Last time, we talked about why Greek Honey is preferable. Today, we’ll reveal modern therapeutic uses, proving that honey is good for you, inside & out!
National Honey Month: Greek Honey
In Part 1, we learned that honey has been used since ancient times, and why Greek honey is so amazing. In modern times, honey is still used as more than food, and a superfood at that! Today, the benefits of honey are not only conceptualized theoretically, but are also validated empirically. Below is a list of modern day medicinal uses of honey.
Now, let’s reveal how honey is used for consumption, and for healing.
Honey as an effective antibacterial
Honey has been clinically found to have an inhibitory effect to around 60 species of bacteria even when diluted several times. Furthermore, unlike conventional antibiotics often used to treat bacteria, it does not lead antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and may be used continuously. Most microorganisms can’t grow in honey, so sealed honey is said to never spoil, even after thousands of years!
How is honey such an effective anti-bacterial?
Various enzymes in honey, along with other innate substances, ultimately produce hydrogen peroxide which provides the antimicrobial properties. As a result, various fungal infections can also be treated with honey such as ring worm, athlete’s foot and rubella.
Honey for wound healing
Modern day application of honey as wound dressing aids in the healing process and rapidly clears infection. Honey has a cleansing action on wounds, stimulates tissue regeneration, AND reduces inflammation. Honey infused pads have been formulated to act as non-adhesive tissue dressing. In addition, honey has been administered to help alleviate varicose veins, eczema and psoriasis!
Astonishingly, the exact molecular mechanism of wound healing using honey has yet to be discovered and continues to be a mystery in the scientific community.
Honey as an effective table sugar substitute
It’s recommended that we avoid table sugar for various health reasons and honey is definitely the better, healthier, substitute. The principal carbohydrate constituents of honey are fructose and glucose, sugars readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Whereas processed table sugar, depletes the body of essential minerals during digestion, honey, on the other hand, is immediately absorbed directly through the liver.
For individuals suffering from type I and type II diabetes Honey is a good substitute for table sugar. It’s associated with a significantly lower glycemic index and a lower rise in plasma glucose levels. It can also cause a reduction of blood lipids, homocysteine levels and C-reactive protein levels.
…and there’s much, much more!
Honey for health issues
Did you know honey is good for your gut, too? It can be used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal issues such as gastritis, duodenitis, gastric ulceration, rotavirus, diarrhea, and ulcers. It helps treat eye dysfunctions such as: blepharitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis and corneal injuries. It’s used as an effective carb source for athletes and seems to also aid in the absorption of calcium when paired appropriately.
Finally, the tonics recommended by ancient Greek physicians continue to prove their effectiveness, withstanding the test of time. Raw apple cider vinegar (which was also the vinegar used by the ancients) and honey, continue to be recommended by modern day holistic and alternative health practitioners for gastrointestinal benefits AND overall metabolic health support. Once again, validating the wisdom inherent in ancient Greek medicine.
Beware of Adulterated Honey!
Unfortunately, due to the increasing demand of this amazing product along with changes in the environment AND depleting bee populations, honey adulteration is becoming increasingly common.
Current European regulations restrict the addition of other substances and/or additives to honey (direct adulteration) AND inhibit the feeding of adulterated substances to the honeybees themselves (indirect adulteration). The result? We’re eating “worthless substitutes but sometimes also a dangerous cocktail of chemicals” like antibiotics, colorings, and hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), a probable human carcinogenic.
In addition, over heating honey destroys valuable substances and has a negative impact on the overall quality of honey. Overheated honey leads to the formation of HMF (mentioned above) along with a negative Maillard reaction, which results in additional toxic byproducts. Hence, raw honey and/or minimally processed honey is ideal.
Raw honey also has traces of pollen found in it (a superfood substance of its own!) which is destroyed when exposed to excessive heat. Fortunately, most Greek honey producers continue to harvest using ancient traditional methods with minimal processing, maintaining the healthful integrity of the end product. Yet another reason to seek out Greek honey. Yiayia said it was the best, and she wasn’t lying!
You need some honey, Honey
It’s easy to see why and how honey continues to maintain its superfood status. While modern conveniences allow us to consume Greek honey regardless of our location in the world, today, it’s important to know the source of our honey AND production practices. The benefits of honey are endless; not only as a food substance but as a topical one as well. As a result, honey (especially Greek honey) will definitely continue to maintain its superfood status for thousands of more years.
Have questions about a specific health issue you’re experiencing? Email Roula and get on the road to good health.
More from Roula Marinos Papamihail, CHHC:
She trained at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. and holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. She’s also the proud mom of 4 little boys. Roula is currently accepting new clients in her office, at home, over the phone, or via Skype. Visit her website at www.myhealthysoma.com.