WHAT IS HONEY ??
Honey, Nectar technically is a Sugary liquid is extracted from flowers using a Bee’s long, tube-shaped tongue and stored in its extra stomach known as Honey Stomach. While in Honey Stomach, the Nectar mixes with Enzymes that transforms its chemical composition and pH, making it more suitable for long term storage.
When a Honeybee returns to the hive, it passes the nectar to another Bee by regurgitating the liquid into the other bee’s mouth. This Regurgitation process is repeated until the partially digested nectar is finally deposited into a honeycomb.
Once in the comb, nectar is still a viscous liquid — nothing like the thick honey we use regularly. To get all that extra water out of their honey, bees set to work fanning the honeycomb with their wings in an effort to speed up the process of evaporation.
When most of the water has evaporated from the honeycomb, the bee seals the comb with a secretion of liquid from its abdomen, which eventually hardens into Beeswax. Away from air and water, Honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.
WHAT’S IN HONEY?
There are extensive studies and research by many reputed Institutes as well our ancient Ayurveda, on Nutritional and Medicinal properties of Honey and have compiled huge resource of information.
Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution with approximately 17.1 percent water. Fructose is the predominant sugar at 38.5 percent, followed by glucose at 31 percent. Disac- charides, trisac -charides and oligosaccharides are present in much smaller quantities. Besides carbohydrates, honey contains small amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Honey is known to be rich in both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, including catalase, ascorbic acid, flavonoids and alkaloids. Although appearing only in trace amounts honey also contains about 18 different amino acids.
The flavor of a particular type of honey will vary based on the types of flower from which the nectar was harvested. If the beeboxes are setup near to Sunflower farms and no other flowers are available in near vicinity then bees collects nectar of Sunflower only and produces Honey, so the flavor and color will be contributed & dominated by the crop of Sunflower, similarly Multiflower, Acacia, Ajwain, Holy Basil, Mustard, Sesame Honey etc. are produced the same way. Still all type of Honey possesses similar properties, only the taste, color, thickness and crystallization properties are different for each type. As well the Nutritional value & Health benefits are all same for all Honey types & varieties from all crops.
Raw Honey is basically a Honey which is not Pasteurized, Not Heated, Not Blended & Not Processed any way to alter its basic structure and nature. The Raw Honey contains all the Pollen, Enzymes, Essential Nutrients, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Glucose, Fructose and other Micronutrients that are usually filtered out or destroyed by heat when the honey is processed. Traditionally, honey is heated, filtered and blended with some additional Sugars, so that it will remain liquid much longer. When raw honey is extracted from beehives, it is only filtered to remove unwanted substances like bees wax, some impurities etc. Raw honey will crystalize quickly due to the fact that it is unprocessed. HONESTY HONEY offers only varieties of Raw Honey, which are never heated and just filtered and so the honey is Raw, All Natural, Pure.
All pure Honey will Crystallize over time. This change is a sign of Quality & Purity. Honey almost entirely consists of Natural sugars. There is only 20% of Water in this product. This means that there are not nearly enough water molecules to hold all the Glucose and Fructose, which leads to eventual separation of these components. And this is exactly how you get Crystallized honey. To make sure the product stays liquid as long as possible, store it at room temperature in a glass jar with a tightly closed lid. Never put Honey in the Refrigerator! It will speed up the Crystallization process. Most honey brands available in marketplace are heavily processed. Manufacturers use Pasteurization to kill the bacteria and yeast as well as to slow down crystallization, making the product more appealing to the customers. HONESTY HONEY is Raw, Natural and is Unprocessed, and this is why it crystallizes much faster. However, it also means that all the Nutrients and Enzymes in it are still intact, making it a healthier choice.
Beekeeping, also known as Apiculture, is the maintenance of Beehives by humans. The person who maintains the Beehives and collects the Bee products or sells the bees to another person is called the Beekeeper. Bees are kept in a location called the Beehive or an Apiary. Beekeeping also includes producing cross-breeds, protecting bees from diseases, along with honey productivity. The most common primary objectives for managing colonies are to ensure large, healthy adult honeybee populations to coincide with major nectar flows; to use these strong honeybee colonies to best execute the beekeeping management plan to, maximize the collection of nectar / to maximize Honey production
HOW TO DE-CRYSTALLIZE HONEY ??
To bring Honey back to its Original consistency, you need to heat it up. It is crucial to maintain the right temperature – going too high would mean to scorch the product and destroy the precious Vitamins and Enzymes. The heating method is also important. So how to De-crystallize Raw Honey the right way? Don’t worry, it is super easy.
