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Bee Honey and its Therapeutic Application

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Honey has historically been used as food by cavemen. Bees were bred in ancient Egypt more than 6,000 years ago. Even then it was found that in addition to nutritional properties, honey also has valuable healing properties. In Egyptian papyrus from 3500 years ago, it is recommended for the treatment of kidney, liver and gastrointestinal diseases.

    According to the type of plants from which the nectar is collected, honey is:

– polyfloral (from different plants);

– monofloral (mainly from one type of plant).

   It has been established that honey accepts the nutritional and medicinal properties of the plants from which it is obtained.

    The chemical composition of honey is complex. Carbohydrates are its main component and make up about 95-99% of its dry matter. Proteins are contained in small quantities (0.3-0.5%), but are of great importance, especially for the body of children. The most common trace elements are: calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, chlorine, sulfur, iodine, manganese, silicon, aluminum, tellurium, cobalt and others. The following vitamins have been found in small amounts: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, C (ascorbic acid). The presence of flavonoids (0.1%) was found in honey, which affects the permeability of capillaries and their fragility. They have antispasmodic, coronary dilating, anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects. According to some authors, the antibiotics in honey are of plant origin (so-called phytoncides) and depend on the plant from which the honey is derived. According to other authors, the antibacterial activity of honey is due to the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in it.

    Once in the blood, honey sugars are an essential energy material for the muscles, heart and nervous system. It is known that when the blood sugar level drops, both mental and physical performance decreases. Carbohydrates increase the amount of glycogen in the liver and thus actively support the metabolic processes in it and its detoxifying function. Their complete combustion frees the kidneys from additional activity and thus protects them, improving their excretory function and facilitating the excretion of waste products.

  The vitamins contained in honey, although in small quantities, affect the metabolism and support the function of the endocrine glands. The essential and resinous substances in it have a mild stimulating effect, especially on the circulatory and nervous systems and tone the body.

The correct selection of the respective type of honey for a given disease also depends on the conducted medical treatment.

Diseases Type of honey

For the respiratory system Alpine, oregano, thyme, linden and others.

For gynecological patients / trichomonal colpitis / Meadow honey and field and forest flowers

For anemic patients and for prophylactic purposes Honey varieties rich in trace elements and vitamins, such as pine, manna and others.

In diseases associated with hypovitaminosis Honey varieties rich in vitamins: mint, pine, carrot, fruit and others.

For neurogenic and cardiovascular diseases varieties of honey with a higher content of essential oils – lavender, valerian, field, meadow and others.

For diabetics Honey varieties with more fructose and vitamins: sunflower, acacia, savory and others.

For diseases in which the antibacterial action of honey is relied upon, it is necessary to prescribe treatment with this type, which according to the bacteriological examination has the highest values. An individual plan should be prepared, including the type of honey and the method of application, dosage, treatment and diet and duration of treatment, and if necessary, a combination with medication or physiotherapy and naturopathy.

The conditions under which the honey is stored are also essential for the qualities of the honey: it must be protected from light and humidity, the room must be dry and ventilated, with a temperature below 10 ° С.

Medical treatment

   An important condition for the effective medical treatment is the acquisition of naturally suitable nectar honey, which is not heated, is not exposed to the sun or stored in warm and humid rooms. During the honey harvest, the bees should not be fed sugar or other syrups. Before starting medical treatment, we must take into account the contraindications in patients who are prohibited or restricted from consuming carbohydrates.

Consumption

   Bee honey is taken internally 100 g per day, divided into 3 or 5 doses; if the dose is greater than 200 g, it is considered inappropriate and harmful. The duration of treatment should be at least 3 months. In the course of treatment, side effects may occur, manifested by skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal reactions. They resolve quickly after stopping treatment. We do not recommend prescribing herbs or medicines in parallel with honey.

Bee products with nutritional and medicinal properties

    Bee products with nutritional and medicinal properties are:

1. Honey.

2. Bee pollen.

3. Royal jelly.

They contain all the nutrients necessary for humans: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Their biological value is due to the rich content of enzymes, amino acids, antibiotics, hormones and more. A large number of these substances are obtained by bees from medicinal plants. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which use the same plants as raw material, the medicinal substances in bee products are found in their natural form. Apart from treating some diseases, strengthening the body in general and increasing its resistance, bee products and especially honey are also suitable as a daily healthy food.

