The Buzz on Honey
This week at Oliver’s, we’re celebrating one of the world’s oldest and most interesting foods, honey! We all know and love the sweet taste of honey, but did you know that it has more uses than just a teaspoon in your tea? Raw honey can help boost energy, treat wounds, help treat the common cold, and reduce allergy symptoms among other things. Read on for all the details on this sweet nectar, including Colony Collapse Disorder.
The History of Honey
Honey has a very long history…going back thousands and thousands of years! One of the earliest known recordings of honey dates to about 8,000 BC. It’s found on a cave painting near Valencia, Spain. It depicts a honey seeker robbing a wild bee colony.
The earliest record of keeping bees in hives was found in a temple erected near Cairo, Egypt in 2400 BC. The bee is found quite often in Egyptian hieroglyphs, and often symbolized royalty. They used honey as a sweetener, as a gift to their gods and as an ingredient in embalming fluid.
The ancient Greeks viewed honey as both an important food and a healing medicine. Greek recipe books were full of recipes using the golden, sweet nectar. The ancient Romans utilized honey in many of the same ways.
Get More Out of Your Honey
If you’re only using honey in your tea, you’re missing out! Honey is very versatile, so it can be used in a wide variety of applications.
Boost Your Energy
Take a spoonful of honey before a work out. The fructose and glucose found in honey may give you an energy boost for endurance activities. Plus, your body will also reap the benefits of antioxidants and vitamins found in honey.
Help Heal Wounds
That’s right, honey infused bandages are known to help aid in the healing process. Honey is a natural antibacterial, and when combined with the body’s fluids, it makes hydrogen peroxide, which creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
Reduces Allergy Symptoms
Raw honey contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections and boost overall immunity. So, how exactly does honey help reduce allergy symptoms? It’s based on a concept called immunotherapy. This is how it works; bees buzz through your neighborhood going from flower to flower, collecting the pollen that causes you to suffer. When you consume local raw honey, you’re also consuming the pollen that’s causing you to suffer. After some time, your body may become less sensitive to the pollen, reducing your allergy symptoms.
If you’re in the market for an easy, do-it-yourself moisturizing mask, look no further than honey. It is a natural humectant, which means that it draws moisture from the air and into the skin. To try it, simply spread one teaspoon of raw honey on clean, dry skin. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it off with tepid water.
You can also use honey as a shampoo booster. The humectant power of honey will help regulate and maintain moisture in your hair, plus it is also believed to strengthen hair follicles. To try this out, simply mix one teaspoon of honey with a dime sized amount of your favorite shampoo. Wash and lather as normal, rinsing well when finished.
Colony Collapse Disorder
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is when most worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the queen and remaining immature bees. CCD is a significant issue because many agricultural crops world wide are pollinated by western honey bees. There is no specific cause for CCD, instead, it is believed to be caused by several factors including pathogens, pesticides and climate change.
This week we’re featuring Honey Bubbles Moscato. It’s an elegant wine that has delightful notes of Meyer lemon, tangerine, white flowers, peaches and honey. Honey Bubbles donates a portion of their proceeds to help fund research, education and support for new bee colonies, as well as helping to combat Colony Collapse Disorder.