Honey is the most known apicultural product, it is a substance that the bees produce through a complicated process of elaboration, where they absorb the nectar and deposit it in their stomach, then go back to the beehive to deliver it, throwing up repeated times; this way ferments, acid and albumen are added to the nectar. It contains most of the essential mineral elements that our system needs. There have already been found, in the honey, more than 180 different nutritional substances.
The beekeeping is a very old activity. Evidences from Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece describe ancient beekeeping and the honey is also mentioned in the Bible. It was considered sacred, and was also used to pay taxes and debts. Besides all this, it was used to draw and paint as well. Honey contains proteins, essential minerals and vitamins. It is a food of elevated energy and is also known for its medicinal and therapeutic assets. Honey is a food of easy digestion and enthusiastically assimilated by humans, constituting a healthy source of energy.
Honey consumed as food is important for the balance of the biological process of the organism. It contains glucose and fructose, which goes directly into the blood, becoming an energetic product. Honey can be used as food, as a natural sweetener and as medicine. After some time of use, it assists in the control of rheumatism and arthritis, prevents all types of respiratory illnesses and helps in the digestion. Honey is also used on the skin and is an ingredient for some shampoos. It is used extensively in the cosmetic industry as well (creams, cleanness facemasks, tonics, etc.) because of its astringent and softening qualities.
Eating honey will improve your quality of life, since it stimulates and increases physical resistance; it is slightly sedative, discouraging insomnias; it helps in the healing, it is anti-septic, digestive and laxative, helping in the treatment of gastritis; it is an expectorant fighting the cough, also of smokers. Used externally, it speeds up the healing of wounds and minor burnings, besides hydrating the skin.
With honey – and nothing else –, Nigerian doctors were able to cure serious wounds, burnings and ulcers of skin in 59 patients, which were submitted previously to conventional treatments with antibiotics without any satisfying results. First, the doctors gathered samples of the wounds to be studied in laboratory. The results had shown that the infections were caused by common bacteria – therefore more resistant – as the Pseudomonad, found frequently in infections. After that, the honey was applied on the infected skin. One week later, no micro organism appeared in the laboratory examinations. For the reason that it is slightly acid, extremely viscous and absorbs water, the honey cleaned the wounds, diminished their size and protected them from new infections. According to the Nigerian doctors, honey also has the property of being a bactericidal agent.
It has been indicated to prevent, control or cure the following illnesses:
• Respiratory diseases
• Intestinal disturbances
• Digestive disturbances
• Throat irritation
• Urinary irritation
• Irritation of the eyes
• Dental caries
• Illnesses of the liver
• Rheumatic pains
• Physical fatigue
• Skin burn
• Stomach ulcer, etc.
The flavour, aroma and colour of the honey differ according to its botanical origin, in accordance with the flowers from where the bee has removed the nectar to manufacture it. The climate, humidity and even the altitude will interfere in these characteristics of the honey. Usually, the clear honey presents weak flavour and aroma. The honey of darker coloration is richer in proteins and minerals.
Here goes an advice: honey fattens less than sugar. 1 tea-spoon or 5g of honey = 16,4kcal. It is also the best option for athletes. Biologists concluded that honey is the best source of carbohydrates and energy for athletes and mature people.