     Honey. Application method:

  1. The main way of using honey is its internal application. When the aim is to influence the processes in the upper respiratory tract, it is necessary to keep the honey in the mouth so that its antibiotic substances can come into contact with the oral mucosa for a longer time.

  Honey should be taken dissolved in warm milk, tea or in combination with propolis.

1 / When its antimicrobial properties are used in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (enteritis, colitis). It is recommended to take honey in the form of a thick aqueous solution.

2 / In case of open wounds. Honey to be placed on the wound – this leads to an influx of blood and lymph. It causes the release of copious secretions that clean the injured surface. To this effect of mechanical cleaning of the wound is added its antibacterial action, as well as the flavonoids contained in honey, which in turn enhance the regenerative abilities of cells. Honey has a beneficial effect on the wound process of the skin and mucous membranes, stimulating granulation and epithelialization. The treatment is carried out by smearing the wound with honey or taking baths with 30% aqueous solution of honey. Rapid cleansing of the wound from purulent secretion and subsequent epithelialization is achieved. The epithelializing and antibiotic action of honey is also used to treat inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity and vagina. Medication in the form of sucking a piece of candied honey or gum massage is used for periodontitis.

3 / Based on the antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, regenerative, immunostimulating and other effects of honey, it is indicated as a main or auxiliary agent in the treatment of the following diseases: gastrointestinal (gastric and duodenal ulcer, gastritis, colitis and constipation), respiratory (of the upper respiratory tract), cardiovascular (microcardiosclerosis, hypo- and hypertension, etc.), gynecological (cervical erosion, trichomonal inflammation of the vagina), etc. It is recommended in the diet of kidney and liver patients, in neuroses, as well as for the prevention of various diseases.

Numerous ingredients of honey support the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, normalize acidity, regulate fermentation processes, and its sugars are absorbed directly without irritating the gastric mucosa. The way honey is taken in gastric diseases affects stomach acidity.

   To be taken immediately before meals, dissolved in cold water, helps to increase gastric secretion and vice versa, taking it 1.30 – 2 hours before meals, dissolved in warm water or a decoction of herbs, reduces gastric secretion. Therefore, patients with gastric and duodenal ulcers should take honey 1.30 – 2 hours before eating.

Honey improves the peristalsis of the intestines and regulating their emptying has a beneficial effect on chronic constipation.

  Note: The only contraindication to the use of honey is a rare intolerance to it. In patients with sugar restriction (eg diabetics), the use of honey is a relative contraindication.

   Honey has a calming effect on the nervous system. It can be used as an aid in neuroses accompanied by insomnia. Then it is taken 3 hours after dinner.

  Honey is also used in cosmetics in the form of copper creams or masks that soften the skin, preventing inflammatory processes on it, as well as the appearance of wrinkles.

    Bee pollen and pollen therapy. Application method:

    Bee pollen is a direct product of pollen. The largest amount of pollen bees collect in April, May and June, when it is needed to raise the larvae. Fresh pollen contains 25-30% water and is easily spoiled if not dried in time. Bee pollen is rich in essential amino acids for the human body, which are many times superior to the amino acids contained in beef, eggs and cheese.

  Bee pollen is also used in conditions of mental and physical fatigue, the result of various diseases, overload, exhaustion (age and neurotic). It has a good effect in the absence of appetite in children, slow growth and delayed eruption of teeth. Based on its nutritional, constructive and antianemic effect, bee pollen is used in the treatment of anemia and diseases accompanied by anemia. It is also included in the complex therapy of cardiovascular diseases, in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, in liver diseases (it has hepatoprotective and hepatoregenerative action), menopausal disorders and others.

   Decreased levels of serum lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides and free fatty acids have been reported in patients with hyperlipidemia following bee pollen intake. In patients with cerebral atherosclerosis, subjective improvement is achieved – reduction of headaches, improved sleep, memory and general well-being. Due to the high content of rutin, pollen therapy is also recommended as a prevention of cerebral hemorrhage. For the same reason it is used for hematuria, melena, metrorrhagia and others.

