Honey is an effective wound healer with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Throughout human existence, honey has been one of nature’s culinary wonders. But the value of this elixir hasn’t been strictly for the taste buds: Honey also has been valued for its healing properties, used to treat ailments of the internal organs and the skin. Hippocrates recommended using honey for optimal health, the ancient Egyptians used it as a salve to treat wounds and Cleopatra considered it part of her daily beauty routine (honey naturally attracts and retains moisture).
Scientists are rediscovering just how diverse honey’s healing properties really are. A natural “nutraceutical,” honey is an effective wound healer with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (see “Honey’s Health Benefits” on Page 50). Honey also functions as an antioxidant (darker-colored honeys usually are more potent), including one unique to honey called pinocembrin that’s an extremely concentrated antioxidant.
This natural bee byproduct contains a swarm of nutrients and enzymes. Its antimicrobial activity is believed to be mostly the result of an enzyme (glucose oxidase) that produces hydrogen peroxide. Certain honeys have even been shown to treat gingivitis and stop the growth of dental plaque.
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 11/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Honey, for topping scones
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and lemon verbena leaves.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, honey, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Pour liquid mixture in the well, and mix the center in with the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Coat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray or oil. With floured hands, pat dough into skillet. Score the top into 8 pie-shaped wedges.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with honey drizzled over the top.