Honey was perhaps one of the very first foods consumed by our ancestors, used also as an early medicine. This golden substance has nourished humans and animals alike and continues to be a powerful nectar bringing life, health and enjoyment to many. Long called ‘the elixir of life’, honey was thought to be a magical substance and in Egypt was revered as the potion which enabled the priestesses to communicate with the divine.
In ancient times, the bee represented the divine feminine and the priestess was called the Melissae, meaning ‘queen bee. Honey would be mixed with lotus seed powder and other herbs and drank before ritual in order to invoke the highest blessing of the Great Mother. Honey was being cultivated in Egypt as long as 5000 years ago where the Egyptians sweetened their food with it, preserved fruit, used it as medicine, embalmed their dead and recognized it as a love potion. Honey was the “lord of offerings and celestial food — for it is sweet to the heart: it opens the flesh, knits together the bones, gathers together all the parts of the body, and the dead drink the smell of it.“
Egyptian pharaohs were entombed with pots of honey, still found fresh today by archaeologists, as honey – if kept in its raw form – will virtually keep forever. In the Bible, the ‘land of milk and honey’ was used to describe a place of fertility and abundance, as honey has long been associated with such qualities. Fermented honey drinks called Mead have long been created as a way to induce the intoxication of holy communion with the divine where one could remember their true nature.
Today honey is regularly used a sweetener, though often in a heated form, as well as being found in body care products. It seems that its medicinal properties have been largely over-looked, though information about honey and it’s many properties is widely available.
The problem with heating honey as is found in much if not all commercial honey today, is that it destroys the live enzymes present within it which make honey so valuable. In its raw state, honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, practically anti-everything. But when honey is heated, the properties which make it such a potent healer are destroyed leaving the sticky sweet substance to instead become a cesspool for bacterial growth. This is the reason honey has been labeled as ‘dangerous’ for children under the age of two, not because of raw, amazing honey – which is completely safe – but because of store available heated honey, dangerous to anyone really. If it doesn’t say ‘raw’ it likely isn’t.
What are honey’s uses?
Besides being a great source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B, C, iron, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium as well as an abundance of amino acids and natural enzymes, it’s also a source of natural hydrogen peroxide. Honey works as a natural immune booster, soothes burns, sore throats and coughs, reduces inflammation and is shown to naturally improve athletic performance. Honey supplies a boost of energy as well as increases bodily endurance while reducing muscle fatigue to boot!
Raw honey is amazing at helping to alleviate pollen allergies, especially when consuming the raw local honey of your particular area. Along with other bee products such as bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly, honey can be a powerful tool to control tumor growth and reduce the rates of cancer as honey is a wonderfully potent antioxidant.
Good for your skin, body and spirit, it is no wonder honey is called not only the nectar of life but the ‘elixir of life.’ Find yourself some local raw honey and see what kind of magic you can brew up today with honey in your personal apothecary.
Written by: Stasia Bliss