From Nectar to Honey:
Nectar is a solution of sugars with small amounts of amino acids, vitamins, proteins, and enzymes. The composition depends on the type of plant that produces it as well as numerous other environmental factors. Nectar begins to be converted into honey as soon as the bee takes it in at the source. Enzymes are added to the nectar which break down the sucrose to glucose and fructose. At the hive more enzymes are added and then deposited into the hive or brood box. Slowly the nectar becomes both dehydrated and concentrated and turns into what we know of as honey.
Honey has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy and an ingredient in foods and drinks. It has been found to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties known for treating and reversing many ailments.
Honey has numerous medicinal properties and has been shown effective in:
- Healing skin problems: burns, sores, dry skin, cuts.
- Calming digestive issues: diarrhea, stomach bugs, constipation.
- Combating stress: nerves, low energy, hot flashes.
- Treating respiratory conditions : colds and sore throats.
How does it work?
Honey’s high sugar and low moisture content make it excellent at drawing out fluid from any organisms it comes in contact with — meaning excess fluids are drawn from, as an example, wound sites, decreasing buildup of fluid in the tissues and the location of the inflammation. On top of that honey is acidic, therefore inhospitable to bacteria as well as a source of hydrogen peroxide making it a great antiseptic.
So many options…
When choosing honey, go for the local option. These honeys have antimicrobial properties that will ward off allergies and illnesses prone to that geographical location. The nectar in local honey is that of the local flowers and plants therefore the cause of most allergies in that area. Its kinda like an anti-venom — you consume the source to prevent the effect to build up a tolerance.
Use honey as a healthy way to sweeten and flavor your meals. Not only will you be getting that sugar that your body is craving but also some protection against the changing seasons.
To find out more about honey’s wide ranging benefits check out some of the scholarly articles in the Journal of Medicinal Foods & the International Journal of Foods.