Food for the Gods.
The above were names used to refer to honey.
The production and usage of honey has a long history behind it, dating back to 2100 B.C. when it was first mentioned in writings of the ancient Babylonian, Sumerian and Hittite civilization. It was the first sweetener used by man.
It was highly valued and used as a form of currency by German peasants when they paid tribute to their feudal lords. Honey is highly favoured in the major religions and used in the religious practices of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and mentioned in the Bible and the Quran.
Usage of Honey
Honey has been used in the following:
- Food – The most common usage of honey would be as a form of sweetener in beverages, cooking, baking, and desserts.
- Fermentation – Mead (“honey wine”) is possibly the world’s oldest fermented beverage dating back 9,000 years. It is made by adding yeast to honey water, followed by weeks or months of fermentation.
- Medicine – Certain components of honey have antibacterial properties. It has been used as a dressing on wounds and mild burns, and also to soothe sore throats.
- Embalming of the dead – This was used by the ancient Egyptians.
Benefits of Pure Raw Honey
There are many different classifications that bottled honey can fall under. This depends entirely on the processing methods that the honey was subjected to.
NewLifeTM’s honey is pure raw honey, which means that the honey found in each container is obtained after extraction and straining without the addition of heat. This is the reason why our honey may contain some pollen and small particles of wax.
Unpasteurised and raw honey is a nutrient-rich, complete food. It is made up of at least 165 identifiable components that consist of amino acids, enzymes, minerals and vitamins. As the process of pasteurising destroys the enzymes and the nutrients in the honey, it is found that only unpasteurised, unprocessed and unheated raw honey provides all of the God-given health benefits.
Here are a few reasons why pure raw honey should play a very important role as part of our daily diet:
- Highly nutritious: Contains enzymes, vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, sulphur and phosphate.
- Rich in phytonutrients: Since honey is made by bees from plants, it contains phytonutrients which would disappear if the honey is heavily processed. Phytonutrients help in the maintenance of health because they provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Energy source: Honey is absorbed much slower than table sugar, thus stretching its available energy over a longer period of time and preventing the excessive swings of energy and fatigue associated with table sugar.
- Balances metabolism: Complex substances in honey contribute to metabolic balance in the body.
- Free radical scavenger: Antioxidants such as chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase and pinocembrin provide defence against free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and inflammation.
- Stronger bones: Honey contains a primary amino acid, praline, which is a major component of collagen, serves as the chief matrix of which bones are formed.
- Digestive aid: Raw honey contains enzymes that are present in digestive juices and aid in digestion.
- Healthy teeth: Honey contains inhibine, which hinders the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Healthy gastrointestinal tract: A new report by the University of Auckland further establishes raw honey as a prebiotic. According to the report: “Raw honey contains oligosaccharides that can be utilized by the saccharolytic fermenters to yield beneficial metabolites that promote the prebiotic effect.”
Sourcing the Right Honey
Obtaining your honey from a trusted source is paramount in order to enjoy high quality, nutritious honey while making sure you are getting your money’s worth. Over the past decade, global demand for honey has grown exponentially. The same can’t be said however for the global supply of honey. Bee farmers are finding it harder and harder each year to maintain their hives as demand grows.
Recent investigations have found that many honey manufacturers have been buffing their honey supply by adding fillers or synthetic syrups. This was well documented in the first episode of the Netflix series, Rotten.
As consumers, it is important to enjoy our honey from a reliable source, with as little processing as possible, in order to have the highest health benefits that honey can provide.
NewLifeTM’s Pure Raw Honey
NewLifeTM’s Pure Raw Honey is produced from hives located in the lush pastures and leather wood rainforests of New Zealand, in areas that are entirely free from insecticides and pesticides.
Why New Zealand’s Honey?
After China, New Zealand is the 2nd highest (in dollar value) exporter of honey globally. New Zealand produces between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of honey each year, depending on climatic conditions. Export earnings have exceeded $300 million and continues to grow.
Because of this, the collection, processing and supply of honey in New Zealand is strictly controlled by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA). The tight controls ensure New Zealand honey is free from pests and diseases.
Other Essential Bee Products for Your Daily Life
Let’s start with the most popular bee product: manuka honey. Manuka honey is a type of honey native to and only made in New Zealand. It is rare, and can only be made for a few weeks a year when the manuka plant is in bloom.
Every honey has some antibacterial qualities, which originates from the formation of hydrogen peroxide in the honey. However, this quickly disappears once ingested. What sets manuka honey apart from traditional honey is its antibacterial properties due to the presence of a major antibacterial component, Methylglyoxal (MG), which is naturally formed in the nectar of the manuka flower. This compound remains stable despite being subjected to body conditions, which is what makes manuka honey superior to other honeys1.
