Honey As Medicine

There was a good article in the New York Times today about longevity, which featured the people living on a small Island in Greece:

The Island Where People Forget to Die

Honey is mentioned as one of the old folks’ daily staples. On page three a local physician is quoted:

Honey, too, is treated as a panacea. “They have types of honey here you won’t see anyplace else in the world,” he said. “They use it for everything from treating wounds to curing hangovers, or for treating influenza. Old people here will start their day with a spoonful of honey. They take it like medicine.”

I’ve read about this sort of thing in the book “Robbing The Bees” by Holley Bishop, and from a friend who says her grandmother would “take her honey” every day. I do the same thing, but I started just because it was fun to surprise my senses with a different honey from my collection in the morning. It also feels good – it gives me some energy to start the morning routine.

More recently when I was sick I found that certain honeys immediately helped my sore throat: Linden Tree Honey from France, Manuka Honey from New Zealand (the expensive “active” kind”), or Buckwheat Honey from Washington State. I would let the honey slowly melt in my mouth and put my head back to let it coat my throat. After that I would not drink any more water and went straight to bed. Of the three, I felt that Linden worked the best.