Zee Media Bureau/ Vasavi Garg
There is something undeniably enchanting about honey; the product of flower nectar transformed by bees, as if by alchemy – but in fact through the far less-poetic act of regurgitation – into a sweet, golden elixir. Honey has held sway over humans since ancient times
But aside from honey’s seductive colour and flavour, it has some scientific superpowers that add to its appeal. Honey has an unusual chemical composition, one which makes it keep indefinite without spoiling the texture. Here are ten health benefits of honey:
1. Prevents cancer and heart disease:
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
2. Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders:
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis.
3. Fights with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal:
All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide.
4. Increases athletic performance:
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.
5. Reduces cough and throat irritation:
Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.
6. Balances the 5 elements:
Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.
7. Blood sugar regulation:
Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is not the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.
8. Heals wounds and burns:
External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
10. Beautiful skin:
Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can act as nourishing moisturiser.