For thousands of years cultures around the world have used and consumed honey, as both a food and as medication. The sticky amber liquid is a by-product of flower nectar and the upper aero-digestive tract of the honey bee and is known to have numerous health benefits.
Islamically, honey is described as a healer of disease both in the Qur’an and Hadith. In Sahih Bukhari, we read that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qur’an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur’an and honey.”
Honey is a proven topical antibiotic that can help fight different types of bacteria and fungi. It is also believed to help heal wounds and burns faster. When consumed, honey reduces the risk of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, which causes inflammation, acid reflux, and heartburn.
Honey is also recognised as a treatment for relieving colds and coughs. Additionally, it is an ideal substitute for sugar as it has a lower glycaemic index than sugar, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels the way sugar does.
Other uses for honey include treating hiccups, stomach ulcers, vomiting, weakness, diarrhoea and jaundice. The physical properties of honey contribute to its usefulness and effectiveness. Honey is made up of glucose, fructose, and minerals, such as iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium.
The slightly acidic pH level of honey is what helps prevent the growth of bacteria, while its antioxidant elements clean up free radicals that are linked to diseases. However, the physical properties of honey vary depending on the specific flora used in its production, as well as its water content.
Honey is not recommended for infants under a year old. As it may contain botulinum endospores that cause infant botulism in very young children.