By: Zia Mahmood Minhas
|-Honey: The Miraculous Produce|
. Honey is collected from wild bee hives, but large quantities are produced by semi-domesticated bees in artificial boxes looked after by bee keepers. It has long shelf life in cool dry environment because most of the organisms do not survive in honey.
Honey is highly concentrated water solution of two main sugars, Fructose( Levulose ) and Glucose( Dextrose ). These sugars impart sweet taste to the honey. It also contains minor amounts of some more complex sugars.
Nutritional value per 100 grams
|Energy||1.272 kj (304 k cal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.2 g|
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
- As we see it contains almost all essential food ingredients needed by human body. It is a rich source of vitamins and contains vitamin C, riboflavin (B2) ,niacin(B3), pantothenic acid (B5) vitamin B 6,folate (B9),B 13,B 14 and BT.
- It has a relatively high amount of Ascorbic Acid.
- It is highly acidic and pH ranges from 3.2-4.5.
- It has organic and amino acids as its constituents that vary with source of nectar.
- The sweet taste is due to presence of glucose and fructose.
- The tendency of honey to granulate is a natural property and varies in degree depending upon its composition mainly due to type of sugars and their percentage.
Honey has great medicinal value and has been used for this purpose from ancient times. Let us deliberate upon its uses as medicine.
- It has been used as treatment of ailments like gastric troubles, ulcer wounds, burns, sour throat, cough and allergies.
- It is excellent remedy for constipation and colic.
- It has sobering effect on drunken patients.
- It cures the sickness resulting from radiation treatment.
- Recent research work has shown that it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. These properties are due to action of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), methylglyoxal (MGO), bee defensin -1, osmotic effect and low pH. Antibacterial properties are result of low water activity causing osmosis, chelation of free iron and slow release of hydrogen peroxide. Methylglyoxal has a strong antibacterial action. This property increases if water is mixed in honey.
- It accelerates healing process. Wound gels having raw honey have been tested to be effective against drug resistant strains of bacteria.
- Its contents help recovery from protracted ailments.
- Antioxidants in honey have been associated with reducing the incidence of colon damage.
- The bee glue or propolis is consumed by human beings as health supplement. It is also used in cosmetics.
- The royal jelly, a whitish substance produced by worker bees through their salivary glands has been widely used in medicines. It promotes healthy growth, resilience in recovery from sickness/ injuries and enhances body defensive capabilities