In my last blog I described the ‘side-effect’ phobia. Today I am taking just one substance that has great medicinal properties and tell you how these side effects occur through common mistakes people make in using even such great substance…HONEY!
Honey has a very important place in the Hindu culture especially religious culture…making of the tasty and ‘body-beneficial’ ‘Panchamruta’ and even the myriad religious ceremonies and is available in every household by default.
Honey per say, is the extract of flowers collected and accumulated by bees and therefore a plethora of varieties of honey are available in the market categorised on the basis of flowers & bees. Ayurved describes 8 different types of honey…
These are:
‘Bhraamar’, ‘Shudra’, ‘Poutik’, ‘Chhatr’, ‘Arghya’, ‘Daal’, ‘Audaalak’, and ‘Maakshik’. Out of these ‘Maakshik’ is considered to be the best. Ayurved details the characteristics of honey quite deeply…
Recently collected honey is considered as immature and leads to ‘Kapha Dosha’ and leads to weight gain as against this the year-old or even older honey greatly reduces the ‘Kapha Dosha’ and helps in weight reduction!
My patients and students always ask me as to how to recognise the old honey and I tell them to follow a simple trick by a bottle of honey label it with the date of purchase and keep it aside for a year!
But then if someone who uses a fairly fresh honey for weight loss treatment by mistake or unknowingly, the result will be disastrously opposite! And that’s why older is better!!
Honey is described as sweet and a little sharp in taste and is ‘Ushna-Ruksh’ in characteristic and is highly useful in treating ‘Tridoshas’. Being an excellent catalyst many medicines are prescribed to be taken with honey. Honey is excellent in skin complexion treatments as well as for eyes.
It is also recommended in treating wounds.
Ayurved also describes how to identify the best honey…
If dropped in water Honey settles at the bottom, dripped over fabric, it slides down without sticking to it, burns like oil. It is also noticed that a dog never sniffs honey, funny but true! In the present era, honey can be tested in a lab for its characteristics.
Ayurved describes many uses of this multi dimensional honey , both externally as well as internally in treating various medical conditions .
Here are some of its external application:
1. old honey is applied on wounds for quick healing
2. In beauty treatments honey is used along with other herbal ingredients
3. applied on mouth ulcers honey quickly heals them
4. if honey is mixed with Turmeric powder, & water for gargling it gives quick relief in treating cold and cough
5. Honey is also extremely good for eyesight
Here are some greats benefits of honey if taken internally:
 In cough related treatments honey is used as medium
 A mixture of ‘Pimpli’ and honey works as a great relief for cough
 Triphala churna and honey mixed together is good for the health of eyes
 in Asthmatic conditions honey mixed with ginger juice is very effective
 for weight loss one should drink 1 cup water mixed with honey
However, honey needs to be used extremely carefully (ideally as may be prescribed by a medical
practitioner)for treating any medical conditions. Here are some broad guidelines for using honey:
1. Honey should never be heated
2. while making a mixture of ghee (clarified butter) & honey both these ingredients should
never be in equal proportions. Same goes when you are preparing ‘Panchamruta’.
3. Honey should be sparsely used during summer
4. People with acidity problems should take special care while taking honey and that in in
limited quantities
5. Using honey as sweetener is fine but I have seen many people adding honey to hot milk.
Similarly, using heated honey over salads as dressing is absolutely wrong!
Now, if used correctly, isn’t honey the sweetest thing to happen in our lives..?