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Therapeutic uses of Honey in Ayurveda

The FAO Codex Alimentarius Commission defines honey as `the natural
sweet substance produced by honeybees from the nectar of flowers or
from secretions coming from living organisms feeding on plants, that
bees gather, transform and combine with specific ingredients, store
and leave to ripen in the combs of the hive.'

In Ayurveda honey is called as "Madhu". Its qualities are explained
as follows.

"Vaatalam guru sheetam cha raktapittakaphapaham |
Sandhatru cchedanam ruksham kashayam madhuram madhu ||"

"It has sweetness (madhura rasa) with added astringent as end taste
(Kashaya anu rasa). It is heavy (guru guna), dry (ruksha) and cold
(sheeta). Its effect on doshas is as follows It aggravates vata,
scrapes kapha and normalizes pitta and rakta. It promotes healing

The contents of Honey are
1. Sugars like fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, lactose and
other disaccharides and trisaccharides.
2. Proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids,
3. Volatile aromatic substances.
4. Ashes and water etc.

Various ingredients of honey have helped it to become not only a
sweet liquid but also a natural product with high nutritional and
medicinal value.

The medicinal quality, taste, texture, color, aroma of honey differs
according to the geographical area and the species of plants from
which it has been collected.

Types of Honey:

Eight types of honey are described in ayurveda depending on the type
of bee which collects it. They are Pouttika ,Bhramara .Kshoudra,
Makshika , Chatra , Arghya ,Oudalaka ,Dala .

Pouttika - This honey is collected by very large bees from the
nectar of poisonous flowers. It increases vata, causes gout and
burning sensation in chest.It is also sedative and reduces fat.

Bhramara - This honey is collected by large bees and Sticky in

Kshoudra - (Honey collected by medium sized honey bees ) light and
cold in nature. Dissolves Kapha.

Makshika - (Honey collected by small honey bees) very light and dry
natured. Usefull in VataKapha diseases and kapha diseases

Chatra - Heavy and cold in nature usefull in gout, Leucoderma

Arghya - Good for eyes but causes arthritis .

Oudalaka - Useful in skin diseases, and helps in modulation of

Dala - Dry and reduces vomiting.

Amongst all the above "Makshika" is considered as the best type with
immense medicinal properties.

Therapeutic uses of Honey:
1. As it contains sugars which are quickly absorbed by our
digestive system and converted into energy, this can be used as
instant energizer.
2. As it is hygroscopic it speeds up healing, growth of healing
tissue and dries it up.
3. Honey acts as a sedative and is very usefull in bed wetting
4. Honey is very good antioxident which restores the damaged
skin and gives soft, young looks.
5. Honey has antibacterial properties due to its acidic nature
and enzymically produced hydrogen peroxide.
6. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles
to fight bacteria and viral diseases.

In Ashtanga Hridaya the great classic of ayurveda, the therapeutic
uses of honey are explained as follows.

"Chakshushayam Chedi tritshleshmavishahidmaasrapittanut |
Mehakushtakrimicchardishwaasakaasaatisaarajit ||
Vranashodhana sandhaanaropanam vaatalam madhu ||"

• Honey is very good for eyes and eye sight.
• It quenches thirst.
• Dissolves kapha.
• Reduces effects of poison.
• Stops hiccups.
• It is very useful in urinary tract disorders, worm
infestations, bronchial asthma, cough, diarrhea and nausea -vomiting.
• Cleanse the wounds.
• It heals wounds.
• Helps in quick healing of deep wounds.
• Initiates growth of healthy granulation tissue.
• Honey which is newly collected from bee hive increases body
weight and is a mild laxative.
• Honey which is stored and is old helps in metabolism of fat
and scrapes Kapha.

Ayurveda explains another special quality of honey. Honey is called
as "Yogavahi" . The substance which has a quality of penetrating the
deepest tissue is called as Yogavahi. When honey is used with other
herbal preparations it enhances the medicinal qualities of those
preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

Precautions to be taken before using honey:
• Honey should not be mixed with hot foods.
• Honey should not be heated.
• Honey should not be consumed when you are working in hot
environment where you are exposed to more heat.
• Honey should never be mixed with rain water, hot and spicy
foods, and Fermented beverages like whisky, rum, brandy etc, Ghee
and mustard.
• Honey includes nectar of various flowers of which some may
be poisonous. Poison has hot or Ushna qualities. When honey is mixed
with hot and spicy foods the poisonous properties get enhanced and
cause imbalance of doshas.

Few Home remedies with Honey
• Mix 2 tea spoon of honey with carrot juice and consume
regularly. This helps to improve eyesight and is very helpful for
those who sit before computer for long hours.
• In cold, cough and congested chest mix 2 tea spoons of honey
with equal quantity of ginger juice and should be consumed
• A mixture of black pepper powder, honey and ginger juice in
equal quantities, when consumed thrice daily help to relieve the
symptoms of asthma.
• Regular use of one tea spoon of garlic juice mixed with two
tea spoons of honey help to control blood pressure.
• One glass of warm water taken with two tea spoons of honey
and 1 tea spoon of lemon juice in early morning reduces fat and
purifies blood.

Consuming one spoon of honey daily help us to lead a healthy long

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