The Buzz About Honey
Honey is made mostly of water and sugar
If you don’t count the water, it’s 95% to 99% sugar. It’s mostly fructose and glucose, but it also has some probiotic sugars that can help you maintain a healthy mix of bacteria in your gut. And most kinds of honey have vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help with digestion.
Natural-made honey is bee vomit
You may not want to think about this as you squeeze the natural sweetener into your cup of tea. Bees collect all that yummy flower nectar and keep in it a special second stomach only to throw it up and pass it to another bee who does the same thing. Finally, it’s put in an area of the beehive called the honeycomb. The bees flap their wings to cool it, and that makes water evaporate, which helps it thicken.
Bees may need to visit 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey
The 60,000 bees in a hive may fly as many as 55,000 miles in search of the right blossoms. The kind of flower determines the color and flavor of the honey. There are more than 300 different kinds in the U.S., like buckwheat, clover, and orange blossom.
Honey does not help your body fight pollen allergies
Honey has small amounts of pollen. So the theory goes that eating it can teach your body not to react to it. But that doesn’t hold up. It may be because flower pollen — the kind most often in honey — doesn’t typically trigger allergies. The usual suspects are trees, grass, and weeds.
Children younger than a year old shouldn’t have honey because it could cause an infection
It’s pretty rare, but wild honey can have a kind of “sleeping” bacteria (botulism). A baby can’t digest honey quickly, and the bacteria can wake up and make a dangerous toxin in his intestine. Constipation is the first sign of infant botulism. Other symptoms include weakness and trouble sucking or feeding. Don’t give your child honey, even a tiny bit, until he’s at least 1 year old.
Honey may help your toddler’s cough
Your grandmother may have been onto something. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against giving over-the-counter cough syrup or cold medicines to children under 6. But honey might be a good option for kids older than 1. Studies show that 1 1/2 teaspoon before bedtime may help you all get a better night’s sleep.
Honey can help heal a wound if you put it directly on the wound
The ancient Greeks and Romans used honey to dress wounds, and so did the Russians and Germans in World War I. It seems to help prevent infection as well.
Honey is good for pink eye, diarrhea, athlete’s foot
It also can help with chest pain, fatigue, and vertigo. Honey’s full of antioxidants that eat up all the “free radicals” that can damage your cells, and it’s an anti-inflammatory.