BITS & PIECES: HONEY

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BITS and PIECES

HONEY

The name of this familiar and time-tested household remedy comes from ancient Hebrew and means “enchant.” Long used as a culinary sweetener, honey is valued for its many healing properties as well.

            Treatment with honey is referred to as apitherapy and includes replenishing energy, enhancing physical stamina and strengthening those weakened by illness or stress. Honey can also help calm the mind and promote rejuvenating sleep. In addition, honey relieves indigestion and is used to treat cardiovascular complaints. Finally, a thin coat of honey can be applied to the skin to disinfect and heal minor skin wounds and chapped lips.  

            Therapeutic Effect: Honey helps restore energy, has a general calming effect and helps to dissolve mucus. Applied externally to the skin, it disinfects and heals minor wounds.

            Components The principal constituents of honey are the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Other ingredients include water, pollen, organic acids, enzymes, and various proteins.

            Honey and fitness Honey provides a healthful pick-me-up. The glucose and fructose in honey have been predigested by the bees that produced it. These simple sugars are quickly and easily absorbed in the human digestive tract, and they have an overall soothing effect. Honey may be a healthy treat, but take care when using it as a sweetener: Just 1 tbsp. of honey has 64 calories, compared to 46 calories in 1 tbsp of granulated sugar.

            Shopping tip Many kinds of honey are available. The consistency, fragrance, and taste depend on the types of flowers from which bees collect nectar. Look for honey that has been produced by beekeepers who do not feed their bees refined sugars or use harmful pesticide.

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Updated: August 16, 2017