Based on drawings by
cavemen who gathered it, honey might well be the oldest food,
and cosmetic. It has had a. place in
every century. It was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform
Egyptians believed it was
longevity, health, power and purity. In fact, it was part of
regimen. Used as a means of payment and as food for sacred animals, it
placed in tombs of the pharaohs in sealed jars. Known for its
quality and the ability to draw out moisture, it was also used in the
process to prevent decomposition and as a surgical dressing.
Through the ages, honey
important symbolically as well as materially. Often preferred to gold
payment method, German peasants were required to pay feudal lords with
and beeswax. In many ancient cultures, honey was poured over
and bolts of sacred buildings as a means of protection and
an alcoholic drink made with honey, was considered the nectar of the
the Greeks. The Chinese covered smallpox blemishes with honey to speed
and prevent scarring.
As early as the 13th
century, the combination of honey and vinegar was valued for its
ability, long before Dr. Jarvis wrote his book seventeen centuries
later. The Conquistadors discovered that
and Central Americans were already beekeepers.
Introduced to the European honeybee by
early settlers, American
colonists developed many resourceful applications for this wonderful
substance—in food and beverage preparations to preserve fruit and to
cement, furniture polish, varnish, cosmetics, and medicine.
Honey—which can be
fruit, a single herb, flowers or mixed sources—is used in many
preparations, particularly to target colds and coughs.
A natural humectant (an ingredient added
retain moisture), it’s also a good choice for many cosmetics. Although an excellent and powerful
sweetener, the amount of honey should be cut if used as a substitute
In some instances, substitution may not be appropriate, as a change in
or consistency can occur.
Honey contains a variety
and minerals, depending on the richness of the soil in which the
bloomed. The more pollen in honey, the higher the vitamin C content. It
already been predigested by bees; therefore our gastrointestinal tracts
have to do the work. Some of honey's benefits:
- Easily and quickly
- Natural and gentle
- Sedative, sleep inducer
- Non-irritating to the
- Cough reliever
- Remedy for insect bites,
- Arthritis and heart
- Remedy for stuffy nose
and hay fever
In using honey, let's
give credit to
the tireless bees that have been producing this wonderful substance for
150 million years. They must travel about 55,000 miles and visit nearly
million flowers to make a pound of honey. Remarkably, during one
trip, a bee may visit 50 to 100 flowers!
The Co-op carries honey
in bulk and
in a wide variety of food, cosmetic and medicinal preparations.
Honey should be stored at
If it crystallizes, it can be placed in a container in boiling water
for a few
minutes or microwaved until the honey just liquefies. Boiling destroys
natural enzymes, so heat should be sparingly applied. Honey is easy to
use as a
cosmetic. Applied to the face until tacky and left on for 10 minutes,
skin smooth and soft. Added to bath water (about 1/4 cup to a tubful of
it makes skin silky.
Check the box inside
for some other ideas for homemade