Bees: nature’s miracle producers

Although we wrote about honey in January, in light of the steady dying off of the world’s bees and bee hives we need to be reminded and remind others that bees are an important and historic foundation of the very life on this earth.

There are many medicinal and nutritional miracles in nature, but bees and honey have to rank among, if not at, the very top.

Honey is made from the bees’ internal digestion (and regurgitation) of flower nectar, and stored as a food source in wax honeycombs formed in the beehives.

This source of nutritional food, sweetener and medicine has been used for thousands of years in Biblical Old Testament times, and by ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, not to mention hundreds of other, even more ancient, people who left no written record.

Honey has beeen found in the Pharaohs’ tombs with nutrition intact, making it the king of longterm storage! it is said that Alexander the Great was embalmed in honey. (It is a natural preservative.)

Most all honey is good to some extent, even the cheap watered-down type. But try and get pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed raw honey for the best health and nutritional benefits.

However, Manuka honey, referred to as the “Queen of Medicinal Honeys,” is a very special honey. It is the product of bees feeding from melaleuca blooms of the Manuka bush of New Zealand and Australia.

In essential oil form the Manuka bush is our source of tea tree oil.

Honey as a sweetener is not only a much more nutritious sweetener than processed sugar for baking, it has many other unknown and underappreciated medicinal and cosmetic uses. Here are a few of them:

* Sore throats and cough syrup—honey and lemon juice in hot water (some use whiskey) taken every hour soothes sore throats, and a honey/lemon balm makes a great cough syrup.

* Immune system protector—honey’s phytonutrients have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Combine a tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons of lemon juice in a daily tea.

* Reduce acid reflux with a tablespoon of honey a day. For a digestive aid combine honey and apple cider vinegar.

* Heal wounds—honey has been used for eons as a topical antiseptic and wound healer. It heals wounds by killing bacteria and fighting infection.

* Sleep aid—honey facilitates the action of tryptophan, which helps you get sleepy.

* Allergy relief—Take daily doses of local, raw honey straight or in a tea.

* Burn treatment—For mild burns apply honey and cover with a dressing. The honey soothes and heals inflammation.

* Anxiety—nutrients in honey provide calming effects.

* Beautiful hair—add a teaspoon of honey to shampoo. For a deeper conditioner combine honey with olive oil,wrap towel around your hair and leave for 20 minutes.

* Skin moisturizer—apply honey to skin and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing.

Bees, which are dying off in our chemical environment, are also our primary pollinators for many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables we have long taken for granted. What a shame that in our ‘progressive’ modern age we are decimating many of the most venerable and valuable contributors to life on earth.


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