Honey: description, properties and benefits of a sweet elixir

Honey: what is it?

Natural honey is the product of the transformation, carried out by bees, of the secretions of flowers (nectar) and the excretions of some insects (honeydew); it is then stored in the cells of honeycombs (hives) or hives – depending on whether the bees are in the wild or in beekeeping.



The word honey seems to derive from the hittite melit, a neutral form to which the Latin word mel is linked, from which the figurative use of the term melle is also borrowed. People believe that sugar and honey are equally nutritious. Still, the latter has many virtues that are lacking in sugar.

Honey properties and benefits

One of the honey’s most important function is the antibactercal and antibiotical ones: many types of honey contain significant quantities of hydrogen peroxide, the same usually used to disinfect wounds. The high temperatures to which honey is subjected during pasteurization neutralize some beneficial substances: to obtain the maximum bactericidal effect, the ideal is raw, untreated honey.

In addition to stopping surface infections, honey alleviates the symptoms of gastric ulcers. Honey is also effective against constipation, since it contains large quantities of fructose, sugar capable of reaching the large intestine without having been digested. Fructose also confers a particular sweetening power and a prolonged energy effect because, while glucose is burned immediately, fructose has emollient properties thanks to which it remains “available” for the longer physical.

3 Interesting facts about honey

  • Zeus, mythological father of the gods and men, as a child obtained the first nourishment from the honey of Panacride, a bee that lived on the Ida, in the mountains that have the name of Panacri. Callimaco tells it in his hymns
  • Honey is one of the oldest natural foods in human memory; the first reports come from Spain, directly from prehistory; the rock painting depicting a man who collects honey clinging to a liana is in fact dated between 15,000 and 12,000 BC
  • Honey has a very long shelf life. A honey can remain edible for hundreds of years if stored in good condition (numerous honey jars found sealed in the holds of sunken ships at the time of the Romans demonstrate this)

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