Honey is considered as elixir of life and Ayurveda counsels it for a large variety of ailments. It is used for taste, for nutrition or taken with ginger juice as in grandma’s recipe to cure cough and cold; or even applied to the skin for glow and other beauty purposes. The ancient healing science of Ayurveda acclaims honey to be a boon when taken in limited quantities. This is because whereas honey tastes sweet, but when it goes into the system, its results are of juice of bitter taste.
Ayurveda Recommends Honey
Honey finds great importance in Charaka Samhita, the original text of Ayurveda wherein it has been recognized to be having substantial medicinal properties. When honey is taken in its natural and raw form, without cooking, baking or heating the same, it is assumed to be one of most healing substances available in Nature. In Ayurveda, the use of this natural health product is enormous. It finds its acceptance due to its main effect that it enhances the properties of the medicine with which it is given.
It also helps in the easy absorption and assimilation of the same. It has been used for ages to cure ailments related to digestion and acidity, for weight reduction and even in reducing cholesterol. Interestingly, the normal belief that honey cannot be taken by patients suffering from diabetes is in fact a myth. Raw honey is believed to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial and also anti-fungal. It embodies in itself the natures balanced formulation of essential proteins, vitamins, sugar, enzymes, salt and antibiotics. It contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur and phosphate.
Precautions With Taking Honey
Today, many kinds of honey as well as honeyed preparations are available in the market. This needs to be taken into thoughtful consideration that although honey might be used with the understanding that it is better sweetener as compared to sugar. Yet, it is best to only buy raw honey ( that which is unheated and minimally processed). Also, one more thing needs to be always kept in mind. In case you add honey to tea or milk, it is important to take care that you wait for the liquid to become lukewarm or at the room temperature, before adding honey to the same. This is for the reason that heating honey, or taking it mixed in hot drinks, or even in hot climatic conditions, honey tends to become toxic.
Which Honey is Better?
It is not easy to be able to differentiate as to which is better and genuine. There are however some facts which will help you to choose and properly use the right type. According to Ayurvedic texts, its quality is considered according to the types of bees, which make it. Honey produced by the bee ’Apis Indica’ is regarded as the best out of the eight types of honey. It is robust, nutritious and unctuous in action.
To distinguish between pure and adulterated honey a simple tests may be performed easily.
Simply pour a little quantity of honey in a glass full of water. If the honey is artificial, it will immediately dissolve but the real will settle down gradually.
Another test of purity is to put some honey in a small cotton roll and heat it on fire. The pure honey will burn easily but the impure honey while burning will produce peculiar sound and sparks.
Take Honey With Care
There are a few precautions that should be kept in mind while consuming honey as specified in Ayurveda.
- Honey should never be heated because by doing so it becomes poisonous.
- Equal quantity of honey and ghee mixed together becomes toxic and causes harm to health.
- It should be avoided in very hot climates or with hot water.
- It should not be taken in large quantities for longer periods of time.
- Honey that is old is light in action and easy to digest. It helps in reducing weight. Whereas that which is fresh and new is good for emaciated people to gain weight and energy.
Panchakarma For Ama Detoxification
According to Ayurveda, when honey is heated and consumed, it results into producing toxicity or ama is very difficult to remove by simple detox methods. In this case, you would need to take up specialized Ayurvedic treatments of Panchakarma which provide thorough detoxification and cleansing of the entire body systems.
Multiple Benefits of Honey
Ayurveda conveys that honey can be used both for prevention of disease as well as for curing it. Overall honey is in itself a rejuvenation therapy which provides multiple benefits for all age groups.
For weight reduction: In a glassful of lukewarm water take one teaspoon of honey and one fourth lemon and take it daily, early morning.
For pain in throat: Try the gargles of honey added to decoction of the power of Aamla, Haritki and Baheda.
For Blemishes: Give a mild massage of honey mixed with rose water on the face.
For habitual constipation: Take regularly a teaspoonful of honey in lukewarm water on empty stomach. This help clears the bowels and also acts as a prophylactic against the problems of digestion.
For respiratory benefits: Honey taken with Sitopladi Churna will help extraction of phlegm due to its anti kapha action.
As a brain tonic: To the powder of the herbs Brahmi and Shankh Pushpi add honey and a few drops of Almond Oil. Regular intake will sharpen your mind.
For Children: Regular use of honey along with milk will help strengthen their system and increase immunity as it produces antibodies which fight against any infection. This is because of its specific antigenic properties.