Raw Quality Honey as Holistic Medicine

In this piece, i will first look at honey from the Evolution lens. (Section A). Then follow with its role on the human micro biome. (Section B) Concluding with health benefits. (Section C) that fit not only the superfood category, but also as holistic medicine (Section C).

Introduction

Honey is a sweet food made by bees taking nectar from flowers. There are different types of honey, but the most common kind comes from the genus Apis, which are honeybees. Honeybees convert the nectar to honey by a regurgitation process and evaporation [R].

Ethics Considerations

Well cared, not exhausted their production, leaving enough for colony…colony collapse mb…pesticide etc.

The Sacred “Code of Life” has been entrusted to Humans. This Code is the result of  billions of years of biological encoded information that is contained within a double helix called DNA and which is present in all of our cells. This Code can be expressed either for War or for Peace, for Disdain or for Compassion, for Mal-being (Diseases), or for Wellbeing, for Evolutionary Progress or for Extinction. Holistic Sentient Beings choose to activate  the Genes of Happiness, Evolutionary Progress and Joie de Vivre from which ensue Bio-Diversity, Homeostasis, Abundance and the Kingdom of God’s Consciousness.

Section A

In this perspective,  humans, who are hosts to microbes (1) have been eating honey for millions of years, this medicine may have been a crucial dietary and medical determinant in our evolutionary trajectory.

 

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Abstract

It has been suggested that honey may have been an important food source for early members of the genus Homo, yet the importance of meat and savanna plant foods continue to be stressed as the most relevant foods in dietary reconstructions. Here, the importance of honey and bee larvae in hominin diets is explored. Ethnographic reports, examples of Paleolithic rock art, and evidence from non-human primates are used to show that early hominins likely targeted beehives using the Oldowan tool kit. The consumption of honey and bee larvae likely provided significant amounts of energy, supplementing meat and plant foods. The ability to find and exploit beehives using stone tools may have been an innovation that allowed early Homo to nutritionally out-compete other species and may have provided critical energy to fuel the enlarging hominin brain.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07409710.2011.630618

She researched the literature. She found references to cave art drawings of honey extraction from tens of thousands of years ago. Honey’s been a big deal to people for a long time. There are also plenty of other primates — chimpanzees, baboons, etc. — who eat honey, too.

Crittenden also knew that human brains got much bigger a couple million years ago, right around the same time people started using complicated tools. Big brains are great. They’re what makes us people. But they’re also expensive. They require lots of energy to maintain. “What happened 2 million years ago that all of a sudden, we starting seeing these things coincide?” Crittenden said.

There had to be a fairly substantial change in diet. The theory, in general, has always gone like this: The new tools those big brains allowed people to create were used to hunt meat, which gives lots of energy, protein and fat, all of which is good for a big brain. “Most of the debate has focused on meat versus plant foods,” There’s ample fossil evidence to back this up. But honey, which leaves no fossilized evidence behind, was a big deal too.

Honey is energy dense, after all. And in the wild, the stuff is packed with bee larvae, which is full of fat and protein.

It appears that the human sweet tooth has a long history in human evolution. New research proposes that honey may have been important in human evolution. Upper Paleolithic (8,000 – 40,000 years ago) rock art from all around the world depicts images of early humans collecting honey. The images range from figures climbing ladders to access hives residing high in trees to figures smoking out hives filled with honeycomb. Honey and bee larvae are important foods consumed by many populations of hunters and gatherers worldwide. Foragers in Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Africa include honey and bee larvae as major components of their diet. The Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, the population with whom I work, even list honey as their number one preferred food item!”

Microbial Continuun via Bees

So, while our ancestors may have consumed honey, what does it have to do with our microbial identity?

Honey actually contains a range of beneficial microbes contributed by bees and the plants they forage, including lactic-acid producing bacteria (Lactobacilli), and when eaten raw, may contribute health-promoting strains to our bodies. These bacteria have been identified as indispensable to the immunity of the individuals and the hive as a whole, as well as in affecting the behavior (Source) of the different types of bees that inhabit these complex colonies. Considering the possibility of our ancient co-evolutionary relationship with honey, is it possible that our own immune systems and microbial populations share dependency on honey-based microbes?

There is no doubt that in a day and age where the previously timeless and unbroken chain of microbial custody between vaginally birthed and exclusively breastfed offspring has been profoundly disrupted, our inner microbial terrain has become completely ravaged. Add to this the daily barrage of food-like but synthetic dietary inputs, along with a battery of antimicrobial toxicants unleashed by the industrial revolution and now festering in the post-industrial chemical soup we are all now immersed in, the intimate link between the human and microbial sides of the holobiont’s multiplicitous identity has all but become irreparably severed. Could honey help heal these wounds? Could eating ancestral foods infused with equally ancient symbiotic bacteria help us recover, and “travel back” in biological time to a far more stable state of health? Could these bacteria and their metabolic byproducts provide epigenetically meaningful information to regulate the expression of our own genome? Could this also explain why honey has been identified to have at least 100 health benefits?  

