Almost all of us love the sweet taste and the mesmerizing golden color of honey. But the color and flavor are not the only right parts about it. Honey is a naturally occurring substance that holds a tremendous nutritional value. It has been used as food and is an ancient remedy for healing. So, where does this substance with such excellent benefits come from? Where is it used? And how can we get the most benefits out of it? Let’s read further to find out all these answers –
How is Honey Made?
The sweet, golden liquid is made naturally by the honeybees. Honey Bees gather sweet nectar from the flowers and travel back to collect it in their hive. When the collector bees are done collecting the sweet nectar, the worker bees begin processing the sweet nectar into a more thick syrup. This thick syrup gets stored in the hexagonal shaped cells of their honeycomb. With the help of their wings, the worker bees fan the syrup to evaporate moisture from it. It makes the syrup stickier, thicker and makes it more resistant to spoilage.
Honey is then extracted by the beekeepers using several methods. It is sold in both the raw and filtered form. The color and taste vary from light-colored honey, which has a mild flavor, to deep colored ones, which have a strong flavor. Depending upon the type of flower from which the nectar was collected, the honey’s taste and color vary. Golden, clear honey is often sold at a higher price than the dark-colored ones.
Uses of Honey
- For its sweet taste, honey has been used as a food ingredient for a long time.
- It is used as a sweetener for many dishes and beverages, as it is a healthy sugar substitute.
- Honey contains antiseptic properties that help in healing wounds.
- Due to its antibacterial and wound-healing properties, honey has been used as a medicine for over 5,000 years.
- It has also found its way in modern medical science and is now used to combat infection and manage chronic wounds.
- Besides being a replacement for sugar, honey can also add moisture and browning to the meals.
- It is recommended not to give honey to children who are below 12 months.
Various Benefits of Honey
Nature’s golden nectar has several benefits. Some of them are mentioned here:
Combating Infections: Honey has wound healing and antibacterial properties that help fight infections caused by bacteria resistant to artificial antibiotics. A particular type of honey called Manuka honey is often used to fight bacterial infections.
Remedy for Cough and Cold: The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared honey as a natural remedy for cough. Cold and cough can be effectively treated by using honey.
Replacing Sugar with Honey: Using sugar in the diet only adds excess calories to your meals and gives zero nutrition. Excessive calorie increases the risk of gaining body weight, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Replacing sugar with honey reduces these health risks. As honey is still a sweetener, maintain a balance in how much you are using.
Uses in Ayurveda Medicine: A wide range of ailments and illnesses have been treated by using honey. In Ayurveda medicine, honey has been used for the treatment of the following –
- Cough & Cold
- Sleep disturbance
- Stomach ulcers
- Diarrhea & Dysentery
- High blood pressure
While honey’s effectiveness is not confirmed for all of its uses, using it for treatment does not cause any harm.