Our Blessed Bee
“Keep your health; eat your honey...”
.... is what I’ve always been told. However, not in that vernacular, (stop snickering) and not from a doctor. Nothing to do with health, per say. The clever twist of word meanings, nudge, nudge, that was cool with the buddies at the bar, women rolled their eyes; should have been taken the other way. The other honey, honey, and it’s wonders should have stung us, instead of what did. Nothing to do with the ‘birds and bees’ story here......Or rather, could it?
My mom and grand-moms ....
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.... have always touted how nutritious honey was for me, but, what present research is showing is that it has a multitude healing powers. Something they said nothing about. It does more than just taste good? Yes, yes honey is sweet, honey, but there’s a growing body of evidence, scientific fact that praises honey for fighting off infection and illness, boost immune system, and treat coughs associated with the common cold. A recent study at the Penn State College of Medicine found that a tablespoon of buckwheat honey did a better job of reducing the severity of night time coughing than the leading brand of suppressants by prescriptions or sold over the counter. Duh. And get this - "no side affects," I Twittered myself !
In the study of 25 people ....
.... that were told to eat 4 to 10 tablespoons of raw buckwheat honey each day for a month - all 25 saw their antioxidant levels rise, with only one side effect; weight control. Unlike if they consumed a sugary breakfast, honey satisfied their hunger better and without any weight gain.
And it’s also a healthy alternative to sweeteners, and a natural source for carbohydrates that provide the body with energy. But perhaps one of the most enlightening chunks of info from the ‘hive-gazette' is the potential for honey, especially raw buckwheat or bamboo honey known for it’s high antioxidant levels, for improving memory and reducing anxiety. (goodness ... is honey still legal?)
There is also a difference between raw and pasteurized honey. Just like milk! Honey allergies are rare but do exist in some individuals because of the content of pollen in the honey. So it is filtered and pasteurized to remove this, and other things. Most of these people found they were allergic when they ate raw honey, now the rest of us have to suffer for the so few. But then there are cases of these people relieving their allergies symptoms by eating small amounts of the local raw honey. Figure that one out !
But despite the differences in processing ....
.... before we get our sticky hands on it, all honey is made the same way. Worker bees gather nectar from flowers and return to the hive to fill their cells with the nectar/enzyme they manufacture. The honey varieties differ from one another because of of the types of blossoms the bees visit. The floral origin, location and the climate factors all have some affect on the color, texture and taste of each variety of honey. All brands have their unique flavors and healthful content depending on where the bees hung-out that day.
One tablespoon of honey contains vitamins C, B6, and magnesium and folate. The darker the honey’s color, the higher the mineral content and the antioxidant levels. Heating the honey reduces the nutritional value. And get this, honey never spoils. That’s right, I said never. Archaeologists have found urns of honey in the ancient Pharaohs tombs of Egypt. Although the honey was very crystallized from being there for thousands of years, it was still usable. Funny, that was the only thing in the crypt that turned out to be truly immortal for them. They were so close, yet so far .... maybe.
- One-third of honeybee colonies in US died last winter: The food collapse approaches
- European Union imposes ban on pesticides linked to bee deaths - European Union - RFI
France has voted with 14 other European Union countries in favour of a ban on three pesticides linked to killing bees, which are vital to the continent’s agricultural industry.
- Biggest US honey supplier admits to mislabeling honey
Another ‘buzz’ from the hive-gazette:
The nutritional value of pollen, the bees collect on their
legs as they bounce from flower to flower and carry back to the hive, is esteemed by many health experts as a complete food in itself. It's about time they caught up; it has been used as a supplement for thousands of years by many cultures around the world. Pollen is mentioned, along with honey and other hive products, in the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, the book of Morman, and long before these books were written, in ancient Oriental scrolls of the Far East. It's benefits include increasing of energy, increased libido, helps eliminate acne, aids indigestion, eliminating depression and improving blood pressure, to name of few.
Bee pollen ....
.... is the only food which contains every essential nutrient needed by mankind for perfect health. This fact can hardly be disputed since it has been proved over and over again by analysis in the laboratories all over the world. Pollen is rich in the B vitamin complex, carotene's, vitamin C and E, and is made up of 55% carbohydrates.
