Make a beeline for one of nature’s tastiest foods derived from herbs.
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.
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