Beyond its delicious taste, there's justification for the buzz about honey. Here's how to tap the hive for faster healing and stronger immune defence.
In all their buzzing around, honeybees create a number of healthy products that have made apitherapy a traditional health practice since the time of ancient Egypt. They include bee pollen (the reproductive material of a flower gathered by worker bees), propolis (a glue-like mixture collected from plants and used to protect the hive), royal jelly (the queen bee and larvae subsist on this enzyme-rich milky substance) and, of course, honey.
1. More than just a way to sweeten tea, honey is loaded with enzymes, minerals and antioxidants.
2. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that buckwheat honey, especially, contains a significant amount of antioxidants, which help promote healthy aging and protect against disease.
3. Up to two teaspoons of honey can be as effective a cough suppressant as over-the-counter cough syrup and may improve the sleep of a coughing child. (Due to the risk of infant botulism, never give honey to a child younger than one year old.)
4. Honey may help relieve seasonal allergies and heal wounds. In fact, a 2008 study found that medical dressings containing honey are also effective at preventing infection.
Choose raw honey because the high heat involved in pasteurization can destroy beneficial enzymes.
Beekeeper's Naturals Propolis Throat Spray, $14, beekeepersnaturals.com. Beekeeper's Naturals B.Lxr Brain Fuel, $30, beekeepersnaturals.com. Guerlain Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair Serum, $191, beautyboutique.ca. Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Drops in Lemon With Bee Propolis, $11, wedderspoon.com.
ADD IT TO YOUR DIET
Reap the benefits of sweet honey and make these energy bars for the perfect pick-me-up for when that midday slump hits