Raw honey is one of the richest natural sources of amylase, an enzyme
which facilitates the proper digestion of carbohydrates. This makes raw
honey an excellent companion for toast or oatmeal. This essential
enzyme is lost the moment honey is heated, since amylase converts to
starch when exposed to heat.
Propolis, a material bees use for constructing their hives, is another beneficial part of raw honey. Propolis is believed to have antioxidant, antimicrobial and even anti-cancer properties. It is said to boost the immune system and improve the health of the liver as well.
Raw honey is an excellent source of flavonoids (particularly flavanones, flavones and flavonols). These have powerful antioxidant properties that protect us from illness and disease.
So in the end, (snicker) by all means; eat your honey.... 'And if you can’t find the honey you want, eat the honey you found'.... 'The honey you meet, is equal to the honey you eat' .... 'Honey is the answer' .... 'All you need is honey' .... 'Give honey a chance' .... Just imagine, they are truly .... the Blessed Bee...'Imagine there's no honey' ....
When infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria ....
.... also known as superbugs, are in the mainstream news there's usually a sense of panic connected to the story. After all, this type of infection is spreading and can be life-threatening. For example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a strain of staph that's become resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics. MRSA can cause everything from swollen, painful boils to pneumonia, bloodstream infections and surgical wound infections that are lethal. And standard Western medicine has mostly run out of antibiotic to treat these potentially deadly health woes.
However, a natural way to beat an enormous array of health-threatening germs has been around for thousands of years -- H O N E Y. And now scientists are zeroing in on just how a specific type known as manuka honey made from the flowers of the New Zealand manuka bush, is able to stop superbugs in their tracks while standard antibiotic therapy is useless.
Breakthrough research into the honey's remarkable disease-fighting abilities was announced this week (September 7 through 10) at the Society for General Microbiology's international meeting held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr Rowena Jenkins and her investigative team from the University of Wales Institute-Cardiff in the United Kingdom presented results of their study showing that manuka honey appears to wipe out superbugs by destroying key bacterial proteins.
"Manuka and other honeys have been known to have wound healing and anti-bacterial properties for some time," Dr Jenkins said in a statement to the media. "But the way in which they act is still not known. If we can discover exactly how manuka honey inhibits MRSA it could be used more frequently as a first-line treatment for infections with bacteria that are resistant to many currently available antibiotics."
Dr. Jenkins and colleagues are closing in on that important discovery. For their latest research, MRSA was grown in their laboratory and treated with and without manuka honey for four hours. As a control, the experiment was repeated using a honey sugar syrup to document whether any anti-superbug effects seen were due to the sugar content in honey alone. Next, the cells of the bacteria were broken open so cell proteins could be isolated and separated on a system that documented and displayed each protein individually.
The results showed manuka honey's anti-bacterial properties were not due to the sugars in the honey. When MRSA infected cells were treated with the entire manuka honey, instead of just the honey sugar syrup, they appeared to lose many proteins. One in particular, dubbed FabI, was totally missing.
This is a critical finding because FabI is a protein necessary for the superbug's fatty acid biosynthesis, a process which supplies the bacteria with precursors they need to grow, thrive and continue infecting cells. So the scientists believe manuka honey is effective in killing MRSA because it wrecks the superbug's ability to keep proteins it needs to thrive.
This latest research follows another manuka honey study published in Otolaryngology, the official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, last July. Scientists from the University of Ottawa's Department of Otolaryngology tested both manuka honey and sidr honey, which comes from the sidr tree in Yemen and has been used for its infection-stopping ability for countless centuries, on Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and Staphylococcus aureus (SA) -- including the MRSA type.
The researchers worked with the infections growing in biofilms -- thin, slimy layers formed by bacteria that are especially resistant to antibiotics. But the PA and SA bacteria were no match for the manuka and sidr honey. In their conclusion, the scientists wrote: "Honey, which is a natural, nontoxic, and inexpensive product, is effective in killing SA and PA bacterial biofilms. This intriguing observation may have important clinical implications and could lead to a new approach for treating refractory CRS chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)."