The beneficial effects of honey on human health have long been recognized. Today, many of those positive effects have been studied to elucidate its mode of action and highlight it as an appealing alternative to medicine. Learn how you can improve your family’s health, and how to ensure you’re buying from trusted sustainable beekeepers.
History of Honey
Bees have been populating our planet since before the beginning of human history. The discovery of a 100 million year old bee fossil found in an amber mine in Northern Myanmar in 2006 is the earliest evidence of the bee species. Amber is a tree sap that often traps insects and plant structures before they fossilize.
The earliest sign of honey harvesting is depicted on a rock painting dating back over 8,000 years ago discovered in 1919 in the Arana cave at Bicorp, near Valencia in Spain.
Honey was discovered on many wall paintings, belonging to old Egypt. The first ‘domesticated’ beehive likely traces back to the Egyptians, the ancient papyrus tells of a beekeeper who had 5,000 hives. Honey was a component in more than 500 Egyptian medicines and beeswax and propolis were also used in the embalming process. Greek athletes used honey-they called it the nectar of the Gods-to boost their performance.
The Greek physician, Hippocrates used it as a base for most of his formulations, a practice continued in the works of many medical greats since. We have more than 4,000 years of recorded use of honey as medicine from the ancient world to the present. It has even been successfully used as battlefield medicine from the time of The Iliad to as recently as World War I. Russian soldiers were all issued with honey to prevent infection and to accelerate wound healing and more of them survived injuries from burns, shrapnel and amputations that those in the German army.
Types of Bees
There are over 20,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families.
A honeybee colony traditionally consists of three kinds of adult bees: workers, drones and the queen. The queen’s only job is to lay eggs and a drone’s job is to mate with the queen. The worker bees are responsible for everything else, divided into two categories: house bee activities and forager bee activities. House bees’ responsibilities include nursing, cleaning, building honeycomb, capping and repairing the hive. Forager bee activities include collecting nectar and pollen, collecting propolis and water and guarding the hive.
Here at BeeMa Honey we work with four species of bees. Apis Mellifera or Western honey bees were introduced to Indonesia over 40 years ago and are used by most bee farmers as they are easily domesticated and efficient. The bees are rotated throughout our organic farm during the year to produce our blossom honeys including BeeMa Honey Cotton Blossom, Rambutan Blossom, Durian Blossom, Coffee Blossom and Cajuput Cinnamon. Apis Cerana is the native Asian honey bee which we use to produce our signature multi flora Java Forest honey. Apis Dorsata or the wild giant honey bee produces our Black Forest Honey in exposed hives high up in the forest canopy. Our premium honey Java Trigona is produced by the stingless bee species Tetragonula Laeviceps.
Raw Honey and Its Health Benefits
Shopping for honey in the supermarket?, unfortunately it is seldom you will find raw honey on the shelves. Most of the honey’s you find will be blended and either pasteurised, super filtered or even more brutally ultra-filtered. Why so? Because ultrafiltration does not only remove pollen and residues of honey, which could tell you the origin of the honey, it could also be a loophole to the non-detection of the source and country of origin. In so doing, the precious enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and antibacterial in the pollen are eliminated – all the extra – nutritious properties for which honey has been celebrated since ancient times.
Raw honey not only tastes better and fresher, but here are 8 magical benefits of consuming raw honey. However, each honey’s particular composition is highly dependent on the floral source, geographical region, and season, as well as the processing conducted after the harvest.
8 Magical Benefits of Raw Honey
- Counter Pollen Allergies. It works as natural vaccines to build antibodies to the pollen.
- Natural Energy Source. A tablespoon of honey to 8 ounces of water – making a budget-friendly energy drink.
- Antioxidant Power House. Full of antioxidant and therapeutic compounds, able to prevent cognitive decline and dementia, as well as enhance the cholinergic system and circulation of the brain.
- Wound and Ulcer Healer. As honey offers natural antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, it can also be used to treat wounds and burns
- Natural Cough Syrup. Honey’s thick consistency that helps to coat the throat, protecting it from an unrelenting cough as well as the common cough suppressant.
- Diabetes Aid. The combination of raw honey and cinnamon is beneficial to healthy blood sugar management to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and help aid medication used to treat diabetes.
- Night’s Sleep Promoter. Consuming honey fosters the release of melatonin in the brain and also boosts immunity and helps rebuild tissue during periods of rest.
- Clearing Your Complexion. Using pure, raw honey on your face can help clear your complexion. It’s well-known for eradicating acne and relieving many other types of skin problems.
In 1980’s, the Finnish biologist Dr. Paavo Airola (1918-83) conducted a survey of some the oldest people on earth. He wanted to learn their secrets of longevity: what did they eat and how did they live their lives. Interestingly, 75 percent of the long-lifers he identified named honey – raw, unfiltered honey – as one of their key daily foods. In facts, these veterans were rather cute: many were beekeepers who like scavenging from the hive’s residue – a mix of pollen, wax, propolis and honey which are rich in amino acids, minerals, bioflanonoids, vitamins and the “dynamic duo” of fructose and glucose.
