessed, this article will reveal and sum up several beneficial properties of honey and how useful they can be for us to keep up our health flourishing.
An abundance of it is enclosed within its elemental composition
Honey is a product that derives from nectar partially digested in the honey bee’s goitre. Talking about chemical construction of honey we may consider it as complicated and ambiguous construction. Firstly, it contains about 300 different components only 100 of which are constantly present in any kind of honey. Additionally, its composition depends on the variety of factors like an area where the plant grows, time of honey collection, bee breed, honey maturity etc.
Honey contains 13 – 22% water, 75 – 80% of sugars, amino acids, minerals (potassium, chlorine, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, chromium, iron, fluorine, zinc, etc.), vitamins C, E, K, H, PP, some representatives of B group vitamins, provitamin A and other important components.
Color, transparency, smell and taste
Honey can be light or dark with many transitional shades, ranging from white to reddish-brown. The colour depends mainly on the plants which grow in the area where bees collect nectar is for the production of honey.
The transparency of liquid honey depends primarily on the volume of so-called beebread (pollen that bees collect) that mixes up with honey during pumping. As a result, honey may also become clouded in case the crystallization process begins.
Honey aroma, on its turn, depends on the flowers certain plants produce. Sometimes different kinds of honey are mixed, and then it is very difficult to determine the origin because the aroma of such honey is extremely diverse.
Natural honey is, as a rule, naturally sweet. This is the reason why many people prefer honey to other sweeteners. The sharp sour taste of this product indicates that fermentation started and the product lost is freshness.
What are the most valuable properties of honey and why are they salutary for us?
1. POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT
It’s no wonder that the product with such a complex and unique chemical composition contains a great variety of antioxidants. Honey’s anti-oxidizing property presumes its ability to prevent ageing, provide cell renewal and removes toxic substances from the body. People who consume honey on regular basis stay young much longer. So honey is also responsible for our longevity.
The result of scientific observation for elderly rats revealed that when specialists added bee`s life product to the rat`s daily ration they become much spryer and more energetic compared with younger individuals and peers who “neglected” this product and were able to demonstrate the best results in memorizing the maze structure. The studies carried out in course of this experiment made scientists conclude that the valuable antioxidant properties of honey, along with its high nutritional value, contribute to longevity, preserve the health of blood vessels and heart and what`s more improve mental abilities.
2. NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC
One of the other beneficial properties of honey is its use for the antibacterial treatment of various injuries. The fact is that bees produce exclusively in its qualities protein defensin-1 which is a terminator for a wide variety of infectious pathogens. Scientists nowadays are intending to perform a new generation of antibiotics based on this protein. In the meantime, we can use the salvatory antibacterial activity of honey, using it in the treatment of respiratory diseases.
3. INFLAMMATION ELIMINATOR
Inflammation is a very complex process that develops in response to any tissue damage. It leads to the development of blood circulatory disorders and increased vascular permeability coupled with structural changes of tissue and cell growth at the site of tissue or organ damage. Honey is extremely useful in accelerating local blood and lymph flow, improving tissue nutrition, enhancing cellular repair and phagocytosis (cell absorption of a harmful agent).
4. RESPONSIBLE FOR IMMUNE RESISTANCE
Here the list of beneficial properties of honey becomes wider due to its diverse chemical composition. This product naturally strengthens the human immune system.
5. NATURAL SEDATIVE POWER
Honey is definitely the most harmless sedative and somnifacient agent. The mentioned ability to calm down the nervous system is due to a large amount of glucose and fructose, and other substances that honey contains, crucially involved in the regulation process of nervous activity. The product optimizes the neuropsychic tonus and accelerates dormition.
6. DIGESTIVE REGULATOR
Regular consumption of honey in small normalizes digestion. This quality makes the product a real cure in the treatment of gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcer, liver and biliary tract diseases, colitis and constipation. Honey intake normalizes stomach acidity, regulates the secretion of gastric juice and this way releases heartburn and belching, removes pain and reduces the excitability of nerve endings of the mucous stomach.
Currently, scientists and physicians focus to use natural bee honey as an agent in the prevention and treatment of hepatitis, as far as it contains a huge amount of glucose and fructose, which liver easily absorbs. Therefore, honey is a complete substitute for refined granulated sugar in a diet for people suffering from hepatitis.
7. SKIN AIDE
Talking about beneficial properties of honey we should mention that the product is truly a wound healer, but anyway, the external application of honey for wound healing requires medical advice. While on the other hand, the use of beekeeping product in cosmetology proved to be very popular, effective and safe.
Particular of selection, storage and application
- Only natural beekeeping product performs mentioned properties.
- A perfect option would be to buy honey from a familiar beekeeper.
- The product which they sell in supermarkets is not fully natural, because they pasteurize it (heated in special conditions) before selling.
- In case you do not have a beekeeper next-door, you can buy it in the rural market. Be sure not to forget to learn the date of honey pumping. If it exceeds 1 – 2 months, the process of natural crystallization must become apparent. If there are no sugar-like crystals by the specified time be aware that the product was heat-treated and most of its healing qualities have been lost.
- The natural product usually has a bright floral fragrance. You may also ask to let you taste the product before buying. It should be subtle and tart. Having tasted the product, one should feel a slight irritation of the mucous membrane of the mouth and larynx. In case nothing of mentioned above happens or honey smells almost nothing or what is even worse smells like old wax be sure you deal with a low-quality product.
- Whenever purchasing a beekeeping product you must be sure to focus on the products package. You should keep in hermetically sealed shaded glass or wooden containers.
Storage temperature does not exceed 25оC. That is also the way we must store honey at home.
- One should not store honey together with products that have a strong odour (herring, sauerkraut, etc.). absorbs all the odours from the nearest environment and it may result in a decrease in product quality.
- For medicinal purposes, honey is applied only on the recommendation of a doctor;
- It is desirable to eat honey in small portions separately from other food (2 hours before the meal or 2 hours after it);
- Honey is much better absorbed when dissolved, so mix 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of the product with water, tea or milk and then drink slowly, gradually, in small sips. Because of the high risk of allergic reactions, adults should consume honey with caution and it should not be given to children under 3 years of age;
- Due to the high rate of glucose content, honey is quite often banned in the diet of diabetics and people who are overweight.