If you lived in ancient Egypt, you could use honey as a form of payment. As a Norse warrior you could enjoy a beer after the battle with your fellow Norsemen, and the bitterness of the battle was alleviated by sweetening your beer with some honey. There are many records in the annals of history that point to the beneficial properties of honey. Honey is derived from the Hebrew word “enchant” and a well-known Hebrew king, Solomon, was recorded to have said that honey is as sweet to your body as kind words are sweet to your soul.
Modern medicine cannot deny that these ancient people were onto something when they sang the praises of honey. Many studies conducted at various universities around the world attest to the health benefits of honey and many of those conclusions (>600) have been published in medical journals. In fact, honey is the only food that contains all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.
What is so special about honey?
Honey consists of the sugars glucose and fructose, several minerals including magnesium and calcium, some vitamins and even small amounts of copper, iodine and zinc. Apart from the wonderful taste, honey boasts some key health benefits including energy and immune system boosting properties. Apart from that there are also widely documented studies on the use of honey for other ailments.
Honey is a natural energy booster as it is a source of carbohydrates which provides strength and energy. It effectively boosts muscle performance and endurance. It decreases muscle fatigue because of the natural fruit sugars (fructose) which are absorbed slower for sustained energy. The glucose in honey is absorbed faster and provides an immediate energy boost. It is recommended to have a spoon of honey before a workout for increased levels of energy and endurance.
Honey fights infections as it has anti-bacterial properties. Recent resistance to antibiotics resulted in a renewed interest in the anti-bacterial properties of honey. Honey effectively prohibits the growth of bacteria. Honey also naturally absorbs moisture from the air. For this reason honey is a great treatment for wounds and scalds, cuts and abrasions as it prevents entry of bacteria into the wound, keeps the skin moist and encourages new tissue formation. It makes a very effective wound dressing as it allows for easy removal of dressing. Honey can also be useful treatment in mild forms of acne as it attacks the bacteria which causes the outbreaks while at the same time it moisturizes the skin and revitalizes it. Honey from the Manuka bush has been pointed out as the honey with the highest potency of antimicrobial properties.