The buzz on honey
Article from Evolve Winter 2016: an RCA print publication
Since ancient times honey has been used for sweetness, healing and cosmetics. More importantly, eighty percent of our food relies on pollination. Without honey we’d live in a world where plants could not grow and fruit could not ripen. Bravo bees!
It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively travelling almost 9,000kms and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make half a kilo of honey. However, honey is much more than a sweet treat – now and throughout history.
Honey has been consumed and enjoyed by humans since pre-history. Honey stains found in ceramic vessels in an ancient Georgian tomb are believed to be 5,500 years old – some 2,000 years older than the honey found in Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb.
In Hinduism, honey is one of the five elixirs of immortality. In Buddhism, it is said a monkey brought the Buddha honey to eat while on retreat in the forest. In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for the New Year, Rosh Hashanah. And in the New Testament, we are told John the Baptist lived in the wilderness on a diet of locusts and wild honey.
Honey is a blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties.
A 2007 study found that honey outperformed the cough suppressant, dextromethorphan (DM), in calming night-time coughs in children and improving their sleep.
Many people swear by honey’s ability to lessen symptoms of seasonal allergies like hayfever and hives.
Unprocessed honey – especially medical grade Manuka honey - can help treat skin infections, helps wounds heal and improves dandruff and itchy scalp.
Medical grade honey has been shown to treat infections like E. coli, salmonella and MRSA. A recent study conducted by the University of Technology Sydney found that medical grade honey improves the performance of antibiotics in treating wound infections.
And, finally, some good news for the cocktail set; a study from New York University reveals that honey taken orally may, "increase the body's ability to metabolize alcohol, thereby limiting intoxication and more rapidly reducing alcohol blood levels."
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