Educational Guide

Honey

Natural plant juices and nectars contain glucose, fructose. Glucose is directly and immediately assimilated without the intervention of saliva, gastric or intestinal juices. This sugar imposes no special demands, and enters directly into the circulation to undertake its nutritive task. That is what explains why, far from being contraindicated, it is good for people who suffer with their stomach or who are prone to diarrhoea.

Whereas glucose and fructose do not exist in sufficient abundance where they are found, honey by contrast, contains glucose in considerable quantity. Honey from bees contains in effect from between 71% and 77% of invert sugar, glucose and fructose mixed in almost equal parts. Honey is the sugar of sugars, it is therefore foolishness to abandon honey in order to run after so many other sugary products, including saccharin.


Food and remedy

‘In order to maintain health, you need two things: nourishment when you are healthy, and restoration to health when you are ill. Well, in honey you will find these two things: food and remedy’. The plant realm occupies, in effect, an important place in cookery and pharmacology. Cookery could even be composed entirely of plants. Our ancestors ate little meat and lived for many years. Amongst certain religious orders, no flesh other than fish is ever eaten. And in our time, a school has been established to limit the use of animal products and increase the use of food from the plant world.

Medicine could also be entirely made from plants. An old adage says: Medicina paucarum herbarum scientia (medicine is the science of a small number of plants). Plant food is of sovereign healthiness and medication through plants very effective. In a way, honey is a kind of abstract of the plant realm, as the bees go and gather it from an incalculable number of flowers of all sorts. And it is at the moment when the plant is preparing to reproduce, i.e. at the height of its vigour and strength, that the bee goes, carrying fertility to it and taking its rich nectar. So honey is a concentrated extract of the plant world, which borrows properties from plants. It is a herb tea of a thousand flowers.


Honey is better than sugar

Whereas water, nitrogenous compounds, mineral salts from food, satisfy the need for repair and building of the body tissues, sugar is the fuel for the human body, the main source of heat, of energy and muscular strength. It is only in the special form of glucose that sugar can be absorbed by the organs. Therefore it is not sugar chemically extracted from beet that we must absorb as a food which will give us strength. This artificial sugar is a precious condiment, convenient, indispensable; it is not at all a food. This sugar is after all only beet juice which, combined with its natural allies in beet has a certain beneficial usefulness, but is made harmful because it has been extracted from it by a chemical process.

Refined or beet sugar is extracted and purified using quicklime, carbonic acid, sulphur, beef blood, animal charcoal. Glucose, which accompanies or replaces it in confectionery, syrups or fruit preserves, is extracted from starch residues by means of sulphuric acid. Both products are bad: they are dead foods, irritating, devitalised and demineralised.

Artificial sugar spoils the teeth and dulls the appetite. It tires and overheats the stomach and intestines by using the invertase that they secrete, and which they already need in order to change the starches and fats from our food into glucose, thus giving them an abnormal amount of work which they are not intended for. It often happens that the sugar is partly rejected by the body without having been used, especially in weak, ill and diabetic individuals, of whom the digestive organs secrete scarcely enough invertase necessary for transforming sugar into glucose: from this situation arises a multiplicity of organ disorders.

Natural sugar, found in grapes, fruit and especially in honey, is the only one suitable for food because, naturally found in the desired form of glucose, this sugar is immediately assimilated and enters the blood at once, and as a result, without placing any strain on the digestive organs. In a word, honey is the steam that you put in the boiler; sugar is the cold water that has to be changed into steam. Besides, honey is the sap of flowers, it is a sugar made by nature herself, the finest chemist. This sugar, in a concentrated form ready for eating and storage, is offered to us in the honey gathered by the bees from the fragrant corolla of flowers. In addition, if the honey is extracted mechanically by a well equipped beekeeper, it has no contact with the hands; it maintains an absolute purity and a cleanliness and as a result the delicacy of its smell and the richness of its properties.


Honey is a powerful food

According to recent research, 30 g honey has the same nutritive value as 21 g haricot beans; 31.33 g egg yolk; 35 g bread; 42 g lean pork; 48.20 g lean beef; 82.43 g skate; 64.43 g mackerel; 89.12 g potatoes; 122.50 g grapes; 123.50 g milk. According to the same research, a small slice of bread and honey provides 169 calories, allowing 78 calories for the 30 g bread and 91 calories for the 30 g honey. Now a man doing a modest amount of work only needs 2500 calories a day. A calorie is a unit of heat, it is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a kilo of water by one degree centigrade.

That is not to say that honey must constitute the whole of our nourishment, but should occupy a proper place in it. Because honey is a very rich food, as it is a sugar, and the most easily assimilatedand as a result the most nourishing of sugars. Besides, honey is food in a most concentrated form; it transforms itself almost completely into chyle, into blood. The proof of that is that the bee feeds itself with honey, during the long winter months, without voiding itself. Honey is therefore the most appropriate food for our time of bodily indigence and organic degeneration. It is especially suitable for children, old people, people who are weak, convalescents, in particular for those who are anaemic.

