Honey has been prized since Biblical times as a valuable remedy and a pleasant food; while the Israelites spent forty long years in the desert, they were constantly comforted with promises of a land “flowing with milk and honey”. The benefits of honey are substantial, and enhance beauty as well as health. Many have agreed and have been willing to delve into hives of hundreds of angry bees in order to get a the stuff!
It is a paradox that one of the benefits of honey is that is can actually prevent annual allergy flare-ups, or at least reduce their intensity; usually allergy sufferers complain about pollen in the air and honey is made from pollen. That is exactly how it works; if allergy suffers consume honey made from local plants, they will less sensitive to the pollen.
Other benefits of honey include soothing of ulcers, easing of stomach aches and prevention of fatigue. Many athletes use honey as a pre-game food since it is high in glucose and fructose. It is well known that the benefits of honey extend to preserving a youthful look and tightening pores. Even those with sensitive skin can enjoy a skin mask made of olive oil and honey. Grandmothers are aware of the benefits of honey in soothing the symptoms of a cold or a sore throat, and honey has a nearly miraculous effect on stubborn wounds that will not seem to close. Honey also has an antibacterial effect, so there is no concern about spreading it on open skin.
Studies have shown that honey raises the antioxidant levels in the body; antioxidants are essential for eliminating free radicals that cause cells to decay. A study at the University of California (Davis) has shown that people who ate 4 tablespoons of buckwheat honey a day (raw, not added to food or tea) experienced heightened antioxidant levels in their blood. The dark, buckwheat honey seems to have more antioxidants that the lighter honey, and organic honey is even better.