All you need is a pot of hot water. Get hot water ( preferably 38°c for Plastic jar & 45°c for Glass jar) from your available sources, now put your Glass or Plastic Honey jar inside this pot containing hot water. Make sure you leave the Lid on and don’t pour water on top of it. De-crystallizing Honey takes time. Be patient and carefully add more hot water as the water in the pot starts to cool down.
If you have Honey in a Plastic jar, keep water temperature lower than 38°c to prevent plastic from deforming. After few minutes of wait the Honey will be liquid again. Now you know how to De-crystallize honey. We hope that this knowledge will help you save a ton of money by increasing the shelf-life of your favorite product, making your life that much sweeter.
HOW MUCH HONEY CAN BE CONSUMED IN A DAY?
As per Ayurveda, Honey has Lekhana property – this can be translated as “Scraping out the Cholesterol”, “Useful in Obesity & Weight Loss” etc. This is why we see usage of a teaspoon of honey along with Luke warn water in the morning on empty stomach as a Weight Loss remedy. But because Honey is Sweet in nature and sweet substances bring with them, nourishing qualities, it is not good to have excess of honey, if you are targeting weight loss. Hence Ayurveda recommends usage of up to 4-5 teaspoons of Honey per day, this is the maximum limit per day – for an adult and 1-3 teaspoon for kids according to their body weight.
CHARACTER & PROPERTIES OF HONEY AS PER AYURVEDA :
Ayurveda says, honey is,
“Madhura” , meaning Sweet
“Kashaya Anurasa”, meaning Astringent Sub Taste
“Rooksha” , meaning Dry
“Sheeta” , meaning Coolant
“Laghu”, meaning Light To Digest
“Picchila”, meaning Sticky
“Trut” , meaning Relieves Thirst
“Agnideepanam” , meaning Improves Appetite & Digestive Fire
“Svarya”, meaning Improves Voice Quality
“Varnyam”, meaning Improves Skin Complexion
“Sukumara”, meaning Improves Softness Of Skin
“Prasadhana”, meaning Improves Skin Qualities
“Lekhanam”, meaning Scrapes The Inner Side Channels
“Hrudya”, meaning Good For Heart
“Chakshushyam”, meaning Good For Eyes
“Chakshushya”, meaning Good for the Eyes & Vision
“Vajikarana”, meaning Aphrodisiac
“Sandhana”, meaning Heals Wounds & Fractures Quickly
“Shodhanam Ropanam”, meaning Cleanses & Heals
“Sookshma Marganusari”, Penetrates Deep Into Body Channels
“Vishaprashamanam”, meaning Natural Detox Agent
“Pitta Shleshmahara”, meaning Balances Pitta & Kapha
“Medohara”, meaning Useful in Obesity
“Chedi”, meaning Breaks Up Hard Masses
AS PER AYURVEDA HONEY IS BENEFICIAL IN:
“Hidhma”, meaning Hiccups
“Atisara”, meaning Diarrhea
“Chardi”, meaning Vomiting
“Krumi”, meaning Warm Infestation
“Shwasa”, meaning Chronic Respiratory Diseases
“Kasa”, meaning Cough, Cold
“Visha”, meaning Toxicity
“Meha”, meaning Diabetes, Urinary Tract Diseases
“Kushta”, meaning Skin Diseases
“Vrana Shodhana”, meaning Cleanses Wounds
“Vrana Sandhana, Ropana”, meaning Heals Wounds Quickly
HONEY – SIDE EFFECTS & CONTRA INDICATIONS AS MENTIONED IN AYURVEDA
Honey is not recommended for people with Diabetes having Sugar not under control, where as those having Sugar under control can consume some amount of Honey as per Physicians consultation
Equal quantity of Honey & Ghee is incompatible and should not be consumed
Honey along with Ghee, even in unequal proportions, should not be consumed along with Water
Honey should not be consumed with excess hot Water or Milk, should be Lukewarm only
Honey should not be mixed with excessive hot food items
Honey should not be consumed after prolonged exposure to excessive Sunlight
Equal quantity of Honey & Sesame Oil is also incompatible.
TRADITIONAL USES OF HONEY IN AYURVEDA
The traditional uses of Honey in Healthcare stretch back into antiquity. Its value, beyond a sweetener, is being rediscovered. The ancients of Vedic civilization considered Honey one of nature’s most remarkable gifts to mankind. Modern research indicates this substance does possess Unique Nutritional and Medicinal properties. This article is a historical review of how the Ancient Physicians used Honey, and for what purposes. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease.
