The Birds and The Bees (and Honey)

2 birds and bees

Little known fact: I (Dr. Lydia) am a bit of a bird watcher.  I carry binoculars in my car at all times so I don’t miss an opportunity.  I have 3 different bird identification books.  I can identify about 40 different bird songs.

But that’s all I have to say about the birds right now.

The stars of the show today are the bees and the lovely little products that they make.  Most people know about honey.  Honey is a fabulous natural sweetener with a variety of tastes, colors, and consistencies based on where the honey is found and what its main components are.  I’ve even bought a honey that is solid at room temperature and spreads wonderfully on toast.  Raw honeycomb is a delicious treat.  But the yummy aspect of honey isn’t even the best part.  Below are some of the health benefits of honey and other bee products.

Honey: used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes and science is now confirming the suspected benefits.  Honey contains at least 181 separate compounds, four of which have been proven to have antibacterial qualities.  In some areas of the world, honey is still used to treat burns, wounds, and skin infections.  Honey can reduce healing time and inhibit scar formation.

Propolis: a substance used by bees to seal the exterior portion of their hives.  Propolis is made from the sap of trees.  It contains almost 300 compounds, including resveratrol, which has been shown to be anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and helpful in controlling blood sugar.  Studies have also shown that propolis has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial qualities.

Royal jelly: the food that is made for and eaten by the queen bee.  The queen bee grows larger and lives longer than any other bee in the hive, so she must be eating something right. Studies have shown that royal jelly can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

High quality honey and other bee products can be found in most health food stores and local farmers markets.  For maximum benefit, pick a honey that is local and raw.


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