What Makes Honey The Liquid Gold It Is Said To Be
Widely used in home remedies, researchers too are exploring honey’s health benefits
Honey, a sticky liquid produced in the honey sacs of bees, has long been loved by human beings. Legend has it that ancient Egyptians and Greeks offered this dark golden liquid to their gods. They also recognized its healing properties and used it as a balm for wounds and to treat fevers and stomach problems.
How is honey made
Bees collect the nectar from flowers, which is then broken down into simple sugars inside the honeycomb. The liquid turns dense as a result of evaporation, caused by the constant fanning of the bees’ wings. The colour and texture of the honey are determined by the source of the nectar.
Honey’s role as a potential bacteria slayer, especially its ability to fight strains of E. coli and salmonella, is being probed by researchers. Manuka honey from New Zealand is believed to be particularly effective in fighting bacteria which causes peptic ulcers. Honey also contains traces of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and flavonoids.
Soothe your throat
A popular home remedy to soothe a sore throat is to add a spoonful of honey in tea or warm water with lemon in it.
Recent studies are exploring if honey has anti-cancer properties. “Evidence is growing that honey may have the potential to be an anti-cancer agent through several mechanisms. Though the full mechanism is yet to be fully understood, studies have shown that honey has anti-cancer effects through its interference with multiple cell-signaling pathways, such as inducing apoptosis, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic pathways,” write Sarfraz Ahmed and Nor Hayati Othman in their paper on Honey as a Potential Natural Anticancer Agent: A Review of Its Mechanisms, which can be accessed on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
A Word of Caution: Although honey is used widely in home remedies, don’t mistake it for a replacement for sugar and overdose on it. Also, be careful of any allergies.