Honey from the Bees / Rebeca Monzo

From the time we were little, our grandparents and parents gave us spoonfuls of honey to cure our coughs, or anointed our minor injuries with a dab, or simply put it on our lips, chapped by the cold or a high fever. Its curative properties came down to us from our ancestors for hundreds of years.

This natural substance has been used as a culinary sweetener since ancient times in many countries, and also appreciated for its curative qualities. Treatment with honey is known as apitherapy and replenishes energy, increases physical vigor, and strengthens people weakened by illness or because of ongoing stress.

Honey also promotes better sleep, as well as easing indigestion. Its principal components are simple sugars, fructose and glucose, water, pollen, organic acids, enzymes and various proteins. Honey contains only small traces of the toxins emitted by industries, autos and chemical products used in agriculture. Its carriers, the bees, act as a biological filter and die if they are exposed to toxins so they do not return live to the hives.

It is a healthy stimulant, as the glucose has also been pre-digested by the bees that produce it. These simple sugars are rapidly and easily absorbed by human beings. If you use honey in place of sugar to sweeten tea or coffee, take care because of the high calorie content: a teaspoon of honey has 64 calories, while a teaspoon of granulated sugar has 46.

There are many kinds of honey. Its characteristics are determined by the type of bee and the flower it has sipped in collecting the nectar. It is always advisable to look for honey produced by beekeepers who don’t use dangerous insecticides. It is important to read the labels with its components.

Caution: Unpasteurized honey is dangerous for children because it contains a bacteria that is not harmful for teenagers and adults, but is for small children.

Use of honey as a wound dressing: applied externally, honey cures minor cuts and abrasions, because it extracts excess water from the tissues and reduces inflammation. To do this, spread the honey on the would and cover it with a sterile bandage. It is a powerful home remedy that can be combined with medicinal herbs.

Right now, honey with propolis sells in the Cuban market for 15 Cuban pesos, or almost an entire day’s wages, for a 240ml bottle. This product is highly recommended for diseases of the throat.

3 June 2015