Honey is a by-product of the flower nectar and the upper aero-digestive tract of the honey bee. It is widely used in Ayurvedic system of medicine.
Honey is commonly used as Anupan (carrier or vehicle) in Ayurveda that is given along with active medication to enhance the activity.
Ayurvedic Properties of Honey:
It has been described to have properties such as:
- Lekhana (Scraping)
- Shodhana (Purification)
- Ropana (Healing)
- Sandhana (Union)
- Tridoshghana (pacifying all the three doshas)
Honey as a Medicine in Ayurveda:
- For Healthy Lungs: Ayurveda considers honey as the foremost carrier substance for targeting the lungs.
- Coupled with warm and dry herbs, honey can be used to clear excess kapha in the lungs and soothe the respiratory tract.
- It helps in boosting the body’s immunity and strengthening the respiratory system by working as a shield for the body and protects it from various seasonal allergies.
- Even in the preparation of Chywanprash, honey is added only after it cools down.
- Wound Healing: Madhu (Honey) has Vranaropak (wound healing) property as per the Vrana (wound) management described in 60 Upakarmas in Sushrut Samhita.
- Madhur Rasa (Sweet taste) gives nutrition to the tissue, which helps in the formation of granulation tissue.
- The Kashaya rasa (Astringent taste) provides Lekhana (scraping) that prepares the wound for healing by desloughing.
- Due to its shodhana (purification) and sandhana (union) actions, honey is excellent in healing the wounds.
- Further, honey pacifies Pitta dosha by virtue of its Madhur Rasa (sweet taste) and sheet guna (cold potency/nature).
- The kapha dosha is also predominant during wound formation. The kapha dosha is also taken care of due to its Kashaya rasa (astringent taste) and Ruksha Guna (dry quality).
- Therefore, external application of honey on the wound is quite effective.
- Good for Digestive System: In general, sweet taste is cold, oily and heavy in nature.
- These sweeteners tend to increase Kapha dosha. Being cold and heavy, most sweets dampen the digestive fire as well when eaten at the end of meal.
- On the contrary, raw honey brings the rare quality of warmth.
- It can lighten other substances as well due to its astringent and dry qualities.
- It is the best choice for people who have Kapha constitution. Small amount of honey in a cup of spiced tea at the end of the meal makes the tea as a healthy tonic as it supports digestion.
- For Anaemia: Honey is a rich source of manganese, iron and copper therefore it is excellent for increasing red blood cells.
- Oral Health: Due to anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, it helps in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
- regular gargling with honey and water is quite beneficial in protecting against gingivitis.
Other uses of Honey:
- Honey taken with cold water is beneficial in insomnia.
- Honey mixed with the juice extract of neem or giloy is useful in jaundice.
- Honey mixed with barley water is used in indigestion and constipation.
- When it is applied externally with lime, it is useful in abdominal colic, bruises, headache and sprains.
- Honey is widely used in Ayurvedic eyedrops and eyewashes. Place a drop of honey in each eye and sit facing the sun with eyes closed. This helps in cleansing, nourishing and healing the eyes.
How to test Honey for purity?
Add a teaspoonful of honey to a glass of warm water. It will dissolve in water if it has been mixed with certain kinds of sugar syrup.
Precaution for Honey Consumption:
Improper intake of honey can cause Ama formation and nothing is so troublesome as Ama or indigestion caused due to improper intake of honey. It can cause instantaneous death like poison.
- As per Acharaya Charak, equal quantity of honey and ghee is incompatible so it should not be consumed.
- Mixing equal quantity of honey and sesame oil is incompatible.
- Honey should not be heated to above 40° C (104°F).
- Honey should not be mixed with hot foods.
- It should never be combined with fermented beverages, hot and spicy foods.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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