An Age Old Relationship

A fascinating study published in PLoS in 2012 might help answer this question. Titled, “Symbionts as major modulators of insect health: lactic acid bacteria and honeybees“, it characterized the diverse and ancient lactic acid bacteria populations of microbiota within the honey crop of honeybees and related species. Amazingly, they discovered species from the Lactobacillus and

Bifobacterium genera in these bees that suggest a 80,000,000 year or older history of association. This means that honeybees and their honey may contain bacteria that humans may have maintained contact with and ingested throughout the entire course of their evolution as foragers of honey, which would also include our pre-human predecessors. 

Within the confines of their bodies, these insects may have provided an environment for these ancient symbiotic bacteria to survive intact for millions of years, enabling animals (like humans) to periodically replenish their microbiomes through consuming bee products like honey infused with them.

Since food is not just “fuel” or “building blocks” for the body, but informational, containing “epigenetic inheritance systems” as real and valid to the expression of our DNA as the primary nucleotide sequences in our genome, this discovery has profound implications.

A Holistic Evolutionary Food

Just like the Queen honey bigger and longer with different food, yet same genes…expression.

For those whose microbial heritage has been decimated and/or supplanted with genetically altered (via recombinant or chemical induction) food stuffs, eating real, wild-harvested raw honey might re-infuse the body with information and microbes that not only have important health-promoting but are indispensable for the informational integrity of our species identity.

This is, of course, not limited to honey. Technically, everything we eat (or do not eat) will affect the trajectory of our health, both individually, and as a species. (2)

These old-growth microbial communities, perhaps a byproduct of millions of years of coevolution, are capable of contributing a wide range of biotransformed soil metabolites for the plant’s nutritional needs, as well as infusing the edible plants themselves with strains of bacteria, fungi, and even viruses, important to our own health.

The American herbalist Paul Schulick once aptly named the interstitial layer of microbial communities within the soil and our gut a “life bridge.” This bridge can be visualized both “spatially” as a physiological bridge which connects our bodies via microbes directly to the Earth, forming an inseparable whole (the holobiont), and temporally, by bridging the gap between the present and the ancient past.

It is a biological fact that the distant past is embedded within the present. No one could have described this more aptly and tangibly than Thich Nhat Han when he said:

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

 

Symbionts as Major Modulators of Insect Health: Lactic Acid Bacteria and Honeybees

•Published: March 12, 2012

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033188

12 Jul 2012: Vásquez A, Forsgren E, Fries I, Paxton RJ, Flaberg E, et al. (2012) ?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?Correction: Symbionts as Major Modulators of Insect Health: Lactic Acid Bacteria and Honeybees. PLOS ONE 7(7): 10.1371/annotation/3ac2b867-c013-4504-9e06-bebf3fa039d1. https://doi.org/10.1371/annotation/3ac2b867-c013-4504-9e06-bebf3fa039d1 View correction

Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033188

References

(1).  the hologenome theory of evolution states that we are a “ olobiont,” a host whose fate is and always was inseparably bound to all its symbiotic microbes.

(2). For example, the present agricultural system carpet-bombs monocultured land with biocides often destroying the profound microbial biodiversity vital to gene-regulatory information and proxy physiological capabilities, i.e. the production of enzymes and anti-microbial factors that our genome itself does not possess.  This is why seeming “superstitious” farming practices such as taking wild-soil (from old growth systems) and using it as inoculant in newer farming land may be so effective at producing vitally nourishing food. T

(3).  Darwin, C. (1859), The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, John Murray, p. 490

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033188

Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal values for centuries. The Bible itself quotes “Eat Thou Honey because it is Good.” Read this post to know the incredible things honey can do in our lives! The Lectin Avoidance Cookbook contains great recipes with honey and many more that make being healthy incredibly easy and delicious!.
honey

 

 

 

Beneficial Aspects of Honey

1) Honey as an Antimicrobial

In rats, infected skin wounds treated daily with honey for 7 days had a better outcome than saltwater treatments.

After 7 days, the bacteria culture showed that honey was effective in the management of infected skin wounds by significantly inhibiting bacterial growth and having a positive influence on wound repair [R1].

When the concentrations of honey were increased, the antibacterial effects against Staph bacteria and E.Coli were enhanced [R2].

Various kinds of honey show antimicrobial effects against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as multidrug-resistant strains [R10].

Melaleuca honey is capable of inhibiting MRSA [R11].

A literature review found that honey is a great antimicrobial because of its high viscosity that provides a barrier to prevent infections. The antimicrobial property comes from the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide [R31].

2) Honey and Wound Healing

Honey was more effective as a wound dressing than silver as measured by the number of days the wound needed to heal [R3].

In patients with diabetic foot ulcers, honey was able to reduce the rate of amputation.

