Honey, I Love You



It's so nice to see bees in my yard. They have been noticeably absent for so long. I remember as a child seeing bees all over our yard, they were everywhere. Back then, a summer just wasn't a summer if you hadn't stepped on a few bees. I clearly remember thinking what a nuisance they were and wishing them gone. 

It seems somewhat ironic, the little girl who wished for their demise, would have thousands of them in her backyard in 12 beautiful lavender-colored hives. And she'd be loving it to boot! When my husband first had the idea of keeping bees, I must say I wasn't all too thrilled. My resistance came from not knowing enough about these wonderful creatures. I could go on about my love for the bees, but, I'll save that for a later post, this writing is about my love of honey!

So I began my research and oh boy what I did find! I was particularly interested in the honey because of the skincare products that I create. If it wasn’t so sticky and runny, honestly, honey is all one would ever need for their skincare regime. Honey is amazingly antibacterial and it NEVER goes bad. Archaeologists have found 2,000 year old jars of honey in Egyptian tombs and the honey was still as good as the first day it was put into the jars! Is that crazy? I find it really surprising that bacteria cannot grow in honey because bacteria actually hates sugar. Honey’s unique chemical composition of low water content and relatively high acidic level creates a low pH (3.2-4.5) environment that makes it very unfavorable for bacteria or other micro-organism to grow. And it is exactly because of this that Honey is so good for skin that is acne or breakout prone!

Another thing that I discovered is that Honey has a hygroscopic nature. This means when it is exposed to air, it actually absorbs moisture into the skin from the air and retains it. Honey is a natural "humectant”. It helps keep skin hydrated and fresh and prevents it from drying out. This is wonderful for those of you who just cannot keep your skin moisturized during the cold winter months.

Honey has been used for thousands of years as a healing agent. Because of its antimicrobial properties honey was used in ancient medicine. With the onset of antibiotics honey was not used anymore. But now, with the resistance that is being developed against antibiotics, the medical community is once again turning to honey. Five years ago, the FDA authorized the first honey-based medical product for use in the United States. A company called Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.

Many doctors are recommending using honey to treat a mild burn, sunburn, or small wound at home. If you plan to try this, make sure to use either Manuka or raw honey. Like the Manuka honey, high quality raw honey will help draw fluid away from your wound and suppress the growth of microorganisms. Part of what gives raw honey its antibacterial properties is an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which the worker bees excrete into the nectar. This enzyme releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with your wound. This speeds up the healing process. Don’t use processed honey. Processed honey is heated and heated honey will destroy this perishable enzyme.
Beautiful, raw honey helps with a sore throat, with inflamed or broken skin, and even helps when you’ve had just a bit too much to drink the night before! Yep, that’s what I said, it helps with hangovers! Honey is gentle on the stomach and contains a mix of natural sugars such fructose, which is known to speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, acting as a 'sobering' agent.

So you see, honey, it’s like liquid gold. I have a ready source of honey in my back yard and I’m so excited to see all the wonderful things I can do with it! I’ll keep you all posted!

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