Our friends recently told us they harvested their first batch of honey from their own honeybees—3 gallons! Pretty soon, everyone around us was discussing what they could do with THREE gallons of honey.
One person said local honey is good for treating seasonal allergies. Another person recommended it for treating burns or skin boo-boos. Intrigued, I came home and did a Google search for medicinal uses of honey. The suggestions for what honey can treat amazed me (no, I did NOT click on all the sites!):
• Seasonal allergies
• Skin wounds, infections and problems of ALL kinds
• Insert disease of your choice
The list goes on and on–no wonder Pooh is always so cheerful!
It turns out that ancient societies (Greeks, Romans and Chinese) regularly used honey to treat wounds and prevent infections–Hippocrates and Aristotle even touted the benefits of honey. In fact, your parents or grandparents may have given you honey to treat colds.
Then came our love-affair with pharmaceuticals. Don’t get me wrong, pharmaceuticals have improved and saved many lives, but as we know now, they may sometimes be expensive and unnecessary.
While honey is still used in “non-industrialized” nations, the use of honey as a medicine came to a screeching halt in the U.S. after the development of antibiotics. But, honey does have potent antimicrobial (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral) and antioxidant characteristics, and its therapeutic potential is now being investigated by “real” scientists (especially in light of the drug-resistant microbes popping up)!
The next few blogs will focus on the results of these scientific re-investigations. Sadly, I haven’t found published research investigating ALL the proclaimed benefits of honey, but some of the ones I will discuss are:
• Skin wounds and other skin problems
• Cardiovascular problems
• Infectious agents
So, tune in ~two weeks from now for some of the answers! I’ll give you a hint—the type of honey influences the medical value, and you can buy medical grade honey on Amazon.
In the meantime, have you used honey for any of these problems? Do you harvest your own honey? Share your honey stories below!