HONEY is a unique blend of 200 or so constituents including pollen, enzymes, fragments of beeswax and propolis, the resinous mixture bees collect from the bark and leaf buds of trees.
A popular folk remedy, studies demonstrate it can be anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, immunity-boosting and digestion-enhancing.
Use honey to tackle these common complaints.
Anti-inflammatories and antioxidants in honey help collagen in the joints.
Honey can lower raised homocysteine levels, thought to cause heart problems and linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
Raw honey is useful as it is an alkali-producing food.
ACTION: Eat raw honey three times a day and massage over painful joints.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can soothe throats. In a study at Penn State College, US, 105 children with a cough had buckwheat honey, a honey-flavoured cough drug, or no treatment. Honey did best.
ACTION: Take one or two teaspoons of raw honey three times a day.
Consuming honey before, during and after exercise reduces fatigue. Studies suggest it also reduces the stress hormone cortisol during exercise.
In a study at the University of Memphis, 39 athletes ate protein, sugar, maltodextrin or honey.
Only honey maintained optimal blood glucose for two hours which would aid muscle recovery and glycogen restoration.
ACTION: Take one teaspoon three times a day, including the hour just before sleep.
The anti-inflammatories and antimicrobials in honey make it useful for tummy bugs. Its simple sugars make it easier to digest and aid growth of probiotic gut bacteria.
Researchers at the University of Natal, South Africa, treated 36 children with gastroenteritis.
Those given an oral rehydration solution containing honey recovered in 58 hours on average, those given oral rehydration solution containing sugar recovered in 93 hours.
ACTION: If unable to keep food down, drink at least three litres a day of oral rehydration solution made from b teaspoon of salt, b teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and two tablespoons of honey.