Health with Honey
(Author : Dr. Swapnil Rane)

Honey is a natural sweet substance produced by honeybees from the nectar of flowers gathered, transformed and combined with specific ingredients, stored and left to ripen in the hive comb by honeybees.

In Ayurveda honey is termed as "Madhu" and explained as follows –

Vaatalam guru sheetam cha raktapittakaphapaham |
Sandhatru chhedanam ruksham kashayam madhuram madhu ||

Honey is sweet to taste (madhura rasa), followed by its unique astringent taste (Kashaya anu rasa). It is heavy (guru guna) and dry (ruksha) in nature while cold (sheeta) in potency. It has a scraping action on body tissue, thus helping in weight loss by reducing the water and earth elements (Kapha) while aggravating the air and space element in body (vata).

The medicinal quality, taste, texture, colour, aroma of honey may differ according to the geographical area and the species of plants from which it has been collected.

Contents of Honey

Honey is a good source of fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose and other disaccharides and tri-saccharides. All of these various ingredients of honey have helped it to become not only a sweet liquid but also a natural product with high nutritional and medicinal value.

Apart from the macro nutrients, honey also comprises of other micro nutrients in trace amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. It also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and other minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese. Honey is one amongst the very few naturally found vegetarian sources of vitamin B complex.

Types of Honey:

Eight types of honey are described in Ayurveda depending on the type of bee which collects it. They are Pouttika, Bhramara, Kshoudra, Makshika, Chatra, Arghya, Oudalaka and Dala.

Amongst all the above "Makshika" is considered as the best type with immense medicinal properties. Makshika type of honey is largely available in market due to horticulture and modern trend of bee culturing.

Therapeutic uses of Honey:

  • As it contains sugars which are quickly absorbed by our digestive system and converted into energy, it can be used as instant energizer.
  • As it is hygroscopic it speeds up healing, growth of healing tissue and dries it up.
  • Honey acts as a sedative.
  • Honey is very good anti-oxidant which restores the damaged skin and gives soft, young look.
  • Honey has antibacterial properties due to its acidic nature and enzymically produced hydrogen peroxide.
  • Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

In the classical texts of Ashtanga Hridaya, the therapeutic uses of honey are explained as follows:

Chakshushayam chedi tritshleshmavishahidmaasrapittanut |
Mehakushtakrimicchardishwaasakaasaatisaarajit ||
Vranashodhana sandhaanaropanam vaatalam madhu ||

  • Honey is very good for eyes and eye sight.
  • It quenches thirst.
  • Dissolves kapha.
  • Reduces effects of poison.
  • Stops hiccups.
  • It is very useful in urinary tract disorders (UTI), worm infestations, bronchial asthma, cough, diarrhoea and nausea-vomiting.
  • Cleanse the wounds.
  • It heals wounds.
  • Helps in quick healing of deep wounds.
  • Initiates growth of healthy granulation tissue.
  • Honey which is newly collected from bee hive increases body weight and is a mild laxative.
  • Honey which is stored and aged helps in fat catabolism and scrapes Kapha.

Honey is called as Yogavahi with due respect to its unique quality. The substance which has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissue, enhancing and carrying the properties of another substance; also maintaining its own properties is called as Yogavahi. When honey is used with other herbal preparations it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

Precautions to be taken before using honey:

  • Honey should not be mixed with hot or sizzling food stuff. When honey is mixed with hot and spicy foods the poisonous properties get enhanced and cause imbalance of doshas.
  • Honey should not be heated.
  • Honey should not be consumed when you are working in hot environment where you are exposed to excessive heat.
  • Honey should never be mixed with rain water, spicy food, and fermented beverages like whisky, rum, beer, brandy etc, Ghee and mustard.


Few Home remedies with Honey

  • Mix 2 tea spoon of honey with carrot juice and consume regularly. This helps to improve eyesight. It is highly beneficial for those individuals exposed to computer display for prolonged period.
  • In cold, cough and congested chest mix 2 tea spoons of honey with equal quantity of ginger juice and should be consumed frequently.
  • Mix black pepper powder, honey and ginger juice in equal quantities, when consumed thrice daily help to relieve the symptoms of asthma.
  • Regular use of one tea spoon of garlic juice mixed with two tea spoons of honey helps to control blood pressure.
  • One glass of water (stored in copper vessel, overnight) taken with two tea spoons of honey and 1 tea spoon of lemon juice in early morning reduce fat and purify blood.
  • Consume one spoon of honey daily help us to lead a healthy long life.  

            Although utmost efforts are taken to make the suggestive tips useful for every individual, but the body type and associated health issues may vary. We recommend stopping the use of home remedies if any other health issue is aggravated or concern your Physician or contact us for further personalised recommendations.