Wednesday, 22 January 2014

honey

ey has long been admired for its healing qualities, in addition to its sweet taste. The ancient Egyptians used honey to cure ailments, treat wounds, and even for mummification. Honey has many special properties that make it an excellent, natural treatment for skin care, allergies, cold and flu, and even cancer. With so many great qualities, honey should definitely be on your shopping list. However, there are so many different varieties, it is hard to know which to choose.
The main categories of honey varieties are comb, liquid, creamed, chunky. Comb honey is honey sold still on the honeycomb. Liquid honey is the more common variety, and is the honey taken directly out of the honeycomb. Creamed honey takes granulated, or sugared, honey and blends it with liquid honey to make it firm. Chunk honey is comb honey in a jar with liquid honey. The color of honey ranges from light to dark, and there are a wide variety of flavors. Both the color and the taste depends on the nectar source. There are about 300 unique types of honey in the United States alone, although every area has distinct varieties available. Finding your favorite can take some time while you taste multiple types.
A local, raw honey will treat your allergies. The bees creating the honey use local pollen. Eating this honey is like taking a vaccine against your allergies. Your body builds up a tolerance to the pollen, so it no longer attacks it as a pathogen, which is what causes allergies. Eating local, raw honey is also the best eco-friendly option. Just ensure that the honey is organic and sourced bee friendly.
For skin care, any liquid honey will do, and you can find many skin care products that use honey as a main ingredient if you do not like the idea of rubbing sticky honey on your face. The reason honey is so great for your skin is that it is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Honey helps to treat acne and soothes and restores balance to the skin.
Another common use for honey is to soothe your throat, either due to a cold, flu or overuse. Just add to hot water with a bit of lemon and let it soothe your aching throat. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, your throat will start to feel better soon.
For more advanced healthcare from honey, look to Manuka honey. Manuka honey is a special honey produced only in New Zealand from bees that pollinate the manuka bush. Manuka honey has more antibacterial qualities than any other honey due to conversion from an antibacterial agent found in high concentration in the manuka bush. The higher the MG, or methylglyoxal, in honey, the higher the antibacterial qualities. On manuka honey containers, you will see a rating system called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor and corresponds to this antibacterial agent MG. The higher the UMF rating, the stronger the manuka honey.
Beyond just being antibacterial, curing colds and flus, manuka honey can treat wounds and burns on the skin. However, if using manuka on open sores, be sure to use pharmaceutical grade and not what you have in your pantry because you do not want cross contamination.
Additionally, manuka honey treats many diseases, like cancer and diabetes. Because honey is anti-inflammatory, which the manuka pollen boosts, manuka honey can help treat and cure diseases caused by inflammation, like arthritis. Additionally, manuka honey restores balance of the bacteria in the gut, easing any stomach issues. Because manuka is antibacterial, but it does not have any of the negative side effects of antibiotics, eating a teaspoon of manuka every day will boost your immune system and stop you from catching that nasty winter cold.
Whether you want the intense healing properties of manuka honey, or just want a little soothing properties, using honey is a great natural remedy for a variety of ills.
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