If you are having a sore throat, manuka honey may provide relief by reducing inflammation and attacking the harmful bacteria. A study2 has found that after the consumption of manuka honey, there was a significant decrease in Streptococcus mutans (a type of bacteria responsible for sore throats) among two groups of people – normal, healthy people and patients suffering from head and neck cancer. This means that manuka honey is beneficial for everyone!
The antibacterial properties of manuka honey help to fight common stomach disorders. More than 90% of people with ulcers and gastritis (a painful inflammation of the stomach lining) and 50% of dyspepsia (indigestion) sufferers are infected with a bacteria known as helicobacterpylori (or H. pylori). H. pylori infection is also a strong risk factor for stomach cancer3. The good news is that manuka honey fights the bug effectively and naturally, without the side effects which antibiotics produce.
Besides that, it also works effectively as a cough suppressant. Research has shown that a 2.5ml dose of manuka honey before sleep has a more alleviating effect on coughs induced by upper respiratory infections compared to drugs such as dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine, which are widely used to treat coughs4.
Since ancient days, manuka honey has been highly valued for its healing properties on wounds, burns, and skin ulcers. Multiple studies have shown that manuka honey can enhance wound healing, amplify the regeneration of tissue and even decrease pain in patients suffering from burns5. A study investigating the effects of applying a manuka honey dressing on 40 people with non-healing wounds resulted in 88% of the wounds decreasing in size because it created an acidic wound environment, which is crucial for wound healing6. Another study has found that manuka honey wound dressings effectively reduced healing time and disinfected diabetic wounds among diabetic patients7.
Other benefits of manuka honey:
- Promotes energy and healing
- Sugar substitute
- Promotes oral health
Another excellent bee product is bee pollen, a mixture of flower pollen, nectar, enzymes, honey, wax, and bee secretions. Bees collect pollen in their pollen basket and carry it back to the hive. An interesting fact to note is that only the worker honey bee is equipped to do this task. In the bee hive, pollen is used as an essential source of protein to raise the bee brood.
Bee pollen contains B-12, and a rich supply of minerals, trace elements, and enzymes and hormones which stimulate the sex glands.
Bee pollen also contains a wide range of antioxidants and protects your body from potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to your body and are linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and Type 2 diabetes8. Studies have shown that antioxidants from bee pollen reduce chronic inflammation, eliminate harmful bacteria, fight infections, and combat the growth and spread of tumours9.
Besides that, bee pollen could boost liver function and protect your liver from toxic substances. Did you know that the liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the body? Researchers found that in rats, bee pollen helps keep the liver healthy and can even help the healing process after liver damage10.
Several studies have proven that bee pollen has antibacterial properties. It was found that bee pollen kills potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as those that cause staph infections11.
A great news for women going through menopause: bee pollen also alleviates menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood changes, and sleep disturbances. Studies have found that more than 60% of women felt that their menopausal symptoms improved after consuming bee pollen12.
Other benefits of bee pollen include:
- Lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Aids wound healing
- Prevents infections
- Enhances absorption and utilization of nutrients
Moving on, bees also make a compound called propolis from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, they create a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives. In other words, bee propolis is the “glue” that keeps everything together. This “glue” is used by some species of honey bees that nest in tree cavities to seal cracks in the hive. Dwarf honey bees use propolis to defend against ants by coating the branch from which their nest is suspended to create a sticky moat.
Like most bee products, bee propolis also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for wound healing. A study has found that bee propolis helps speed up the growth of new, healthy cells for people who have had traumatic burns13. Another study found that a topical cream with bee propolis reduced the amount of herpes virus present in a person’s body and protected the body against future cold sore breakouts.
Bee propolis also has antioxidant properties. Researchers have identified more than 300 compounds in bee propolis, and majority of these compounds are forms of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight diseases and damages in the body14.
Bee propolis has also been suggested to have a role in treating cancer. A study has found that bee propolis helped to keep cancerous cells from multiplying and reduced the likelihood of the cells becoming cancerous15. Another study found that it caused the cancer cells to die by necrosis (the interruption of blood supply to cancer cells, causing local cancer cells to die but not healthy, living cells), which is different from chemotherapy that kills both healthy, living cells and cancerous cells16.
Other uses and effectiveness of bee propolis include:
- Canker sores
- Genital herpes
- Mouth sores and inflammation (oral mucositis)
NewLifeTM’s Propol-Plus contains 180mg of bee propolis and 20mg of bee pollen in every capsule, and offers health benefits to everyone in the family!