Honey – a true super-substance, made by buzzing, busy superheroes. It was already consumed as a sweetener during the Stone Age and humans continued to discover more and more of its healing properties over the years. Thanks to science, we now know exactly what is in this liquid gold; in addition to vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, there is even more to discover in this locally produced miracle.
We have listed the five most important healing effects of honey and we tell you what you should look for when buying honey – because honey is not ‘just honey’.
# 1 Antibacterial and Antiseptic
Honey has an antibacterial and antiseptic effect – like a mild disinfectant: an enzyme present in honey constantly creates small amounts of hydrogen peroxide – an effective antiseptic – from sugar. It has also been proven that honey eliminates wound bacteria, against which antibiotics often do not work or work more slowly. By releasing oxygen, honey activates the body’s own proteins, which take over the digestion of dead tissue. This accelerates wound healing.
# 2 Anti-inflammatory
Honey helps against swelling, increased temperature and local pain: for example, in the throat. But be careful: if honey is heated too much, e.g. in very hot tea, it loses its anti-inflammatory effect. So, take it unheated for maximum effect.
# 3 Against cough
Studies have shown that honey works just as well, or sometimes even better, than common cough medicines. Attention: children under one year of age should not be given honey, because a rare syndrome called infant botulism could possibly be triggered.
# 4 antioxidants
Honey also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work against free radicals, which – to put it simply – can radically damage our cells through a series of chain reactions. Only an antioxidant can interrupt these chain reactions and prevent cell damage.
# 5 Against allergies
Hear, hear, you troubled hay fever children; there are still traces of pollen in raw and only slightly filtered honey (more on this under point 6). It is thus assumed that regular consumption of raw honey will build up immunity to pollen – helping banish hay fever!
# 6 What to look out for when buying honey
Whenever possible, buy regional honey. Even better, try to buy directly from a beekeeper who fills honey straight from centrifuged honeycombs and relatively unfiltered into the glass jar. A closer look at the label also helps clarify potential questions: industrially produced honey can usually be recognized by the label “From EU and non-EU countries” and is far less desirable.
Honey is wonderful to consume pure, on fresh, buttered bread or in (lukewarm) tea. In the case of wounds/burns, apply directly to the wound. As a face mask, either mix two tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons of lukewarm water or add some quark.
Inspired? Then do something good for our bees. For example, plant lavender, zinnia, fan flower, snowflake flower, vanilla flower or white sage on your balcony or garden after the three Saints’ Days in mid-May, or sprinkle a mixture of wildflower seeds. If you like herbs, you should definitely plant lemon balm, sage, thyme and mountain savory in your herb garden, because bees are very fond of them!
Give honey and health
Our inspiring “Spring Greetings” gift Kit comes with a Swiss bee honey from Zurich, guaranteed local production and with all the benefits honey can bring. Also included in the kit:
- ‘Seedbombs’, for balcony or garden – flowers sure to attract bees
- Delicate almonds covered in Swiss chocolate and cornflower petals
- Our AYA vegetable and fruit seasonal calendar, so that you can always see what’s in season, making your food tastier and more sustainable!