The Land of Milk and Honey: Part III
Bees have been producing honey for 150 million years. They have found cave drawings in the Cave of the Spider in Spain that depict a figure taking honey from a hive. The drawing is estimated to be 15,000 years old. The Romans accepted honey as payment for taxes. The Mayans held honey sacred. The Egyptians used honey as a wound treatment and it was discovered in the tomb of King Tut. It was still edible because honey doesn’t spoil. The Land of Milk and Honey (Northern Israel) has recently found bee hives kept by a beekeeper that are three thousand years old. It is clear that Honey has been used for a very long time.
Yes, honey is sugar. It is also a medicine. The medical profession is now taking a closer look at honey because of all the problems we are having with antibiotic resistance.
Studies show that honey quickly sterilizes Staphylococcus aureus on wounds. Honey actually cleans the wound and “activates the immune system response to the infection”… Tropical Doctor 1980; 10(2):91. A biochemist named Peter Molan found that Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) is effective in killing staphylococcus aureus. Apparently, the honey has a phytochemical compound in it.
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Admininstration approved honey as a medicine in Australia in 1999.
There is a company called Medihoney that sells medical honey specifically for wounds. They say that it provides a protective barrier, releases hydrogen peroxide while killing germs, reduces inflammation and speeds healing. Medihoney is standardized for medical use.
Children under the age of one should never be given honey orally because there is a risk of botulism. However, it is still safe to use it externally on their scrapes and scratches.
Medical treatment with honey , bee venom and other honeybee products is called apitherapy. Some of the afflictions that are treated with apitherapy are multiple sclerosis, arthritis, pain, gout, shingles, burns, tendonitis and infections.
There are more than 300 honeys available in the United States. (Did you know there is a poison ivy honey?) There are 10 top producing states that produce 75% of the honey each year in the U.S. 2009 was the worst year for honey production in history. Let’s hope that 2010 is a better year.
It is believed that honey has a calming effect on the body, promotes sleep and aids digestion.
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