Honey and Healing

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 15:45
Liz Kaiser, Sustainability Program Specialist

Although they are tiny, bees have a big impact on our environment. By incorporating beehives into the Regional Health landscape, we can do a lot to support our sustainability goals.

Bees pollinate a third of everything humans eat. Bees pollinate fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Not only are bees responsible for every 1 in 3 bites of food, but the honey they make is a remarkable healing agent for all sorts of ailments. The honey that is produced and harvested will be put in jars and given to patients as gifts. The honey will signify healing and our commitment to keeping our patients well. Attached to the jars will be Regional Health’s Commitment to Sustainability philosophy statement.

Environmental Stewardship: Honey bee populations are drastically declining worldwide. Bees pollinate many crops, including our favorite fruits, nuts and vegetables. In addition to food production, pollination contributes to enhancing the beauty of flowers, gardens and landscapes.

Benefits: Aside from being delicious and used in many cooking dishes, honey has health benefits as well. Honey is a great sweetener, and we could all use a little less processed sugar. Honey contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, helps reduce cough and throat irritation and helps the body regulate blood sugar.
 
Honey: 5 Health Benefits

1. Natural energy source
If you are looking for a quick energy boost, such as before or after a workout, honey can suffice. Honey functions as a “time-released fuel” to provide energy to athletes over a longer duration.

2. Treat wounds
Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidants activities that make it ideal for treating wounds. Prior to the advent of penicillin, honey was used as an infection-fighting therapy for many years.

3. Antioxidant powerhouse
Studies have shown that a daily dose of raw honey raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants help block free radicals in the body that cause disease. It also boosts the immune system, acting as a preventative against any number of diseases.

4. Natural cough syrup
Hot tea and honey has been a long standing remedy for a sore throat.  Research has shown that honey on its own works as well as an over the counter cough medicine to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections.

5. Reduce allergy symptoms
Locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it. This approach only works because it has pollen of local plans you may be allergic to. Honey from other parts of the country simply won’t work. Look for local honey at a farmer’s market, co-op or natural health food store in your area.