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:
In the classical texts of Ashtanga Hridaya, the therapeutic uses of honey are explained as follows:
Chakshushayam chedi tritshleshmavishahidmaasrapittanut |
Vranashodhana sandhaanaropanam vaatalam madhu ||
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:
Few Home remedies with Honey
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.