By Richard Komakech
Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees from nectar which is obtained from flowers. It contains a treasure of hidden nutritional and medicinal values and has been used for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Honey has been used by countless cultures all around the world for over 2,500 years. One of the most important component in the bee-hive is the honeycomb; a mass of hexagonal prismatic wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and also stores honey and pollen.
Honey is referred to variously in the local dialects in Uganda. For example, the Baganda in central call it omubisi, the Acholi in northern Uganda refer to it as moo kic while in Ateso, it is referred to as Esike/esin’orot and the Lugbara from west Nile call it annue.
The health benefits of honey are numerous to be named and people ought to take full advantage of it. If you can, look out for unprocessed honey to have the full package that honey can offer! Studies indicate that honey is useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea. Honey is a great natural aphrodisiac and regular consumption can give your libido the boost it deserves. Honey contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections and provide natural allergy relief and boost overall immunity. In fact, the honey’s ability to prevent allergies is based on a concept called immunotherapy.
Honey is a natural energy source consisting of over 80% of natural sugars. It’s therefore not surprising that honey has been called “the perfect running fuel.” This is because it provides an easily absorbed supply of energy in the form of liver glycogen, making it ideal for energetic work-outs. Honey is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and therefore plays a vital role in blocking free radicals in the body that cause diseases and it also boosts the body immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells; acting as a preventative substance against a number of diseases.
The use of honey to promote quick healing of burns and wounds has been in place since ancient Egyptian times. In fact, honey is credited with the ability to heal even wounds that have become infected after surgery and as well as diabetic foot ulcers. Honey is actually one of the best treatment for cough, common cold, and throat irritation especially in children. It is a natural and safe cough suppressant. A mixture of honey and lemon cough syrup can be a perfect weapon against any kind of cough. Lemons are great at killing bacteria and the honey soothes your throat.
Honey is a great memory booster. The antioxidants in honey are fabulous for feeding the cells of your brain; the food it needs to thrive hence making your brain keep in top shape. Honey is also important in that it improves the ability of the brain to absorb calcium, which further helps with memory.
Honey helps with herpes due to its ability to draw fluid away from them when applied on the sores hence giving you a great relief. Furthermore, because honey has a high sugar value, it keeps microorganism growth to a minimum. A great way to fight acne is to regularly apply raw, unprocessed honey to the areas on your body that are prone to it; leave the honey on for about 30 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
Honey has been known to help prevent Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and soothe acid reflux and heartburn. The honey lines the esophagus and hence helps heal the inflammation or damage leading to the reduction of GERD symptoms. Caution: Although it’s a joy to eat honey, it can be cruel to infants. The spores of Clostridium botulinum bacterium which is often found in dirt and dust is the main contaminant of honey. This when ingested may lead to infant botulism and produce a toxin inside the body that can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems.
However, children of above 12 months of age are safe. Also, consumption is safer for older kids and adults due to the fact that they have a mature digestive system that can handle the spores.
Disclaimer: The information given in this article should not be used for self- medication purposes. Always consult a physician or trained herbalist for guidance before using any natural remedies for given health related conditions.
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