172 patients with non-healing diabetic foot ulcers received a thick layer of honey on their wound. Wounds became healthy within 7-35 days. Of those 172 patients, only 3 had to get their big toe amputated and 2 had below the knee amputations. This study concluded that when using honey in chronic diabetic foot ulcers, the rate of amputation greatly decreases [R8].

Skin grafts are used to cover burn injuries and honey has been shown to increase the adherence of skin grafts to wound beds. In a clinical trial, 30 patients used honey as their graft and 30 used regular dressing or suturing.

The patients treated with honey reported a significantly reduced infection rate on day 5 and had reduced pain. They also had a shorter mean hospital stay. This study concluded that medical honey can be used for the fixation of a split thickness skin graft [R9].

In rats, honey (combined with milk and aloe vera) induced cell proliferation which increased the wound closure rate, blood vessel count and the collagen fiber density [R12].

Honey works, in part, by increasing TNF-α, IL1bIl-6 on wounds [R1].

3) Honey and Diabetes

In pancreatic hamster cells, pretreating the cells with gelam honey and quercetin reduced the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. There was also an increase in the phosphorylated Akt, which showed the protective effects against insulin resistance and inflammation, contributing factors to type 2 diabetes.

This study concluded that the use of gelam honey and quercetin may help regulate the inflammation-induced insulin signaling pathways [R4].

In rats, honey increased HDL cholesterol and reduced high blood sugar, triglycerides, VLDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular risk index [R5].

Chrysin is a flavonoid found in honey that also benefits diabetic rats [R6].

In rats, honey produced a hypoglycemic effect and showed a positive change in beta cells [R7].

4) Honey as an Antioxidant

In healthy humans, buckwheat honey increased the plasma antioxidants and protected them from oxidative stress. The substitution of honey in some foods instead of sweeteners could result in an enhanced antioxidant defense system [R13].

5) Honey and Cardiovascular Effects

A traditional herbal medicine containing honey, Rehmannia glutinosa var. purpurae, Lycium chinense (goji), Aquillaria agallocha, Poria cocos, and Panax ginseng (KOK) has been used to improve blood circulation and showed a significant protective effect against thrombosis attack. The study concluded that KOK has remarkable antiplatelet and anti-thrombotic effects with a lower side effect of bleeding [R16].

Rats treated with honey had protective effects on heart attacks [R17].

6) Honey and Ulcers

In rats, manuka honey exhibited antiulcer effects [R18].

In patients with diabetic foot ulcers, a regular saline dressing was compared to the effect of Beri-honey-impregnated dressings. 136 wounds out of 179 were completely healed when used with honey compared to the 97 out of 169 that healed with saline dressings. The mean healing time for honey was 18 days compared to the 29 days for the saline dressings. The study concluded that honey is an effective dressing [R19].

7) Honey as an Antifungal

In women with vaginal candidiasis, honey is similar to clotrimazole cream and is even better at relieving some symptoms than the cream. It was concluded that honey (and yogurt) can be used as an herbal remedy for this treatment [R22].

Substituting sugars with honey in processed food can inhibit the harmful and genotoxic effects of mycotoxins, and improve the gut microflora. Honey increased colon bifido bacteria and lactobacilli counts the mice [R].

8) Honey as a Probiotic and Anti-toxin

Honey enhances the probiotic bacteria, which leads to beneficial effects such as detoxification. The study recommended using honey instead of sugar in processed foods to prevent fungi growth and other toxins [R26].

9) Use of Honey as a Cosmetic

In a review on honey, it was found that honey has use in rejuvenating the skin as well as slowing down the formation of wrinkles. It also helps make hair smooth and regulates the pH while also preventing pathogen infections [R27].

Another article cited honey to be used as a face wash and facial cleansing scrub for pimples and dry skin [R28].

10) Honey as an Anti-Inflammatory

In rats, Honey significantly reduced arthritis. This study concluded that honey has anti-inflammatory effects and can be used to treat acute conditions [R29].

11) Honey and Mucositis

Honey can help oral mucositis.  A study was done on 28 patients in which 14 were given honey to rub on and the other half got water. Out of the patients who had honey, only 1 developed grade III oral mucositis compared to 9 patients with water treatment [R20].

In a systematic review, it was found that honey significantly benefited patients with mucositis [R21].

12) Honey and Otorhinolaryngology

For acute coughs for children, it was found that the use of honey is better than no treatment, diphenhydramine (benadryl) and placebo for relief. Honey is not better than dextromethorphan though and there is no strong evidence either for or against the use of honey to treat acute cough [R23].

Another study found that a teaspoon or two of honey can help suppress a cough [R24].

Honey can be used as an additional treatment for mucositis, childhood cough, persistent post-infectious cough and after tonsillectomy [R25].

Patients with allergic rhinitis received honey as well as loratadine as a treatment plan. Half the patients received a placebo instead of the honey. After 8 weeks it was determined that honey was effective in relieving allergic rhinitissymptoms. The study concluded that honey could be used as a complementary therapy for allergic rhinitis [R30].

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