Buzzing with Health

The medicinal and healing properties of honey have earned it a reputation as one the purest and most natural remedies for over 5,000 years. And because it contains so many therapeutic qualities, honey is used to treat a wide range of ailments and complaints. 

Manuka honey 

Manuka honey is produced by honeybees which gather nectar from the flowers of wild Manuka bushes that are indigenous to New Zealand. This particular honey is distinctively flavoured, with a rich taste and dark appearance.

Although all types of honey contain hydrogen peroxide (particularly known for its antibacterial properties), Professor Peter Molan of the Honey Research Centre at Waikato University in New Zealand has undertaken extensive research into maunka honey and believes it contains unique properties which provide additional support to the body's natural healing process.

Molan's research has shown that manuka honey has a high antibacterial potency which heals a range of conditions, from external skin infections to aiding digestion. Molan has also shown that manuka honey can help to fight throat infections and reduce gum disease. When eaten regularly it can aid memory, increase energy levels, improve well-being and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

The essential elixir

Honey is an all-round healing elixir which can promote general health and well-being. A daily dose of honey, whether as a sweetener in hot drinks, by the spoonful or spread on toast, will boost the body's supply of antioxidants - essential for protecting the body against free radicals. 

Flush out your system and give yourself a daily boost with this cleansing tonic: mix a spoonful or two of honey and the juice of half a lemon into a cup of hot water and drink each morning before breakfast. 

The energy provider

Next time you go to the gym, have a spoonful of honey beforehand. Honey is a source of natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body, providing an instant energy boost with long-lasting effects. For this reason, many athletes include honey in their daily diets. It was even used by runners in the original Olympic Games in ancient Greece. 

Coughs and colds

Honey is widely used as a complementary remedy for the relief of the symptoms of colds, coughs, sore throats and 'flu. For a sore throat, take it on its own or gargle with a mixture of two tablespoons of set honey, four tablespoons of cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. 

A traditional drink made from hot water, lemon juice and honey will help to soothe cold and flu symptoms. Adding a little eucalyptus oil or root ginger will help to ease congestion and, to help enhance sleep, try a drop of whiskey in the mixture. 

Cuts and grazes

Honey is a mild antiseptic and can help to keep external wounds, such as cuts and minor burns, clean and free from infection. By absorbing the moisture around the wound, honey can help to prevent the growth of bacteria. 

A digestive healer

It was the Romans who first discovered the beneficial effects of honey on digestive disorders when they would prescribe honey as a mild laxative. Funnily enough, honey has also been used as a treatment for diarrhoea. The principle behind these theories is that honey is believed to help destroy certain bacteria in the gut by acting as a 'preserving' agent. 

Health Benefits 

Honey has long been recognized as a natural remedy and has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It has antiseptic properties and can be used as a remedy for ailments from sore throats to burns and cuts. This is endorsed by research which has shown that its bactericidal properties can be used to good effect in treating digestive problems such as peptic ulcers as well as external lesions.(see page on medical refrences for detaied bibliography). 

For a soothing drink for sore throats, mix honey with the juice of half a lemon, add boiling water and stir. If you┬╣re feeling low, try a spoonful of honey as a pick-me-up. The fructose and glucose in honey are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Honey in Cooking

You can use honey in cooking instead of sugar. Because it is sweeter than sugar, you need to use less. 

If you are experimenting with honey in a recipe, try replacing half the sugar with honey as the flavour can be very strong. Honey is hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water) so it is good for baking cakes as it keeps them moister for longer. Look on our recipe pages for some delicious recipes using honey.