Honey’s Food Value :
The sugars in Honey are Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose. Glucose is the simplest of the sugars. It occurs in the blood of Live Animals, in Fruits and Vegetable Juices. It restores the Oxygen that is replaced by Lactic Acid when Fatigue sets in.
Fructose, which is also known as Levulose or Grape Sugar, Crystallizes more easily than Glucose and builds up Tissues. Sucrose is a combination of Glucose and Fructose. Dextrin, which is a gummy substance, is found in small amounts in Honey, but it makes Honey so digestible.
The latest research indicates that the pollen in Honey contains all 22 Amino Acids, 28 Minerals, 11 Enzymes, 14 Fatty Acids and 11 Carbohydrates. Unfortunately much of these Nutritive Qualities are lost by heating the Honey for commercial use.
Natural benefits and Curative properties
What the Ancient Ayurvedic texts says:
Honey is one of the finest sources of Heat and Energy. Energy is generated mainly by the Carbohydrate foods, and Honey is one of the most easily digested forms of Carbohydrates. It enters directly into the Bloodstream because of its Dextrin content, and this provides almost instantaneous energy.
Traditionally, according to the texts of Ayurveda, Honey is a boon to those with weak digestion. The texts state that all the organs in the body respond favorably when Honey is eaten. Honey is considered as an all-purpose medicine for all types of diseases.
The texts also state that a spoon of fresh Honey, mixed with the juice of half a Lemon in a glass of Lukewarm water and taken first thing in the morning, is an effective remedy for Constipation and Hyperacidity. Fasting on this Honey-Lemon juice Water is highly beneficial in the treatment of Obesity without Loss of Energy and Appetite.
A mixture of Honey and Alcohol is believed to promote Growth of Hair.
Honey and the Heart
Honey is easily digested and assimilated; it is the best sweet food, as it does not cause flatulence and can prevent it to a certain extent, promoting the activity of the bowels. It can be easily added to the five meals a day, and the texts of Ayurveda recommended it in cases of Arteriosclerosis and Weak Hearts.
As it would be unwise to leave such a hard-working organ as the Heart without food over the long hours of the night, the Ancient texts recommend taking, before going to bed, a glass of Water with Honey and Lemon juice in it, and also to take it when awakening at night. Traditional Ayurvedic experts recommend Honey for Cardiac pain and Palpitation of the Heart.
Honey and Anemia
Honey is remarkable in building Hemoglobin in the body, which is largely due to the Iron, Copper and Manganese contained in it. The ancient texts declare it beneficial in the treatment of Anemia, as it helps maintain the right balance of Hemoglobin and Red Blood Corpuscles.
Honey and Pulmonary Health
Ancient Ayurvedic experts regarded honey as highly beneficial in the support of Lung Health and treatment of all imbalances of the Lungs. The texts of Ayurveda state that if a jug of Honey is held under the nose of an Asthma patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with the Honey, he starts breathing easier and deeper. The effects last for about an hour or so.
This is because Honey contains a mixture of “Higher” Alcohols and Ethereal Oil, and the vapors given off by them are soothing and beneficial to the Asthma patients, according to Ayurveda. It usually brings relief, whether the air flowing over the Honey is inhaled or whether it is eaten or taken either in Milk or Water. Some Ayurvedic experts recommend one-year-old Honey for Respiratory Diseases.
Honey and Skin
The texts of Ayurveda also describe how Honey applied externally is considered useful in the treatment of Wounds and Sores. Honey, they state, Soothes Pain, Acts as an Antiseptic, Hastens Healing and is especially effective in Curing Burns and Carbuncles.
Honey and Irritating Coughs
The texts of Ayurveda also say the use of Honey is highly beneficial in the treatment of Irritating Cough. As a Demulcent or Soothing Agent, it produces a Soothing effect on the Inflammed Mucous Membrane of the Upper Respiratory Tract and Relieves Irritating Cough and Symptoms like difficulty in Swallowing. For the same reason, it is used in the manufacture of various Cough mixtures. Honey gargles are also useful in irritant cough.
Honey and Insomnia
Honey has been used for centuries for the treatment of Insomnia. It has Hypnotic action in bringing sound sleep. It should be taken with Water, before going to bed, in doses of two teaspoonfuls in a big cupful of water. Babies, the texts say, generally fall asleep after taking Honey.
