BENEFITS OF HONEY
Honey is one of the most precious gifts from nature to mankind. Laden with highly nutritional and medicinal properties, the versatile Honey offers a plethora of benefits ranging from health to skin.
- Rich source of antioxidants – Its antioxidant properties are mainly attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Along with these naturally occurring antioxidants, it contains good enzymes, vitamins, and natural minerals. Honey prevents free-radical damage which in turn, prevents aging.
- Antibacterial, Antifungal and Anti-inflammatory properties – Honey has potential benefits in healing wounds and microbial inhibition. Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective in relieving a sore throat. It also exhibits antifungal activity.
- Immunity Booster – The goodness of honey helps you boost your immunity and helps you maintain optimum health.
- Cardiovascular diseases – The natural constituents in honey helps prevent cardiovascular risk factors.
- Gastrointestinal diseases – It helps relieve gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers and diarrhea. Intake of honey soothes pain and enhances gastrointestinal function.
- Beneficial to Skin – Owing to its antibacterial and antiseptic nature, it benefits acne-prone skin. It also keeps the skin hydrate and moist.
Ayurveda too holds honey in high regard.
Citing below few verses from various scriptures of Ayurveda that highlights its significance:
- Honey is sweet in taste (madhura rasa) and leaves an astringent-like end taste (Kashaya anu-rasa). It is heavy to digest (guru guna), dry (ruksha) and cold (sheeta). Its effects on doshas are as follows – It aggravates vata, scrapes kapha and normalizes pitta and rakta. It promotes the healing process.(Charak Samhita Sutrasthan, Ch. 27, Verse – 245)
- Madhu is known as Yogavahi. It means that honey acts as a carrier of the drugs added to it, without changing its own properties. It not only enhances the properties but also the effect of the substances with which it combines. It helps drugs to absorb deep into the tissues without altering its own physical nature.
(Charak Samhita Sutrasthan, Ch. 27, Verse – 249)
- The properties of Madhu elucidated in Ashtanga Hrudaya are : The honey is beneficial for the eyesight and can quench one’s thirst. It helps mitigates the effect of poison and stops hiccups. It is extremely beneficial in curing gastrointestinal infections, worm infestations and urinary tract disorders and can be used to treat wounds.
(Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthan 5 / 51 – 53)
- Honey is madhur and kashay. It is ruksha. The veerya is sheet. It is agnideepana, good for svara, laghu, sukumar, good for heart, vajikarana, good for sandhana, shodhana ropana; it is responsible for creating constipation; it is good for eyes, luster of the skin, reaching minute channels, vruddhi of pitta, kapha, meda and is responsible for precipitating prameha, hikka, shvas, atisar, chardi, trushna, krumi. It is antidote to poisoning. It pacifies all three dosha. It is kaphaghna due to laghu guna; it is vaatapittaghna due to pichchil guna; madhura and kashaya rasa.
The geographical area as well as the variety of plants from which bees gather the nectar highly influence the medicinal quality, taste, texture, colour and aroma of honey.