The Benefits of Honey and Honey Bees
Apitherapy is the therapeutic use of honey bee hive products such as honey, royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, pollen, and venom. It is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, expectorant, cancer-preventing, relaxing, sedative and has no or minimal side effects (allergies and other negative reactions of the body are possible mainly in the case of overdose).
No other single natural substance is more beneficial than honey as an earthly food and medicine and a divine healer. As a drink for energy it is quickly absorbed; it is the least harmful sweetener. Honey is one of the most useful and valuable natural remedies. In Ancient Greece, honey was used for its remarkable anti-bacterial, anti-viral and wound-healing properties.
Recently “Australian scientists have discovered that honey is a powerful natural medicine capable of killing almost all types of bacteria, including drug-resistant superbugs that threaten the lives of hospital patients around the world. The miracle sweet liquid is Manuka or jelly bush honey and is made only by bees collecting pollen and nectar from trees in Australia and New Zealand.”
Other research is finding that “…an extract of propolis (also called Bee Glue) was found to inhibit PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells.” (Chemical Constituents of Propolis from Myanmar and Their Preferential Cytotoxicity Against a Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line. J. Nat. Prod, July 2, 2009
Honey can improve our skin and immune system, lower heart disease risk, help us to calm down, as well as give us a plenty of positive energy. In Ayurveda honey is called as “Madhu and is used to treat bed wetting disorders.
Honey contains many nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, sodium, potassium, iodine, sulfur, manganese and chlorine, Vitamins E, D, C, K, Vitamin A and betacarotene, B-group Vitamins, folic acid, caffeic acid and other organic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, hydrogen peroxide and many others. It has only 25-30 calories so the property of honey to be converted easily into energy causes no extra fat storage!
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania, studied the effects of honey as a cough suppressant also reported about the excellant properties of honey as a sleep stimulator. Small doses of honey can be used by diabetes patients as a safe natural sweetener. In addition the abundance of antioxidants contained in honey make this food a source of beauty, youth and vigor.
History of Sacred Bee Medicine
In Ibn Qayyim’s The Prophet’s Book of Medicine (13th – 14 Century) the following is said about honey: It whitens the teeth and keeps the gums healthy; it cleanses the stomach, breaks up mucus, opens the pours is good for the hair, benefits the kidneys, prostate, liver, chest, veins intestines, digestion, circulation and more. It stimulates digestion, gives energy and clears the eyes. It preserves meat for 3 months, and vegetables for up to 6 months. It is known as the true preserver. It makes bitter medicines palatable, it is good for the flu and hepatitis, it eases PMS and warms the stomach.
Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, wrote, “Honey and pollen cause warmth, clean sores and ulcers, soften hard ulcers of lips, heal carbuncles and running sores.”
Many American Indian tribes used honey and other bee by-products that were readily available and widely used. Long before European settlers brought honey bee “Apis Mellifera,” to America in the seventeenth century, the early Maya and Aztec Indians kept bees and collected honey from the wild bees, of which there are more than 3,500 species in North America.
“Make hives in the mountain and in the trees and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colours, in which there is healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.” — The Koran – Chapters 16.68/69
Ancient Ayurvedic medicine texts state that honey speeds up healing, strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases; is very good for eyes and eye sight; reduces effects of poison; is very useful in urinary tract disorders, worm infestations, bronchial asthma, cough, diarrhea and nausea, vomiting. And it enhances the medicinal qualities when used with other herbal preparations. Honey should not be heated.
Traditional Bee Wisdom
Throughout history in many cultures a mystical relationship to honeybees can be found. In Egypt bees were the tears of Ra, the sun god, and the giver of life and resurrection. King Menes’ wife was named after the bee-goddess, Neit. The oldest recognized temple in Egypt, at Sais in the Nile delta, was named “Hwt-bit”, ‘Castle of the Bee.’ In India bees are used symbolically in association with the deity as Krishna who has a blue bee in the middle of his forehead. Shiva is represented as a triangle surmounted by a bee and Kama the god of love, has a bow-string of bees.
Bee medicine in Cherokee is wadulisi nvwati means hard work, community and communication. When Bee Medicine grabs your attention it is reminding you to work within your community or family and to do your part. The bee is a hard-worker and each bee is dependent on the next to support the entire hive community. The bee is mostly concerned with the needs of her intricate hive family. The bee community runs easily and effortlessly due to the perfected communication between all of its members by way of the “waggle dance” or “dance language.” The bee will communicate what she has found in the flowering plants to other bees in order to recruit worker bees of the hive to forage in the same area. The Bee’s message is about communication, working hard and doing your part to aid the community in which you are a part and enjoying the fruits of your labor . . . Nectar!
In the Ancient Mediterranean world the Great Mother was known as the Queen Bee or the Bee Priestesses, and her priestesses were called Melissae, in Greek or the Deborah in Hebrew. They served the Bee Goddesses: Aphrodite, Artemis, Cybele, Demeter, Persephone, Neith, and later the Virgin Mary. Many of the bee priestesses functioned as oracles, a highly valued and honored position. They are also associated with the frame drum. In Australia and Africa bees are found as tribal totems. Kung Bushmen believe bees are carriers of supernatural power.
In Celtic areas bees are thought to possess a secret wisdom garnered from the otherworld. In Imperial France bees were a regal symbol, and Napoleon wore robes decorated with honeybees.
Coming Soon: More Sacred Bee Wisdom on: Bee pollen, bee venom therapy, royal jelly and propolis, one of the oldest and successful medicines of the world!