The history of honey in ancient Ayurvedic medicine

The history of honey in ancient Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurvedic medicine, or Ayurveda, is an ancient system of healing that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. It’s the oldest whole body, or holistic, healing system in the world and utilises a blend of dietary elements, herbal treatments and yogic breathing. 

Ayurveda translates into “science of life” and is based on the theory of ourselves consisting of four parts – the soul, the mind, the senses and the body. Also, that our whole being includes our internal environment as well as our external environment including the changing seasons and planetary changes of the earth, the sun and the moon. 

The principles of Ayurveda have remained relatively unchanged for millennia and this ancient medicine is now seen as an alternative or complimentary medicine that can fit happily alongside more conventional medical treatments. 

Honey and Ayurveda

Honey has been enjoyed for as long as Ayurvedic practices have been about. Used as an indulgent sweetener, our ancient forebears also used honey in their healthcare for everything from soothing an upset stomach to treating infected wounds and burns. 

The principles of Ayurveda say that carbohydrate based foods provide the greatest amount of energy (something that we now know to be true, since carbohydrates are complex molecules made from simpler molecules of sugar, and when broken down during digestion, carbohydrates ae turned into sugars, which provide fuel, or energy).

Honey and digestion 

According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, honey helps to support those with a ‘weak digestion’. When mixed with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm water and taken first thing in the morning, it can help to remedy constipation and indigestion by allowing the bowels to open regularly. Which is something else we know to be true, and is often recommended as the best way to start the day. 

Honey and irritating coughs

Ayurvedic ancient texts also state that honey can help to treat irritating, dry coughs by soothing inflamed mucous membranes in the upper respiratory tract that lead to dry, tickly coughs. 

In much more recent times, NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, who oversee healthcare in the UK, now recommend active healing honey as a first line treatment for coughs. So that’s something else that our ancient ancestors got right, thousands of years ago! 

Honey and skin healing

Active, healing honey makes an effective skin healing, soothing face mask for skin conditions such as acne, eczema or psoriasis due to its antimicrobial properties. It’s also now used in modern medicine to help treat wounds and burns

Ayurvedic practitioners have used honey as a skin preparation and wound healer for centuries, again proving that modern medicine is finally catching up with ancient medicine. 

Other medicinal uses for honey

According to Ayurveda, active healing honey, such as Necta & Hive high TA 100% unpasteurised Jarrah and Red Gum honey, can be used to help prevent insomnia, support good oral and cardiac health, soothe the discomfort of conjunctivitis and maintain good energy levels and stamina as we age. 

Is there nothing honey can’t do? We don’t think so! 

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