Why Honey is the Bees' Knees

honey is one of the most powerful foods to have in your kitchen

making it the oldest staple item with an eternal shelf life. Packed with so many incredible benefits, it’s no wonder that honey has been used for over 3,000 years!

What is honey exactly?

Contrary to (some) beliefs, honey is not bee vomit or poop. honey is a thick, golden liquid made by industrious bees, using the nectar of flowering plants. The anatomy of a bee has what is called a “honey stomach,” which is part of their esophagus and where they store the nectar. 

How is honey made?

Honey first starts off as the nectar collected by bees. this nectar is stored inside the honeycomb and broken down into simple sugars. The different color shades of honey depends on the source of the nectar. By definition, honey is a blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that have antibacterial, anti fungal + antioxidant properties and helps promote  digestive health. 

What is honey good for?

Honey has an impressive list of uses, all which are beneficial to our health both short and long term. With the coming of spring also comes stuffy noses, headaches, sore throats, colds, sinus pressure = allergies. To help combat these symptoms and help ease their oncomings, incorporating honey in your daily routine can be extremely beneficial.

How does it do all that?

Honey contains a wide range of phenolic constituents (a phenol is a benzene ring with an oxygen + hydrogen attached) and of these includes quercetin. Quercetin helps to reduce inflammation, pollen allergy symptoms and stabilize cell membranes that release histamine. To combat inflammation, you need something soothing. Honey is the way to go here!

So, what kind of honey should I buy?

When shopping for honey, always choose raw unfiltered for the most medicinal properties. And if you’re able to, try to buy locally sourced as well (ideally, within a 50 mile radius). Raw honey has not been heated nor pasteurized and contains a blend of local pollen, which can help strengthen the immune system and reduce pollen allergy symptoms. How does this work? When bees go from flower to flower to collect nectar, they are also collecting pollen spores from the flowers, which are then transferred to honey.

What are some other uses for honey?

1) Honey has the ability to soothe sunburns.

Simply mix 1/2 cup of honey and 1 cup of milk, soak a towel in the mixture and gently apply directly to the sunburn by dabbing or laying the towel on top 

2) Honey acts as a healing salve for minor cuts or scrapes.

Check this out - there are 3 key components of honey that all help to heal cuts and scrapes: propolis (nectar compound), hydrogen peroxide and sugar. Propolis kills bacteria, hydrogen peroxide disinfects and sugar absorbs moisture so that the bacteria don’t have an environment to survive in.

3) Honey helps sooth coughs and sore throats.

Honey contains the same common ingredient that is found in over the counter cough medications. simply mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a spoonful of honey in a cup of hot water to create your own cough suppressant.

“Life is the flower, for which love is the honey”

- Victor Hugo