Honey: More than a sweet story

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Here are a few things you might not know about honey. As a food, it is not only durable, but virtually indestructible. A jar of the stuff was found in one of the Egyptian pyramids some 2,500 years after it was placed there. It was still recognizable as honey.

I’ve used it as a sweetener and as a source of quick energy for years, but didn’t know of its medicinal value until recently. I get occasional cold sores in my mouth. They usually linger for days. Someone told me to apply a little honey to the spot, and within hours,the sore began to heal.

Apparently, honey is hypertonic, which means it draws all the water from bacteria, causing it to die. Plus, when bees make honey, they excrete an enzyme into it which breaks down and creates hydrogen peroxide, a mild household antibiotic.

People report hay fever and other allergies vanish after adding honey to their diets. The reason? Honey contains the same pollens that cause the allergies in the first place, and works as an antihistamine.

It’s best to buy raw, local honey, however. If it comes from somewhere else, it doesn’t contain your area pollens. And if it is heated or pasteurized, all the good stuff has been removed, reducing it to little more than sugar.

Add apple cider vinegar to honey and more magic happens. Mix it with hot water and drink it as a treatment for gout and for arthritis. Doctors are still sorting out exactly why this works.

The ancient Egyptians knew all of this, of course. In fact, more than 500 Egyptian medical treatments from the days of the Pharaohs were linked to honey.

And now we know.

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