   It is believed that bee pollen is completely harmless to the body. Its use does not lead to side effects and overdose. However, its composition is not balanced in relation to the needs of the human body and therefore it is not appropriate to take in doses greater than 50-100 g per day.

   It should be borne in mind that proteins and other macromolecular compounds may be carriers of antigens with allergenic properties.

   Contraindications to treatment with bee pollen are allergy to it and severe damage to the renal parenchyma.

If there are no other sources of essential amino acids in the diet, pollen could provide the body with the minimum need for them through the average dose of 15 g per day.

   Pollen has a high nutritional value – it can not compete with any other natural product. In addition, it has healing properties due to the large amount of enzymes, vitamins, antibiotics, trace elements, flavonoids and more. Due to the significant content of vitamins, amino acids and others. bee pollen has a tonic and general stimulating effect on the body.

To prevent mold, pollen should be stored in tightly closed containers and in a dry place.

     Royal jelly:

   Fresh royal jelly has the appearance of a thick whitish mass, similar to cream with a specific smell and sour taste. The special composition of royal jelly is due to its high nutritional and biological value. It contains all the essential substances needed to build a living organism: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, a rich spectrum of vitamins, minerals, as well as other biologically active substances, some of which are still insufficiently studied. Royal jelly is especially rich in protein, the content of which varies from 13 to 30%. For comparison – women’s milk contains 1.7% and cow’s milk – 3.5% protein. It proves 22 essential and non-essential amino acids. The presence of gamma – globulin, which helps to increase the body’s resistance to bacteria, viruses and toxins.

  The content of lipids in royal jelly is 5.46% (women’s milk contains 3.5 – 4.4%, and cow – 3.5%), and carbohydrates 12.7% (women’s milk contains 7.0%, and the cow – 4.7%)

   Of the vitamins in the largest amount are B vitamins and in smaller amounts of vitamin C, A, D and E. Of the trace elements contained in royal jelly, of interest are iron, manganese, zinc and cobalt as substances necessary for hematopoiesis. Medium and small doses of royal jelly enhance the building processes, accelerating metabolism, and high (500 – 1000 mg) slow them down.

   Royal jelly has a pronounced antimicrobial effect. Its antiviral effect against the influenza virus has been proven, as well as its antifungal action. The intake of royal jelly leads to a general rise in the vital forces of the body. Physical and mental tone improve. Metabolic processes, tissue nutrition, etc. increase, which speaks of a general stimulating effect. These properties make it suitable for use in anorexia, accompanying chronic diseases, reducing the body’s defenses, menopausal disorders, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, chronic constipation, neuroses, especially accompanied by insomnia, liver disease and others. It is also recommended for atherosclerosis, hyper- and hypotension, endarteritis and atherosclerosis of the vessels of the lower extremities, angina and conditions after a myocardial infarction, bronchial asthma, impaired lactation, joint diseases of inflammatory nature, seborrhea and others. Royal jelly has been shown to lower blood sugar in patients with diabetes. A similar effect is observed in healthy people. On the other hand, it has been found to increase the ability of skeletal muscle to absorb larger amounts of glucose.

Contraindications to treatment with royal jelly: are allergy to it, Addison’s disease (hypocorticism), acute infectious diseases and neoplastic processes. Occasionally there are digestive disorders – abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, which disappear when the dose is reduced or treatment is stopped.

     Medical treatment includes a very modern way of treatment: massage with honey for 2 hours – for cellulite and obesity.

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Petar Gramatikov

Dr. Petar Gramatikov is the Editor in Chief and Director of The European Times. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Reporters. Dr. Gramatikov has more than 20 years of Academic experience in different institutions for higher education in Bulgaria. He also examined lectures, related to theoretical problems involved in the application of international law in religious law where a special focus has been given to the legal framework of New Religious Movements, freedom of religion and self-determination, and State-Church relations for plural-ethnic states. In addition to his professional and academic experience, Dr. Gramatikov has more than 10 years Media experience where he hold a positions as Editor of a tourism quarterly periodical “Club Orpheus” magazine – “ORPHEUS CLUB Wellness” PLC, Plovdiv; Consultant and author of religious lectures for the specialized rubric for deaf people at the Bulgarian National Television and has been Accredited as a journalist from “Help the Needy” Public Newspaper at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

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