Ayurveda is not only a herbal medicine science, but it tells about lifestyle too.Honey has extra ordinary importance in Ayurveda. Let's see Ayurvedic approach for honey.
Modern science says “honey is one of the natural glucose. But Ayurveda explains honey as multipurpose medicine. The properties of honey vary as per following factors –
1 - Species of honey bees
2 - Season of collection
3 - Continent
Types of honey –
Ayurveda explains 8 types of honey which is according to honey bee species. Also properties of honey change according to number of flowering plants in the forest / area. For example Nim honey, Jamun honey, etc.
How to identify pure honey?
There are varies tests for this. 1)A good quality honey is thick, transparent, reddish yellow in color & sweet but with slightly sore test. 2)A good quality honey dissolves quickly in water. 3)Burn honey socked cotton. If it is pure, it will burn without voice.
How to purify honey?
Take raw honey in a steel pot. Keep this pot in another pot containing boiling water. When honey gets melted, allow it to cool. Then filter with a clean cotton piece.
Properties of honey –
Honey is sweet & slightly sore by test. It is “tridosh shamk” ( balancing of body constitution ). But it is “ Pitta praopak “ ( increases hot property of body ). According to Ayurveda honey is “yogvahi” (enhances properties of medicine with which it is mixed). It reduces poisonous effects of food & medicine. Fresh honey is a good tonic & laxative. Old honey reduces fat.
2 to 15 grams per day ( approx. 1/4 th to 3tea spoon). More quantity consumption can increase hot part of body constitution ( Pitta ).
General instructions while using honey –
Don’t use honey collected from jungle where poisonous plants are in huge number. Avoid taking honey with hot milk or spicy food. Don’t consume directly heated honey. Don’t use honey in same quantity with water or ghee. People with hot body constitution should use less quantity of honey.
Medicinal uses –
External application - Honey is best medicine for all wounds. Apply paste of honey mixed with ghee & turmeric. For many eye problems, honey drops can be used mixed with rose water. Honey is useful in many skin problems too.
Internal application –
For all ayurvedic medicines, honey is used to increase their effect. Esepcially in cough, cold & asthma, it is very effective. For weight loss, old honey can be useful.
Uses of wax –
During purification process, wax is separated. It is used externally for foot cracks, dry skin & other skin problems.
Thus honey is used in very large quantity as food & medicine. Be cautious about the quality of honey.
Important message –
Honey bees take uncountable efforts for human beings to make honey available. They also play an important role in pollination. So save honey bees. They are our real friends. Use proper technique to collect honey without killing honey bees. Take care of nature.
Above content is based on Ayurvedic concepts & experience of Author.