Sunday, 21 August 2011


With the city becoming increasingly health conscious, the need for nutritious food is on the rise. That being the case, look no further than honey. From ice-cream parlours to spas, honey is popularly used in food as well as face-washes, lotions and shampoos. Besides being an excellent substitute for sugar and a much sought after ingredient in beauty products, it is important to note that it has a number of health benefits too.

Madhu (honey) has the ability to enhance the benefits of the herb it is used with. It also has a number of other benefits. For instance, it is good for the eyes as its unctuous quality helps cleanse the eye. Honey is hygroscopic in nature, it accelerates the healing process and that the regular use of honey strengthens the White Blood Cells (WBC).
Honey also contains vitamins C, B2, B3, B5 and B6 because of which it has the ability to initiate the growth of the granulation tissue(wound healing process). It is also a great anti-oxidant. Its anti-bacterial properties make it effective as a treatment for minor acne on the back and face.
Interestingly, the benefits of honey have been recognized by many religions as well. In fact, many religions consider honey to be a delicacy and so, have made it a part of many ancient rituals. For instance, apple dipped in honey is a traditional treat prepared during Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). 
It is also an important ingredient in Panchamrutham (five nectars) for Abhishekam (ritual bathing of idols) in Indian temples. Besides rituals, the importance of honey is evident in the classical texts of Ayurveda viz., Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya. Ayurveda lists eight different types of honey based on the types of bees that gather the honey – Makshika, Arghya, Pouttika, Bhrahmara, Chatra, Oudalaka, Dala and Kshoudra, and gives detailed accounts of the uses and properties of each.
While honey does have many advantages, there are certain disadvantages too. Many people believe that since honey is nutritious and healthy, it can be consumed in large quantities. It is important to be aware that it can greatly increase your calories intake. Therefore, it is important to moderate the amount of honey that one takes regularly.
For many centuries, honey has been used in vital medicine of Ayurveda. It is mixed with a variety of herbs and spices and made into compound for curing various ailments. The daily consumption of honey is also advocated in Ayurvedic teaching to promote good health.
Judging the Quality of Honey
When we purchase honey, we are not sure whether it is pure or impure. There are few simple tricks, with which we can clearly judge its quality.
  • Pure honey pours down in the shape of a serpent whereas the impure honey falls flat on the plate. Apply a little honey on a stick and light it on fire, if it starts burning consider it to be pure.
  • Pure honey is transparent. A dog will not lick it. Pure honey has a good smell. It melts in heat and frosts in cold season.
Honey found in Kashmir and Himachal is of the best quality and is very beneficial. It gives instant relief in the case of eye problems. The quality of honey found in these regions is extremely good because it is obtained from the lotus flowers grown in the lakes of Kashmir. This type of honey containing a lot of medicinal values is not found in any other place.
Medicinal Effects of Pure Honey
  • For severe cold, take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This will help clear the sinuses. (Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder also strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks.)
  • For a persistent cough with mucous, mix a pinch of black pepper with a teaspoonful of honey and lick the mixture from a spoon after meals.
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of honey with carrot juice and consume one hour before breakfast. Do this regularly to improve eyesight.
  • Regular dose of one teaspoon of garlic juice mixed with two teaspoons of honey twice a day in the mornings and evenings help to control blood pressure.
  • New honey removes phlegm and is a purgative. One or two year old honey reduces fat and is good for digestion.
  • Honey gives strength and power to the intestines. Regular consumption of honey stops the accumulation of toxic elements in the intestines and also kills worms. It is equally beneficial for chronic diseases, chronic constipation, dysentery and diarrhea.
  • Honey removes phlegm accumulated in the lungs. It gives relief to the patients of asthma and cough. Honey is also beneficial in cases of tuberculosis. It keeps the mind fresh and healthy. It is especially beneficial for those who do more mental work. 
  • Consumption of honey is good for strengthening the sperm, physical strength and gives good shape to the body. Soak one almond twice a day, rub it nicely on a grinding stone in the night and keep it in a bowl. Add one spoon of honey and drink it with cold milk without adding any sugar, half an hour before going to bed. This is beneficial for mental strength, masculinity and physical fitness. This medicine should be taken regularly for two months during the winter season. It is extremely beneficial.
  • Honey cures kapha disorders. Take half a spoon of honey and half a spoon of ginger juice to get rid of cough. Add onion juice and honey in equal quantity and take this medicine to get rid of accumulated phlegm. Simply licking honey is also good for curing mild cough. Honey also cures skin problems. Honey cures skin diseases and makes the skin healthy. It also kills worms and stops decay.
  • Honey improves the eyesight. If lotus honey of Kashmir is available, it should be applied in the eyes like kajal (eye liner). This cures all problems related to the eyes and increases the eyesight.
  • Drink one glass of cold milk added with a few drops of honey before going to bed. Do not add sugar or sugar candy. This reduces physical weakness. This should be taken regularly for two months. It is necessary to brush the teeth after drinking this milk.
  • Take one glass of clean water with two spoons of honey in the morning before passing bowels.This is called as Madhudaka in Ayurveda. This gradually reduces the fat accumulated in the body. This should be taken regularly for two months. This is beneficial for reducing fat and increases the shine of the body.
  • Honey has medicinal values; it takes the qualities of the substance which is added to it. This is the special quality of honey. This is the main reason for calling it 'Yogvahi' 
What should be the quantity when consuming honey?
  • In the beginning honey should be consumed only in small quantities. Give four to five drops to an infant, half a spoon to young children and one spoon to old people. Increase this quantity gradually and then it can be taken four times a day. Honey can be taken with chapattis, fruits, fruit juice, or almonds. Consume it for two months regularly and discontinue for a month. One can start taking honey after a gap of one month. One or two spoons of honey should be taken everyday.
    • Useful Tips
  • Do not take honey with hot food or in the summer season because it is not suitable in hot weather and hot conditions.
  • Honey creates negative effects when taken in hot conditions.
  • Honey causes adverse effects when consumed with hot fluids.
  • Honey turns into poison when it is heated. Honey is equal to poison when it is taken with hot conditions, hot weather or hot food. According to Ayurveda one should not take honey with hot milk, hot water and in hot weather.
  • There is no benefit if honey and ghee are mixed with equal quantities and taken (they counter each other). In case of need, mix one part of ghee with three or four parts of honey.
  • Consuming honey in excess quantity is not good for health. It is also advised not to take honey with sugar candy, jaggery, jackfruit, fish, egg, meat, etc. Do not consume honey continuously for several months (pause for one month in between). This can cause a disease called 'Ama Ajeerna'.
Enjoy the goodness and of Honey and lead a healthy life

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