If you think that honey is just another sweetener, think again!
In ancient cultures, honey has been used both for nutritional and medical purposes; and the belief that honey is a nutrient, a drug and an ointment has been carried in our days. Before the advent of industrial sugar production, honey was the only sweetener available, and a very significant source of carbohydrates.
Fructose and glucose are the most abundant carbohydrates present in honey. After ingestion, they are rapidly absorbed and utilized for energy in the human body.
Honey contains many other important elements such; proteins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium.
Among vitamins, honey contains vitamin K, B1, B2, B6, niacin, panthothenic acid and Vitamin C. Choline is another important nutrient in honey. Choline is essential for cardiovascular and brain function, being an important component of the membrane of human cells.
Compounds with antioxidant properties are also found in honey.
Honey consumption is helpful in reducing inflammation in the bowel as well as in stimulating the immune system. In ancient Rome, honey was used as a cure for diarrhea. In Eastern Europe and Arab countries, it has been used for gastritis, and peptic ulcers. In experimental studies the ingestion of dandelion honey reduced the acidity in the stomach by 56%.
Other important effects of honey on human digestion have been linked to the ability to stimulate friendly bacteria in the intestine. Can anyone imagine what a tasty snack a cup of good quality, organic yogurt is with a generous dollop of honey right on top? Yummy!
For minor cuts, a small amount of honey kept in place by a band aid will protect the cut from infections and will help the wound to heal faster. This is because honey has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.
Depending on its country of origin, honey presents great botanical variation. This is reflected in the diverse appearance, taste and composition. Argentina and China are the major exporting countries, but its consumption in these countries is low. Europe, on the other hand is a major consumer and exporter. Among European countries, Germany, Portugal and Greece are the largest consumers with an annual per capita consumption of about 1.8kg. In USA and Canada, the annual consumption is 0.6kg. a year.
Honey has been used for centuries as an important ingredient for skin care. Here is my favorite homemade masque for beautiful and healthy skin.
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1 tbsp plain whole yogurt
Blend all the ingredients together, apply the masque on a perfectly clean face and neck, let stand for 15 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water. This masque can be used once a week.
Did you know the best time to apply a masque is when you take a bath?
The ritual of a weekly bath is very healing for the body and soul.
Love your face.
Dr. Aurora DeJuliis