Another hive product produced by bees is bee pollen. Bee Pollen is a complete nutritious food and often called a superfood, a food source that has a complex nutritional quality. It’s rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, which make other foods fade into the landscape. Cheese, eggs and meat fall at the feet of this superfood in terms of protein, vitamin and mineral content. Unbelievably, bee pollen, weight for weight, has more protein than any other animal source. Many athletes use bee pollen as a supplement to boost their stamina and performance. It is also packed with bioflavonoids, which magnitize the body’s free radicals and pave the way for a healthy immune system. And for those whose taking a prt of a calorie-controlled diet, bee pollen contains lecithin (the fat buster), which will take a role in helping to control body fat and weight. Eat 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of bee pollen an hour before meals, which will help to suppress a ravenous appetite!
Natural pollen is also used in prostatitis care around the world, especially in Europe and Far East to provide relief from severe and frequent urination and the discomfort of an enlarged prostate!
Trigona Honey - The new Manuka ?
When it comes to the best honey in the world, people tend to refer that to Manuka Honey from New Zealand. That is because tests have show that Manuka Honey is high in bioactivity and antibacterial . However, it is not a secret anymore that it’s not just manuka honey which has high antibacterial activity. Research study conducted by Japanese scientists lead by the Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, using the same methodology for measuring UMF – found that the anti-bacterial activity of Trigona stingless honeybees is powerful even when compared to manuka honey UMF +25.
Trigona bees keep honey in storage pots built of cerumen - which is made of both beeswax and plant resin (propolis). Hence, it’s the propolis that gives trigona honey its antimicrobial properties. Trigona honey is naturaly infused with propolis ensuring its consistent antibacterial properties.
Trigona bees however, are much less susceptible to diseases and pest due to their small size and extensive use of propolis - which is a natural germicide and pest repellent. Hence there is no need to use harmful pesticides or even antibiotics.
BeeMa Honey Trigona bee colonies are nurtured on a single origin organic plantation adjacent to natural forests, and far away from towns, cities and traffic pollution.
This working relationship with nature ensures the purity of the honey, and that it is not contaminated by pesticides or pollution.
Why BeeMa Honey ?
BeeMa Honey was created with the purpose of promoting a healthy lifestyle. We are a producer and seller of premium Artisan raw honey. All our honey is single origin produced on a plantation that is chemical and pesticide free; and the neighbouring forests in the foothills of Mount Muria in Central Java, far from polluted traffic, towns and factories.
We do not play around with our honeys. We leave them 100% as nature intended, to preserve their natural goodness with nothing added. Our honey is raw honey (nectar from flowers) that is pure, unpasteurised, unprocessed and with no additives. It preserves all the natural vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements which play a vital role in our health and healing.
BeeMa Honey produce an array of Artisan honey by bees from the genus Apis: Apis Mellifera, Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata and Trigona (stingless bee), which collect their nectar from our organic plantation and the surrounded forests.
We believe it is our responsibility to give something back to the wonderful land we call our home and practise sustainable beekeeping. Did you know that bees pollinate one third of the fruit and vegetables that we eat.
We hope you enjoy exploring the natural wonders of BeeMa Honey.
For more information visit our website www.beemahoney.com
Honey in the Medicine Cabinet Try these effective ways to use honey to heal everyday ailments.
Allergies: Just a teaspoon a day of raw, local honey can decrease symptoms or prevent them altogether. For best results, start this regimen a month before your symptoms typically start to appear.
Arthritis: It may be the alkalinizing effect of a mixture of honey and vinegar that seems to relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis when used over a period of time. This mix is anti-inflammatory, used internally or externally.
Cough: Mix equal parts vinegar and honey, and add a twist of lemon. Drink a bit of this mixture every two to three hours.
Cuts: A dab of honey underneath a bandage may serve you better than any antibiotic cream on the market.
Diabetic sores: Honey is one of the only treatments that can help an unresponsive diabetic wound. Apply directly to the sore and cover with light gauze.
Diaper rash: No matter how bad the rash, honey was always the best remedy for my kids. Just a thin coating and a bit of naked time and it healed up like magic.
Diarrhea: Because it has a balancing effect on digestion, honey is useful for relieving both diarrhea and constipation.
Immune support: Routine eating of raw honey increases B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, two types of white blood cells that improve immunity.
Insomnia: A spoonful of honey before bed can help support a peaceful night’s rest.
Leg cramps: A mix of honey and vinegar rubbed onto the legs before bed increases circulation and can help prevent leg cramps.
Minor burns: Spread honey liberally over the damaged skin of a burn and leave it open to the air. It’s best not to apply anything more than a very light gauze.
Nasal congestion: Add honey to a steam or simply spread it over the sinus areas on the face. Sinus congestion will drain quickly—be ready!
Sinusitis: Add a teaspoon to a cup of saline water and use it in a neti pot. Never use a neti pot while you are congested.
Sore throat: Let a spoonful of honey melt in your mouth or drink it in a cup of hot tea for fast relief from an itching and scratching throat.
Stomach ulcer: Honey inhibits H. pylori, the culprit behind most ulcers; eat 2 to 3 ounces a day for three months.
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine October 2018 issue“A Jakarta Smorgasbord”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.