Welcome to day two of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
Honey Health Properties and Benefits
Today I’m spotlighting the health properties and benefits of honey. Honey not only boasts a delicious flavour, but numerous healing properties too. According to Ayurveda, honey is both sweet (also known as Madhura, primarily composed of earth and water elements) and heating. As a sweet taste, it benefits the mucus membranes throughout the body, as well as being nutritive and soothing to the mind. Honey’s health properties and benefits go further as they also helps to strengthen the integrity of the immune system. If you prefer watching instead of reading check out the video below, otherwise please continue on.
Craving something sweet? Rather than reaching for some refined sugar products, reach for the honey jar instead. While they may be yummy and soothing, refined sugar causes our glucose levels to spike and plummet. As a result, we will experience a sudden high followed by a low crash, and we really don’t need any more crashes right now!
If you are searching for a little bit of sweetness, honey is the perfect choice. As for which kind to buy, both Ayurevda and I recommend unfiltered, raw local honey. Why not grab a jar when visiting your local village shop or butchers? Not only will you be supporting a local business (which need our help more than ever before), but local produce always taste nicer somehow.
Once you have your honey, it’s time to utilise its healing properties.
If you suffer from allergies, such as hay fever, taking one spoonful of local honey for a couple of months can be really beneficial. As we all know, bees pollinate flowers to make honey. Therefore, when you eat local honey, you will also be ingesting local pollen. Over time, you should become less sensitive to pollen and, as a result, should experience fewer allergies.
Do you often feel sluggish, or suffer from mucus on the chest? Taking a spoonful of honey in the morning with half a teaspoon fresh, chopped or crushed ginger can really help boost the digestive system and remove mucus (or Kapha, as it is known in Ayurveda) from the chest.
If you have any kind of sores (for example, mouth ulcers), simply putting a dab of honey on it can work wonders. I always do this with my children and I find it works really well.
Of course, there is also the classic combination of honey and lemon, which most people already know about. This pairing has many benefits, including detoxifying the body, clearing the skin, increasing immunity and replenishing energy.
Did you know, due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey has great wound healing properties? In 2008, an investigation into the existing use of honey in treating wounds was carried out by the Cochrane Collaboration. It found that honey often improves healing times in specific burns (thin burns which are mild to moderate, superficial and of partial thickness) compared with some conventional dressings.
The thing that we really have to watch with honey is its temperature.
Never cook with honey
In Ayurevda, we generally try to never mix honey with water over 50 degrees, and we certainly never cook with it. The reason for this is we see honey as an elixir of life with its incredible, wonderful combination of properties. It boasts a lot of amino acids, anti-oxidants, and enzymes, the later of which are really important and help our digestive system. However, if we heat the honey, especially at really high temperatures, these enzymes can denature.
It would be such a shame to waste all these wonderful properties. Particularly because it takes the entire lifetime of twelve lovely bees to make just ONE teaspoon of honey for us! To put that into perspective, two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world! So the next time you are enjoying a spoonful of honey, be sure to take a moment to think about all the hard work that has gone into it.
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share where you get your local honey from? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and YouTube.