By Dr. Lester Carter
Owner, Carter Drug Store
The “Buzz” about honey
Honey is not just another sweetener. But, how many people know or would even guess that honey can balance blood sugar in individuals with diabetes? This information was revealed to the world by Ron Fessenden, MD, MPH, and his colleague, Mike Mcinnes, in The Honey Revolution, Restoring the Health of Future Generations. We quote:
“Here are a few of the differences between honey and refined sugar (table sugar and high fructose corn syrup):
Honey lowers blood glucose; lowers HbA1c levels; lowers triglycerides and improves HDL; is less likely to cause weight gain than processed sugars; improves spatial memory and reduces anxiety; reduces heart disease markers (thromboxanes); improves sleep and fat burning physiology.”
It follows that honey enhances immune function. Also, honey is easier for the kidneys to process than any other sugar, and it has been used in the treatment of liver and kidney disorders. Additional uses include respiratory and gastrointestinal problems (including sinusitis and ulcers), weak heart action, infectious diseases, colds, insomnia, poor circulation, nerves, bad complexion, wounds and bums, hay fever, and as a general tonic.
One could think of honey as totally prana or life energy.
Made by bees as food for bees, honey making begins when the bee sucks nectar from blossoms. It is stored in her honey sac where enzymes are added. This is deposited into the comb (made of beeswax, incidentally), where hive temperatures hover at about 95°. The nectar is condensed from 40-80 percent water to 18-20 percent water. At that point, it is considered “ripe”. The bees seal each honey cell with a wax capping. The industrious bees hasten the honey making process by flapping their wings, as fast as 11,000 times per second!
Not a complete food, honey is composed of 38 percent fructose, 31 percent glucose, and 10 percent other sugars, along with water, small amounts of vitamins and minerals, enzymes, antibiotics, essential oils, and acids. Honey is one of those substances that, like sea water, cannot be duplicated by humans.
In fact, bee products can only be produced by bees.
Honey is predigested and high in glucose, making it easier to absorb and assimilate. Another important property of glucose is its ability to restore oxygen to the body by replacing the lactic acid which builds up in fatigued muscle tissue. This in large part explains why honey has been a preferred energy source for athletes since the original Olympians. Today, deep sea divers, mountain climbers, pilots, and others under physical stress take honey to overcome fatigue. It is also a superior sweetener for people who are weak or ill.
While vitamins in fresh foods begin to diminish in potency from the time the foods are gathered, in honey they maintain their original strength. In addition, honey contains a spectrum of minerals, the percentages of which are similar to their concentration in human blood. The darker honeys contain more minerals and higher alkaline values. And, yes, honey is an alkaline food. The organic acids contained in honey are similar to those of fruit. Through our body’s chemistry, these produce alkalinity in the system, a chemical reaction which increases the value of honey as a nutritive and therapeutic substance.
Honey is also a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal. Honey is sterile and it will not support the growth of bacteria or mold. This antifungal property was dramatically demonstrated when a vessel of honey discovered in a pyramid at Gizeh still retained its freshness after more than 3500 years.
It follows that honey can be stored without refrigeration and will keep for several thousand years at temperatures below 500.
With few exceptions, honey granulates at lower temperatures. It is easily liquified by setting it in a pan of water. Raw and unstrained honeys are closest to their natural state and most honey users prefer them. For a treat, buy some comb honey and find out why Winnie-the-Pooh is such a confirmed honey lover.