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Goodness of Honey

Facts About Goodness of Honey That Not Many of Us are Aware Of

Honey has numerous medicinal and nutritional properties. And, it also tastes nice!
Prerna Salla
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
Honey in History
Man has been aware of the value of honey for many centuries. A painting found on rock in Spain, thought to be thousands of years old, shows men taking a honeycomb from a hole in a cliff.
The ancient Egyptians used honey in cooking, for medicinal purposes, and made offerings of it to their gods. Honey has also been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs in sealed containers, and was found to be unspoiled.
Britain was once called the Isle of Honey as honey was used widely in cooking before the advent of white sugar. The most popular use for honey was in the preparation of alcoholic drinks, such as mead. It was made from the honey which remained in the combs after extraction by crushing and draining them. The pieces of comb were then washed, and the honey extracted was used to brew mead.
Honey Today
The leading honey producing countries are the USA, Turkey, Australia, Ukraine, Russia, and China. The uses of honey are very diverse. Today, it is used industrially in making ice-cream, in anti-freeze for car radiators, as a spray adherent, and in chewing gum.
Nutritional Properties
Honey has both antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This is due to multiple reasons. Hydrogen Peroxide, which is antibacterial, is slowly formed in honey as it ages. Hence honey is also applied topically on burns and wounds. It is also easily digested, and hence provides instant energy when consumed. It has been proven effective in curing diabetic ulcers, where oral antibiotics are not preferred. It is also consumed to soothe sore throats, and it also helps in killing drug resistant biofilms which cause chronic rhinosinusitis.
Honey does not lose its medical properties even after storing it for long periods. This is because of its acidity, viscosity, and antibacterial property make it immune to bacterial degradation. However, adulteration of honey with water and other additives makes it susceptible to bacterial decomposition.
Varieties of Honey
Blended honey:
This type of honey is obtained from two or more botanical and geographical sources. These are then mixed together. This not only improves flavor, but also the quality and shelf life (where it alters the water content).
Polyfloral honey:
This type is also known as wildflower honey. It is made of nectar sourced from various flowers.
Monofloral honey:
This kind of honey is made from nectar sourced from only one type of flower. Beekeepers usually grow a single kind of flower in the vicinity of beehives for making this type of honey.
Clover, at one time was the major variety of honey produced ever. However, the gradual loss of permanent pasture land has led to a decline in production. It is pale straw in color, and has a delightful aroma.
Acacia is pale yellow, and has a mild flavor. It has a high fructose content and it is for this reason that honey remains in the liquid form almost indefinitely. The origin for honey of this sort ranges from Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and China. The Australian honey is excellent in terms of quality and is produced under the most strict standards of hygiene. The Chinese on the other hand has almost a fifth of the honey imported into Britain. There are many varieties, but the packaging can be below the standards for import as compared to other sources.
Storing Honey
Honey should be stored in a clean and dry glass jar. Storing honey in plastic and metal containers should be avoided. Keep stored honey away from heat sources. Its best to keep honey in dark areas in amber colored bottles for added benefits. Most honey crystallizes even if kept at a really cool temperature. However, this does not really affect the quality of the honey, but its best if you store it at normal temperature. In fact crystallization occurs more readily in pure honey.
Its also possible that you might find tiny air bubbles forming a white layer on the surface of crystallized honey. Of course for honey lovers, they would definitely understand that this would not mean that the honey is spoiled, as pure, natural honey never gets spoiled.