Honey and Oral Diseases
Honey is regarded by Ayurvedic experts as valuable in keeping the Mouth Healthy. Applied daily over the Teeth and Gums, it Cleans and gives Sparkle to the Teeth. It prevents the deposit of Tartar at the base of the Teeth, and prevents Decay and early falling of the Teeth. Being a Mild Antiseptic, it prevents the growth of harmful Microorganisms.
It also keeps the Gums in a Healthy state, increasing their Vascularity. In case of Ulcers in the Oral Cavity, Honey helps in their early healing and prevents further Sepsis and Pyogenic infection-related bad odor and Pus formation. Gargling with honey water is very useful in Gingivitis due to Inflammation of the Gums.
Honey and the Eyes
Honey has a long history of Ayurvedic use for various Eye Ailments. Applied daily in the Eyes, it improves the Eyesight. It is very useful in the treatment of Itching of the Eyes, Trachoma, Conjunctivitis and other similar diseases. Its regular internal as well as external application will prevent Glaucoma in the initial stage of the disease.
Honey and the Stomach
Ayurvedic experts have long regarded Honey as useful in maintaining the health of the Stomach. It tones up the Stomach, helps in proper digestion and prevents Stomach diseases. It also decreases the overproduction of Hydrochloric Acid, thereby preventing symptoms like Nausea, Vomiting and Heartburn. According to the texts of Ayurveda, when putrified fecal matter and undigested foods are present in the Alimentary Canal, Honey acts as a Laxative and Emetic and clears the Digestive Canal of the Waste Matter.
Honey and Age
The Ayurveda texts also state that Honey is especially useful in providing Energy and Heat to the body in old age. It dries up the Phlegm and clears the system of Mucus, to which a person generally falls victim in old age. One or two teaspoonfuls of Honey in a cupful of boiled Water that has been cooled to lukewarm is a Refreshing and Strengthening drink.
HONEY IN ANCIENT INDIA
There are lots of mentions about Honey and Bees in the Sacred Indians writings, The Vedas, around 2000-3000 BC. The early Hindus considered Honey as the “Food of Gods”. In Hindu marriage ceremonies, Honey was used to send away the Evil Spirits and ensure a Happy couple life.
Deccan Hindus used Honey and Curds to make a traditional food the Groom has to eat when he visits the home of his future wife for the first time. Some stories say that in certain parts of Bengal, the Bride would anoint certain parts of her body with honey! This tradition is also found in the Balkan Peninsula at gypsies.
The Sanskrit word for honey is “Madhu”, which is the same with the Anglo-Saxon “Medu” and which resembles the beverage we made from Honey “Mead”. The Gods Vishnu and Krishna were called “Madhave” meaning “The Nectar-born Ones” and their symbol is a Bee. In one image Vishnu is a blue Bee resting on a Lotus flower (Symbol of Life, Resurrection and Nature).
In some pictures Krishna, as the popular incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu, appears with a Blue Bee on his forehead, or above it, representing Vishnu. It is blue because it represents the World of Gods, a World of Ether – which is Blue.
Honey plays an important role in Ayurvedic medicine.
For more than 5000 years, Indians have been continually using it, today there are lots of practitioners, and there are Academies founded all over the world. People are trusting it and Ayurveda remains one of the most natural ways of Health Care.
The Honey that is prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners is a cultured or purified Honey, called “Samskritha Madhu”, made by most of the authentic Ayurvedic manufacturing units, following the Ayurvedic scriptures.
According to Ayurveda classic “Ashtanga Hridaya”, Honey was used against many diseases, especially for Healing and Cleaning Wounds, or against different internal and external infections.
“Honey known as Madhu (meaning “Perfection of sweet”) in Ayurvedic scriptures is one of the most important medicines used in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, Honey is used for both internal and external applications. It is mainly used for the treatment of Eye diseases, Cough, Thirst, Phlegm, Hiccups, Blood in vomit, Leprosy, Diabetes, Obesity, Worm infestation, Vomiting, Asthma, Diarrhea and Healing wounds.
It is also used as a Natural preservative and Sweetener in many Ayurvedic preparations. It is also used as a vehicle along with some medicines to improve its efficacy or to mitigate the side effects of the other medicines it is mixed with. It is also known to mitigate the increased kapha dosha. (Kapha dosha is the Ayurvedic category for body constitutions- those with kapha dosha are of larger proportions with robust frame.)”
Honey should not be heated or consumed warm as it causes Toxic effect. Cold honey should always be preferred.