The Greeks really appreciated honey because, according to mythology, the gods owed it their immortality. We love the honey for its good taste and because it helps with colds. In recent years, scientists have studied the medicinal effectiveness of honey and came to amazing results: honey is particularly good at healing wounds and also works against inflammation.
Is honey healthy?
According to Greek mythology, the gods allegedly owe their immortality to honey. The same applies to Allfather Odin, who is said to have obtained his wisdom and strength from honey. It is somewhat more specific in Hippocrates: The doctor of antiquity knew of an antipyretic effect of honey and also used it in open wounds.
Honey, if you look at it physically-chemically, is nothing more than a supersaturated sugar solution: about 80 percent sugar, including fruit and glucose, and about 20 percent water. So what are the healing substances?
Honey heals wounds
That's exactly what biochemist Peter Molan from Waikato University in New Zealand researched. Around 60 types of bacteria, including those as dangerous as Staphylococcus aureus, can be defeated with honey. Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are going through Wound dressings made of honey killed - in many clinics, for example, treated patients who have been sore with honey bandages.
The scientists assume that the antimicrobial effect of honey enzymes thanks to the bees that are produced. However, honey only has this positive effect if it has not been heat treated. The high sugar content in honey leads to the removal of vital water from the bacteria.
An important ingredient is also hydrogen peroxide, that attacks microorganisms. Hydrogen peroxide is produced by an enzyme when honey is diluted and remains in high concentration for about 24 hours.
Honey for colds and gastrointestinal complaints
Milk with honey, better still tea with honey, is an old and proven home remedy for sore throats. The bee nectar contains around 180 accompanying substances. The most important ones include so-called inhibins, which are inhibitors such as flavonoids. The most important trace substances are the two flavonoids pinocembrin, a heat-stable antibiotic, and caffeic acid - it inhibits inflammation. Therefore, hot milk with honey usually has a soothing effect if the neck hurts.
Other flavonoids in the honey help against viruses and are also being tested today as a remedy for cancer.
Acetylcholine, another important substance, is a nitrogen compound that is beneficial to the cardiac activity effect. It reduces the heart rate, dilates narrowed coronary arteries and therefore has a hypotensive and heart-protecting effect.
5 facts about honey © - Tourism Australia
Of course, what tastes good about honey is essentially due to its sugar content. But this sugar is valuable: above all, the high proportion of fructose (almost 40 percent) and glucose (over 30 percent) provide the body with energy and keep important body functions in motion. So they serve in conjunction with honey-owned active ingredients of Condition and concentration.
Variety for every taste
Around 300 flavors contain the honey and give it its typical, depending on the plants, varying taste. For example:
- bright, lovely varieties such as rapeseed, clover honey or dandelion honey
- darker, intensively tasting varieties such as chestnut honey or fir honey
- aromatic varieties such as lavender, rosemary or thyme honey
Do not overheat honey
If a honey crystallizes in the glass at home, it can be heated in a water bath. He liquefies again. But you should not let him get too hot. Because if honey over 40 degrees Celsius is heated, almost all healing substances are lost.
The same applies to the consumption of honey in tea or milk, which must not be too hot. Therefore, you should let the milk or tea cool before adding the honey. You can also take the honey separately for milk or tea.
Real German honey
The consumer centers and nutritional institutions recommend that you buy as cheap as possible supermarket honey. Often, behind it are cheap imported goods from abroad, which were often heated to prevent the crystallization of sugar. In addition, they often contain too much water and residues of antiobiotics.
Honey directly from the beekeeper or from health food stores has a banderole with the DIB seal of the German Beekeeping Association, which ensures very strict controls. Only this honey may call itself genuine German honey. Such honey complies with DIB quality guidelines, is guaranteed to be made in Germany and contains natural ingredients.
Organic honey or conventional honey?
It is the external environment that distinguishes conventional honey from organic honey. These include the attitude of the bees and the way the beekeeper works.
The requirements for organic beekeeping are set out in the EU Organic Regulation. For example, within a radius of three kilometers around the beehive, the nectar and pollen habit is essentially made up of organic crops with a low environmental impact. That means the surrounding ones Fields should be grown organically. However, one has to be aware that bees can fly for more than three kilometers and therefore may also fly to sprayed fields.
In addition, the following apply Specifications for organic honey:
- The beehives must be made of wood instead of plastic.
- The wood coatings of the boxes must not be transferred to the honey in such a way that they cause residues there.
- Furthermore, if necessary, feeding is done with a bio-sugar solution.
- Even in the treatment of bee diseases strict rules must be observed.
Because of the required certification, the strict regulations, the regular inspections and the high costs, however, a production of organic honey for beekeepers often pays off only from a certain farm size.
Fair trade honey as a good alternative
Fairtrade honey is a good alternative to local honey. Much of the imported honey comes from developing countries. The Fairtrade seal guarantees that the price of the honey covers the production costs of the local producers.
In the case of fair-trade honey, the consumer magazine Öko-Test was unable to detect any residues of genetically modified pollen in an investigation - as in the honey of German beekeepers.