Also honey should replace sugar, everywhere, especially in herbal teas, where besides it will add to their properties, since it comes from the flowers of the plants which make up the tea. In the morning, sugar your milk or your coffee with honey. Have it as a dessert after every meal. Spread on bread, on its own or mixed with butter, it makes the best snack for children and even for adults. Should you want a good chocolate drink, melt some honey in a bain-marie and mix it with cocoa powder.


Honey is an excellent remedy

Natural honey, sap and quintessence of flowers, taken at the moment when the plant is at the height of its vigour and the flower is in all its beauty, is the most universal of remedies. An eminent digestive by itself, honey also helps in the digestion of other foods. Its aromatic principles, its acids, stimulate the salivary glands, and besides honey does not use the gastric juices. This overabundance of saliva, of gastric juice, contributes to the digestion of other foods and carries along the accumulated residues from the stomach: that is why honey is digestive and somewhat laxative. Honey is thus especially suitable in cases of stomach ache, painful digestion, constipation. Honey is also refreshing: it is recommended in cases of inflammation of the stomach and intestines, in kidney ailments and in bladder problems. For insomnia: it calms the nerves and encourages sleep. Many diabetics have benefited by using it.

Finally, honey contains iron and especially, formic acid, that formic acid so much recommended these days by medical experts in order to increase the activity and strength of the muscular system and to stave off fatigue. Furthermore, this formic acid makes honey antiseptic: that is how it combats intestinal fermentations. Antiseptic, refreshing and calming, honey makes an excellent ointment for healing wounds, bruises, ulcers, spots and inflammations. For the same reason, honey is immensely useful in hoarseness, coughs, colds, influenza, bronchitis, tonsillitis, catarrh, asthma, and mouth ulcers in children.

We can therefore say that nectar is truly a beneficial juice, a panacea placed by the Creator in the chalice of the flower and reverently gathered by the bees. To be thorough, we must say however, that the frequent use of honey would not be suitable either in the case of liver problems, because of its formic acid and because it encourages obesity, or in the case of a tendency to stroke, because honey is absorbed in the stomach and as a result rapidly, even violently.


Honey in remedies

Thanks to its numerous properties, honey can be put to advantage in all sorts of ways, either internally or externally. An Austrian surgeon, after experimenting, considered honey to be among the best healers, for the following reasons. Ripe honey is treated by the bee in a way that allows it to keep almost indefinitely, she gives it the elements which guarantee its keeping qualities. For this reason and also because of its density and its sugars, no unhealthy germ is able to live in honey. Even living, dangerous germs, such as typhoid bacillus (which thrives in most food) perish if they are placed in honey. Also, we may safely use honey for wound dressing, for burns and boils

Thanks to its numerous properties, honey can be put to advantage in all sorts of ways, either internally or externally. An Austrian surgeon, after experimenting, considered honey to be among the best healers, for the following reasons. Ripe honey is treated by the bee in a way that allows it to keep almost indefinitely, she gives it the elements which guarantee its keeping qualities. For this reason and also because of its density and its sugars, no unhealthy germ is able to live in honey. Even living, dangerous germs, such as typhoid bacillus (which thrives in most food) perish if they are placed in honey. Also, we may safely use honey for wound dressing, for burns and boils

1. Coughs, bronchitis, hoarseness

Take a coffee-spoon of warm honey every two hours throughout the day; one spoonful an hour before dinner and another in the evening before going to bed. If you mix the honey with a little goose grease, it will make the remedy more effective.

2. Mouth ulcers, thrush

Rub with honey to which you have added alum or borax. Or alternatively use rose honey made of honey and rose oil.

3. Influenza

Take some weak tea strongly flavoured with honey and a little rum and lemon.

4. Digestive problems

Honey, with its refreshing, gently laxative and purgative properties, prevents constipation and is very good for inflammation of the stomach, and even the bladder. According to Dr Guerin, there is no better treatment for gastrointestinal upsets, and he adds that honey would be the most important food for those with excitable constitutions.

5. Intestinal worms

Give children honey mixed with a little garlic.

6. Constipation

Take frequent doses of warm milk sweetened with honey.

7. Insomnia

Take two or three spoonfuls of honey before bed to calm the nerves.

8. Inflammation of the eyes

Dissolve some drops of pure, clear honey in a little warm water and bathe the eyes with drops of the liquid, four or five times daily, the last time just before going to bed. Some minutes afterwards, remove the secretions which leak out from under the eyelids, without however, cleaning the eyes themselves.

9. Ulcers, abscesses

Use an ointment made of heated honey kneaded into rye flour or boiled onions.

10. Burns, Cracked skin, scurf

Make compresses of honey or honey water for burns. For Cracked skin, scurf make lotions of honey diluted with water; or late evening, rub the hands with honey and wear gloves. Use honey soap.