Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees using nectar from flowers. Bees first convert the nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation, then store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Honey can then be harvested from the hives for human consumption.
Both raw and pasteurized forms of honey are available. Raw honey is removed from the hive and bottled directly, and as such will contain trace amounts of yeast, wax and pollen. Consuming local raw honey is believed to help with seasonal allergies due to repeated exposure to the pollen in the area. Pasteurized honey has been heated and processed to remove impurities.
This MNT Knowledge Center article includes a brief history of honey in traditional medicine and explains some of its potential health benefits.
The possible health benefits of consuming honey have been documented in early Greek, Roman, Vedic, and Islamic texts and the healing qualities of honey were referred to by philosophers and scientists all the way back to ancient times, such as Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) and Aristoxenus (320 BC).
Honey has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose and glucose, containing about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which gives it its sweet taste – minerals and water make up the rest of its composition.
Honey also possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In modern science, we have managed to find useful applications of honey in chronic wound management.