Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

 
Honey quick review
Description: a product produced by honey bees that are members of the family Apidea and the honey product is typically collected from bee hives after the bees have produced the honey.
Health benefits: serves as a strengthening substance for convalescents, promote rapid wound debridement, replacement of sloughs with granulation tissue and rapid epithelialization and absorption of oedema from around the margins.
 
Ginger Honey Tonic
Ginger contains 180 times the protein digesting power of papaya, and stimulates fat digesting bile as well as the growth of healthy intestinal flora, ginger restores balance and potentiates proper digestive function.
Honey, one of nature's best energy foods with soothing properties, forms a perfect combination with ginger. Vitabase honey is low-heated to optimize preservation, enzymes and flavor. Click here for more information.
 

Honey


Honey is a product produced by honey bees that are members of the family Apidea and the honey product is typically collected from bee hives after the bees have produced the honey. Honey is the sweet material which is produced by bees who pick-up sweet juices, enrich them by materials from their own bodies, change them in their bodies, store them in honeycombs and allow them to ripen in the honeycombs.

 

Honey formation


The bees reside as a family in a bee hive. The bee family consists of a queen bee whose sole purpose is to lay eggs for producing worker and drone bees. The sole purpose of the worker bee is to continuously produce honey which is an excretion that occurs after the bees have collected nectar from foliage. Honey is laid down by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when food sources are scarce, bees use their honey as their sole source of nutrition. By contriving the bee swarm to make its home in a hive, mankind has been able to domesticate the insects. In the hive there are three types of bee: the single queen bee, up to 200 drone bees to fertilize her and some 20,000 to 80,000 worker bees. The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. They go out, collect the sugar-rich flower nectar and return to the hive. As they leave the flower, bees releases nasonov pheromones. These enable other bees to find their way to the site by smell. Honeybees also release nasonov pheromones at the entrance to the hive, which enables returning bees to return to the proper hive. In the hive the bees regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. It is then stored in the honeycomb. Nectar is high in both water content and natural yeasts which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed - bees inside the hive "fan" their wings creating a strong draught across the honeycomb. This enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. The reduction in water content, which raises the sugar concentration, prevents fermentation. Honey as removed from the hive by the beekeeper has a long shelf life and will not ferment.
 

Composition of honey


Natural honey is the sweet, aromatic, viscous syrup produced by the honeybee from the nectar of flowers. The color and flavor of
honey is closely related to the flower from which it originates. Common flavors of honey include orange blossom honey, tupelo honey, buckwheat honey, clover honey, blackberry, and blueberry honey. In general, the darker the color of the honey, the stronger the flavor. About 25 floral types of honey are commercially important. These range in color from nearly water-white (sweet clover) to dark amber (aster-goldenrod) and in flavor from very mild (fireweed, clovers) to pronounced (buckwheat, tulip poplar).

The composition of the honey varies, depending on the origin of the type of honey. Honey is generally considered to be a highly concentrated solution of simple sugars having the following physical characteristics: high viscosity, stickiness, great sweetness, high density, hygroscopicity and relative immunity from spoilage. Honey has a very high content of glucose and fructose. Honey contains other significant amounts of vitamins, including vitamin C and trace amounts of iron, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and magnesium. It also offers high levels of hydrogen peroxide. Water content of honey is a most important characteristic. Typically, processed honey has a solids content of from about 77% to about 85% (wt). Within this range, the dextrose-water ratio of the honey is above about 1.7 and after a period of time, the honey will tend to granulate or crystallize.

 

Dietary used and health benefits


Honey is predominantly used for direct human consumption and additionally, for the production of pastry, such as, gingerbread, and of sweets and alcoholic beverages. The main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, spreading on bread or toast, and as an addition to various beverages such as tea. Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverages, mead, which is also known as "honey wine", and methelgin. The importance of honey as a food stuff, savory snack and a medicine is primarily based on its content of easily absorbable carbohydrates, aromatic substances which stimulate the appetite, and mineral components. Of the latter, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, silicon, copper and nickel are present in almost all types of honey.

In medicine, honey serves as a strengthening substance for convalescents because of its high nutritional value. Honey has an antibacterial and germ-reducing, i.e. a healing, grooming and protective effect. Honey is a natural antibacterial substance, making it quite useful in the treatment of wounds. In slowly healing wounds, honey acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Honey also appears to promote rapid wound debridement, replacement of sloughs with granulation tissue and rapid epithelialization and absorption of oedema from around the margins. It contains hydrogen peroxide, which it releases slowly, killing any germs that are in the wound. Peroxide stimulates white blood cells that initiate the body's immune response to infection. It contains other properties that help generate tissue, possibly vitamin C and amino acids. Honey is used in bronchial catarrh. The presence in honey of acetylcholine acts to lower the blood pressure, and has a stimulating effect on stomach and bowel activities. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter substance at cholinergic synapses, which causes cardiac inhibition, vasodilation, gastrointestinal peristalsis, and other parasympathetic effects. It is liberated from preganglionic and postganglionic endings of parasympathetic fibers and from preganglionic fibers of the sympathetic as a result of nerve injuries, whereupon it acts as a transmitter on the effector organ. Its immediate effect on the heart is presumably based on the restoration of the heart muscle metabolism or a rebuilding of the energy reserves of the heart muscle. Furthermore, honey is used in the diet for liver conditions and particularly in chronic liver diseases. Honey has revealed moderate antitumor and pronounced metastatic effects when tested in rats, the antitumor activity of 5-fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide is potentiated by honey.

 

Side effects and precautions


Honey is not always healthful. Because it is gathered from flowers in the wild, there are situations in which it may be toxic. Rhododendrons, Mountain Laurels and azaleas have nectar that is poisonous to humans though harmless to bees. The shape of the Azalea flower, however, makes access to nectar difficult for honeybees. And during the time at which Azaleas bloom, there are usually other flowers available which are more appealing to the honeybee. So lethal honey is rarely encountered.

Honey is the only food source thus far implicated in the pathogenesis of infant botulism. Approximately 15% of the infant botulism cases identified in the United States are associated with ingestion of honey. Since an infant's digestive juices are non-acidic, ingestion of honey creates an ideal medium for botulinum spores to grow and produce sufficient levels of toxins to cause infant botulism. For this reason, it is advised that neither honey, nor any other sweetener, be given to children under the age of 18 months. Once a child is eating solid food, the digestive juices are acidic enough to prevent the growth of the spores. Infant botulism may also arise due to ingestion or inhalation of the C. botulinum spores from environmental exposure to dust or dirt. When ingested, toxin is formed within the gut of the infant after the germination and multiplication of the C. botulinum spores. Release of botulism toxin in adults and especially in infants and children can be fatal. Treatment of botulism in infants is merely supportive.