In ancient Egypt, honey was an elitist food called the food of the gods. The healing properties of honey are still used successfully in many health problems. Numerous clinical trials have been conducted to prove the healing properties of honey.
- Med – popularna hrana
- Od nektara do meda
- Med – Hrana za pčele
- Konvencionalni ili organski pristup proizvodnji meda?
- Med protiv bakterija, gljivica i slobodnih radikala
- Med kao lek
- Med za kašalj i grlobolju
- Med za bolesnu kožu
- Med za gastrointestinalne upale
- Med za gljivične infekcije
- Med kao prebiotik
- Med – nije za bebe
- Svesna upotreba meda
- Saveti za kupovinu meda
- Organski med
- Med od cvetova ili med od medljike
- Manuka – izuzetan med
Honey – a popular food
Honey has served humans as food for at least 10,000 years. For example, during the first Olympic Games, athletes achieved top results by drinking only honey water.
Honey provides the body and brain with a large number of easily usable carbohydrates that are quickly converted into energy.
80% of honey is made up of sugar
Although up to 245 natural ingredients have been found in high-quality varieties of honey, honey is still 80% pure sugar.
The average composition of honey looks like this:
Depending on the variety, honey contains from 2 to 4% of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, organic acids and secondary plant substances.
The ratio of fructose and glucose determines the consistency of honey. Because glucose crystallizes faster in honey than fructose, honey with a high glucose content is creamy to firm, while honey with less glucose and higher fructose content tends to be liquid.
From nectar to honey
Honey bees mainly produce their honey from the sweet juice of flowering plants, nectar. Bees use a small portion of their yield to generate energy for their exhausting flight back to the hive. The diligent collector leaves the rest of his “prey” to his hives.
In addition to nectar, bees also collect honeydew, which comes from deciduous or coniferous trees.
Couples in the hive harvest from fodder. They transmit them from bee to bee, while each of these bees mixes nectar or dew with their own enzymes in the body through saliva. As a result of this transfer, the enzyme content in immature honey increases enormously. Some of these enzymes break down carbohydrates, which also changes the composition of sugar.
Constant movement in the warm air evaporates the excess water, so that the still immature honey slowly thickens. The bees carefully arrange it on the honeycomb and the beekeeper can start picking honey only at the end of an extremely complex ripening process.
Honey – Food for bees
Bees depend on sufficient supplies of honey because honey is the basic food for them and their brood.
Unlike wasps and bumblebees, of which only queens survive the winter, bees try to keep their entire colony alive even in the cold season. And to achieve this, they must produce so much heat that the required minimum temperature of 30 ° C remains in the hive even at outdoor temperatures of minus 20 ° C. This costs the bees huge amounts of energy, but thanks to adequate supplies of honey they can compensate for that energy loss. .
For wintering in Central Europe, bee colonies need about 25 kg of honey. If the bees managed to collect enough nectar or honeydew in the warm months, they will give birth to significantly more than 100 kg of honey.
Beekeepers decide whether to leave a certain amount of honey to the bees or to supplement the bee’s diet with sugar.
In the industrial production of honey, the main goal is to make the maximum profit, which is why the use of sugar water is common here. Conventional beekeepers often use both variants, while organically certified beekeepers largely give up supplementary feeding with sugar.
Conventional or organic approach to honey production?
In conventional beekeeping, artificial insemination of queens and cutting of wings is allowed for profit reasons. Honey companies generally have only a few legal regulations and are very rarely controlled.
Such methods are strictly forbidden in organic beekeeping. If the bees are really infected in organic beekeeping, only organic acids are used for treatment. Legal requirements for organic farms are extensive and subject to regular, strict controls.
Honey against bacteria, fungi and free radicals
Honey has always been valued as a remedy against many diseases and for wound healing. Honey is very healing. It owes its healing properties antibacterial , antifungal and antioxidant properties. Honey owes its healing properties to numerous secondary plant substances, but above all to antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids.
Honey as a medicine
Bacteria, fungi and excess free radicals in the body are the main causes of many inflammatory diseases. Honey with its antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant effects alleviates inflammatory processes. The use of honey gives positive results for smaller wounds, problems with the throat or skin, gastrointestinal and fungal diseases.
In the case of deep or poorly healing wounds, as well as serious diseases, one should be careful. Aseptic honey is used on the advice of a certified therapist for the area.
Honey for cough and sore throat
The most well-known use of honey refers to cough as a result of a cold. Although the effect of honey against cough has been known in many cultures for centuries, a large number of clinical studies have been conducted to confirm this effect.
For example, in Nigeria, 2014. published a study in which the cough of children between 2 and 18 years of age was treated with honey, among other things. Honey has the same good effect as some pharmaceutical products for cough suppression, with the difference that honey is a natural food without side effects.
A teaspoon of honey, taken just before bedtime or mixed in a glass of water or hot tea, significantly relieves cough.
Honey for diseased skin
Doctor Al-Waili from Dubai treated raw honey to patients suffering from flaky skin, severe itching, herpes and, as a result, hair loss. Patients applied honey mixed with a little warm water daily to the affected parts of the skin and after 3 hours carefully rinsed with water. After a week, the symptoms disappeared and the lesions began to heal.
To determine if there was indeed healing, Al-Waili divided his patients into two groups. Although one group was considered cured and no further treatment, the other group was instructed to continue using honey once a week for a period of 6 months. In the first group, the first symptoms reappeared after two months, while the second group remained asymptomatic after the sixth month.
Although the use of honey alleviates annoying flaking of the skin and unpleasant itching and, in the best case, can even eliminate it, it must generally be taken into account that any type of skin disease always suggests a disturbed intestinal flora. Thorough bowel cleansing is advised.
