Honey has been used since ancient times both as a food and as a medicine. Apiculture, the practice of beekeeping to produce honey, dates back to at least 700 BC. Honey has incredible anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It has been touted as an immune builder, most likely due to its content of friendly bacteria in its raw form, a blood sugar stabilizer; its nearly 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose is much more tolerable to those with glucose intolerance; and an antioxidant. There have also been positive results with cancer patients using honey. Aloe vera is excellent for minor scrapes and burns, but for deeper lacerations it is suggested to use raw honey to “seal” the wound from the inside.
Like all health foods, the benefits of honey depends on the quality of the honey. Most major producers of honey processes it in a manner that removes most – if not all – of the beneficial aspects. Eating local honey, however, can introduce pollen from your area to your system in a milder way that your body can build a tolerance, reducing the effects of ‘allergy season’. There are many options to find local honey in Covington; Columbia Street Natural Food Market carries honey from right here in Covington, Marsolan’s carries local honey and sometimes comb honey (it has a honey comb in the jar!) and Sunshine Garden has a selection of local and organic honeys. At the Covington Farmers Market, Blood River Honey brings a “sample hive” from his hives at home, where you can watch the bees do their work! He offers raw honey, buckwheat honey, creamed honey and bee pollen.