How Sweet is Honey

by Swami Sivananda

Honey is a first-class food and tonic

It is very easily digested and assimilated and a most nutritious natural food. It will strengthen a weak heart, a weak brain and a weak stomach. Honey is the product of the nectar of flowers. It is a mistake to say that honey is gathered by bees from flowers. Bees are nature’s sweet makers. They manufacture sweets better, finer and healthier than any sweetmeat maker—with all his skill, dexterity, ingenuity and many ingredients—can ever make.

Green plants manufacture sugar for their own use. This is carried with the cell sap to the different parts of the plant either for direct assimilation or future use. All the flowering plants concentrate a quick supply of food at the base or the bottom part of their flowers to help the proper growth of the ovaries. The excess solution is thrown out at the base of the flowers. This solution of the cell sap with sugar is known as ‘nectar’. This nectar is changed into honey in their mouths by the honey bee. Every hive imparts a new flavour because in every hive the nectar is drawn from different flowers and plants.

Honey contains all the mineral elements found in the human body

It contains 80 per cent nutriment in a most assimilable form. It contains the sugars levulose and dextrose, formic acid, iron and various accessory components. Because it contains enzymes which disintegrate or break up complex foods into substances that can be easily digested and absorbed, honey does not require digestion at all. It is ready for absorption into the blood without any change and goes into the blood stream directly. It should form part of your diet. A teaspoonful of honey per day will keep the stomach in order.

Honey is a heart stimulant

It is useful in cases of malnutrition, and should be give for general physical repair. Honey kills bacteria and thus enables the body to overcome diseases. Disease germs cannot grow in honey. Honey is useful in bronchial catarrh, sore throat, coughs and colds. It also acts as a laxative. As soon as a child is born (in India) its tongue is smeared with honey. This is the first food that a child takes.

Honey can be taken with milk, cream or butter

It is a restorative after serious illness. It invigorates, energises and vitalises the system and improves health. It is more stimulating than alcohol. Honey is a diffusible stimulant. If you take a tablespoonful of honey in hot water when you are tired or exhausted by over-exertion it will brace you up immediately. You will become strong and active again. (if the honey is bitter do not take it). Soak ten almonds in water at night. Remove the skin in the morning. Take them with one or two tablespoonfuls of honey. This is a potent brain tonic.