Over the ages, honey has been used by countless civilisations all over the world. Many people are familiar with honey only as a sweetener, but if you learn about its healing properties, you’ll start looking at honey very differently. For example, honey is a key ingredient of traditional medicines, and it is increasingly being used in modern medicine.
The various characteristics of honey
Everybody knows what honey is. But did you know that honey is besides a perfect sweetener, also a very healthy ingredient with healing powers? And that honeybees use the thick, sweet fluid as their food storage during wintertimes?
Honey is available in a great variety of types, and its aroma, colour and taste depend on the kinds of flowers that the bees have been visiting. When buying honey, try to find varieties that haven’t been heated. Bees work very hard to keep their hive at a temperature of around 34 degrees Celsius. If it becomes hotter than that, the bees’ natural instinct will make them abandon it and seek a cooler place to live. It’s best to avoid honey that states that it’s cold-pressed but does not state whether or not it was heated after pressing. If this is left unstated, there is a high chance that the honey ended up being heated above 34 degrees at some point. Not only does this affect the natural properties of honey, heating also destroys many of the health benefits of honey.
A sweet but healthy solution
Although honey does not contain any fibre, protein or fats, it is an excellent source of bioactive vegetable matter and antioxidants. These substances, also found in our food, have health-promoting effects. Bioactive substances and antioxidants are in fact the opposites of free radicals. We are daily exposed to free radicals due to air pollution, medicines, additives in food, and tobacco smoke. To neutralise these harmful free radicals, we need sufficient quantities of bioactive substances and antioxidants. This will prevent you having an excess of damaging substances in your body, and will help you protect your liver — our largest detoxifying organ — so that it doesn’t end up having to work overtime. The more you spare your liver, the better the body can function. Plants naturally contain a good dose of bioactive substances and antioxidants, which they need as their natural defence mechanism to remain healthy and keep growing. What’s good for plants is good for us, too!
The secret of blue®m products
Strange as it may sound, most blue®m oral care products contain honey (sourced from De Traay). It might perplex some, because honey is a form of sugar, and we know that sugar causes caries! So why does blue®m use honey, then? It’s because as soon as honey comes into contact with saliva, it breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen. This is known as the glucose-oxidase process. In this process, the glucose content of honey is entirely converted, avoiding any risk at all of causing caries.
The secret of our products is this hydrogen and oxygen that’s released. After all, oxygen strongly promotes wound healing, reduces infections and supports the self-cleansing function of the body’s saliva. Because the oxygen is released slowly, it can do its job topically and in very high concentration. Although oxygen is one of the tiniest molecules, it does have the propensity to penetrate deep into tissue.
Not for nothing, then, is the medical world conducting a great deal of research on honey nowadays, particularly on the application of honey for speeding up wound healing.
Will you help save the bees?
The bees are suffering in our day: globally, colony collapse is on the increase, and the Netherlands is seeing the worst rates of any country on earth! This is a very serious matter, because a huge proportion (2⁄3!) of foods such as fruit, vegetables and nuts depends on pollination by bees and other insects. Besides, bees are the greatest promoters of biodiversity. Plenty of reason for us to swing into action, then.
Some tips to help the bees and combat bee death
- Do your own gardening in an insect-friendly way. Every little helps: even your balcony, house-front greenery or herbaceous border can easily be turned into a bee paradise. Do make sure to buy organic seeds, free of traces of toxin.
- Put a beehive or bee hotel in your garden, or in some other location.
- 70% of bees nest on the ground, so create some more sandy spots for them, preferably in the sun, as bees love the warmth. A half-inch gap between stones is enough for them. In autumn, don’t throw waste leaves into your composter or greenery bin but rather scatter them lightly over the soil, which will allow lots of bees to find a nesting spot.
- Intending to prune? Leave it until spring. Some bees hibernate in flower stems after flowering is over.
- Above all, eat honey! If we eat more honey, beekeepers will have a reason to increase their colonies, which is good news for the bee population! Buy raw organic honey, because the production of this kind involves no pesticides.
- Pesticides are death to bees, so don’t use any chemical substances such as tinned anti-louse or anti-ant powder. There are healthier alternatives, and they’re cheaper, too.
- Tell others. Most people have no idea of the grave situation with bees. Inform as many as possible.
Help to save the bees
Want to find out more about how you can support the bee population?