Honey for gastrointestinal inflammation
Gastrointestinal inflammation is a very unpleasant disease that is associated with constant diarrhea and nausea. The most common causes of this are viruses and bacteria, which prompted a research team from Egypt to investigate the effect of honey on gastrointestinal infections.
The study involved 100 sick children who were divided into 2 groups of 50 children each. To counteract the great loss of water and minerals that occurs with chronic diarrhea and nausea, patients were given a special liquid that mainly contained sugar and salt and was drunk throughout the day. While one group consumed only this liquid, honey was added to the other group.
It was quickly noticed that acute diarrhea and nausea in children who received a honey solution were significantly reduced. In the second group, however, there were hardly any changes.
The addition of honey could not only significantly shorten the course of the disease, but also contribute to faster physical regeneration and normalization of children’s body weight.
Honey for fungal infections
Despite the high sugar content in honey, it even attacks fungal infections of the genus Candida albicans. Scientists from the University of Iran managed to demonstrate the antifungal effect of honey on a group of 70 women affected by a vaginal infection.
Half of the women treated the yeast infection with a mixture of yogurt and honey, while the other half used an antifungal cream.
After only a week, it was determined that a mixture of yogurt and honey and pharmaceutical cream achieved comparative results. The use of honey can be a very powerful, natural alternative in the treatment of fungal infections.
In vitro honey has been applied to Candida albicans several times and the result has always been the same: Pure honey significantly inhibits the growth of fungi.
Honey as a prebiotic
Refined sugar has long been considered one of the main causes of disturbed intestinal flora, because it accelerates the spread of intestinal fungi and has a negative effect on the bacterial balance. An Egyptian study addressed the question of whether this effect also applies to honey, which is also very rich in sugar.
Scientists have noticed how certain molds and their toxins, so-called aflatoxins, affect mice. It turned out that the high concentration of honey as a dietary supplement effectively made aflatoxins harmless. And some fungal crops have also lagged behind in their growth after honey treatment.
Researchers have already known from previous studies that these effects are partly based on the prebiotic action of honey, because it serves as a valuable food for many beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Unlike ordinary sugar, honey contains minerals, vitamins and amino acids. By consuming honey, the bacteria in the intestines get a good nutritional basis so that they can multiply faster. The higher the number of good intestinal bacteria, the stronger the immune system.
Honey – not for babies
Despite the many health benefits that consuming good quality honey can bring, honey is not recommended for babies up to 12 months of age due to the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can appear in honey or spores of this bacterium.
The dangerous thing about these spores is that when they germinate, they produce a toxin that paralyzes the muscles. They are not a problem for adults, because even a relatively stable intestinal flora can prevent the germination of spores. The situation is different in newborns up to 12 months, because their intestinal flora is still not sufficiently developed. Unrecognized and untreated, it can cause paralysis of the muscles of breathing and swallowing in a sick child and, in the worst case, lead to death.
Conscious use of honey
Although honey seems to be the perfect sweet because of its healing effects, it is not a food that should be used constantly and in large quantities. Moderate consumption of honey is recommended because excessive amounts as well as sugar can lead to pancreatic stress, obesity and disturbed intestinal flora.
Honey is not recommended for cooking and baking, because temperatures of 40 ° C or higher nullify all the useful characteristics of honey. Tea or milk should also be cooled before adding honey.
In Ayurvedic medicine, heated honey is even considered toxic, because it is said to contribute to the contamination of body tissue and thus initiate inflammatory processes that then lead to various diseases.
Tips for buying honey
It doesn’t matter if you take honey internally or use it externally, honey should always be of the best possible purity and quality.
Honey in plastic packaging is not recommended. Then cheap honey because quality always has its price.
Imported honey, because it is usually pasteurized (heated to at least 75 ° C) and often contains genetically modified pollen. Manuka honey from New Zealand is an exception.
In Germany and Switzerland, the appropriate beekeeping association awards a stamp that can only be applied to jars of honey with domestic and unprocessed honey. Honey with this stamp is clearly different from imported honey and indicates certain quality standards. After the harvest, this honey is not even heated.
Organic beekeepers must follow strict regulations when producing honey and are regularly monitored. With organic honey, you can be sure that the high quality standards are really met.
Some of the regulations in the production of organic honey:
It is forbidden to trim the wings of the queen.
The use of chemical drugs and pesticides is prohibited.
In essence, only organic and / or wild plants are allowed within a radius of three kilometers. Avoid the vicinity of highways, waste incineration plants or other plants that emit pollutants.
The place must have enough natural sources for nectar and honeydew
Have pollen and have access to water.
Bees are kept exclusively in hives made of natural raw materials. Pollutant-free paints must be used for the exterior coating.
Any necessary additional feeding in winter takes place with their own honey or pollen. Organic sugar syrup should be used only in exceptional cases.
Only independent honeycombs without residues are used to extract honey.
Honey is never heated above 40 ° C.
Flower honey or honeydew honey
Honey flowers include, for example: rapeseed, clover, dandelion, linden blossom and spring honey. Flower honey whose nectar is collected in the spring is usually very light in color, while collecting nectar by summer results in honey that becomes increasingly darker. The lighter the honey, the milder its taste. Flower honeys are characterized by a fine fruity or floral aroma.
Forest honey is one of the most famous honey honeys. It consists of dew of various deciduous or coniferous trees and is usually very dark in color. Because forest honey contains less glucose than flowers, it stays liquid longer. Unlike flower honey, its aroma is strong.
Fir honey is considered the king of forest honeys, because it is quite rare due to the rather small stocks of fir.
Manuka – exceptional honey
Manuka honey comes from the flower nectar of the New Zealand manuka bush, a relative of the Australian tea tree. This is a very special honey, because its healing power far exceeds the power of all other honeys.