How many times were you told as a kid to eat your cereals with honey because it is good for your health and that “all strong kids eat honey”? Or were you given an afternoon snack of toasted bread with butter and honey?
And we bet you loved it – or didn’t you?
Of course you did. Which kid can resist the sweet taste of honey, the slippery fingers that you used to lick full of honey (before your mother stopped you doing it as unhygenic) and the aftertaste of caramel?
Last week we were discussing all things honey and we were told by old wives that honey has medicinal properties and can be used for treating burns and cuts to even fungus.
Well, the average reader may be skeptical when first hearing this and primarily because many such “natural” alternative medicine are not really backed by any scientific research., but they have developed from hundreds or thousands of years and then pass from one generation to the other.
Well, we did some research on honey, because as you know, we are very open to what we can find.
The results may shock you.
Honey in general does have medicinal properties backed by very serious research centers.
Turns out that from ancient Greece to current underdeveloped countries, honey has been a sought-after healing agent to treat a wide range of afflictions. In ancient Greece, around 350BC, Hippocrates, the “world’s first most known doctor” recommended the use of several different types of honey to treat different ailments. During that time, there was no mass production of honey, so whatever people were getting were organic raw honey and nothing else.
The medicinal properties of honey are caused mainly because it is hygroscopic, which means that has the capability of absorbing water from the environment. But what does this mean and why should you care?
Well, because of this effect it provides almost no water for microbes to grow and use. It also has a low pH value, making an environment that is usually too acidic for most microbes.
So we decided to search more and focus on what we consider to be the best of honeys, which is organic pine honey.
Why do we consider organic pine honey to be the best?
Well, pine honey a forest honey produced by bees that collect honeydew instead of flower nectar. As simple as it may sound, honeydew is chemically different from the regular blossom honey that you buy in your typical supermarket. It is usually darker with a higher mineral content, and has a stronger taste and particular nutritional/therapeutic benefits.
How is it different from the normal runny flower honey:
Pine honey has a nearly red-brown color and a malty, spicy aroma. Its flavor is woody and reminds of caramel. One important fact is that it is rich in minerals and does not crystallize quickly, which means, that compared to normal flower honeys you do not need to heat it to bring to normal.
So, looking for more info on the subject we found out that according to research recently published in the Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, which compared 18 honey varieties, both floral and forest honeys, they found that Greek organic pine honey had the strongest anti-bacterial properties among all tested honeys. It was found to exert antibacterial effects against E. coli, S. marcescens, B. sphaericus, S. epidermidis, and B. subtilis.
However, not all honey is created equal. The best pine honey is produced in low volume quantities from beekeepers that care about their quality. In Greece, in the small island of Thasos, the pine honey that the beekepers produce, is one of the best we have ever tasted.
The honey-bearing liquid of the pine tree and the flowers of the arbutus, myrtle, wicker, and chestnut trees are a rich source of food for the local bees, who collect the nectar and other natural juices and liquids from the flowers.