Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage mead, which is also known as "honey wine" or "honey beer" (although it is neither wine nor beer). Historically, the ferment for mead was honey's naturally-occurring yeast. Honey is also used as an adjunct in beer.
Its Glycimic index ranges from 31 to 78, depending on the variety
Honey is a mixture of sugars and other compounds. With respect to carbohydrates, honey is mainly fructose (about 38.5%) and glucose (about 31.0%), making it similar to the synthetically produced inverted sugar syrup which is approximately 48% fructose, 47% glucose, and 5% sucrose. Honey's remaining carbohydrates include maltose, sucrose, and other complex carbohydrates. Honey contains trace amounts of several vitamins and minerals. As with all nutritive sweeteners, honey is mostly sugars and is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals. Honey also contains tiny amounts of several compounds thought to function as antioxidants, including chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase, and pinocembrin. The specific composition of any batch of honey depends on the flowers available to the bees that produced the honey.
Wound gels that contain antibacterial raw honey and have regulatory approval for wound care are now available to help conventional medicine in the battle against drug resistant strains of bacteria MRSA. As an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments. One New Zealand researcher says a particular type of honey may be useful in treating MRSA infections. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity.
Because of the natural presence of botulinum endospores in honey, children under one year of age should not be given honey. The more developed digestive systems of older children and adults generally destroy the spores. Infants, however, can contract botulism from honey.
Infantile botulism shows geographical variation. In the UK there have only been six cases reported between 1976 and 2006 yet the USA show much higher rates 1.9 per 100,000 live births, 47.2% of which are in California. Although honey has been implicated as a risk factor for infection it is household dust that is the major source of spores. Therefore the risk honey poses to infant health is small, if uncertain.
Honey produced from the flowers of rhododendrons, mountain laurels, sheep laurel, and azaleas may cause honey intoxication. Symptoms include dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and vomiting. Less commonly, low blood pressure, shock, heart rhythm irregularities, and convulsions may occur, with rare cases resulting in death. Honey intoxication is more likely when using "natural" unprocessed honey and honey from farmers who may have a small number of hives. Commercial processing, with pooling of honey from numerous sources generally dilutes any toxins.
Toxic honey may also result when bees are in close proximity to tutu bushes (Coriaria arborea) and the vine hopper insect (Scolypopa australis). Both are found throughout New Zealand. Bees gather honeydew produced by the vine hopper insects feeding on the tutu plant. This introduces the poison tutin into honey. Only a few areas in New Zealand (Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern Bay of Plenty and the Marlborough Sound) frequently produce toxic honey. Symptoms of tutin poisoning include vomiting, delirium, giddiness, increased excitability, stupor, coma, and violent convulsions. In order to reduce the risk of tutin poisoning, humans should not eat honey taken from feral hives in the risk areas of New Zealand. Since December 2001, New Zealand beekeepers have been required to reduce the risk of producing toxic honey by closely monitoring tutu, vine hopper, and foraging conditions within 3 km of their apiary
WebMD reported that time trials at the Mayo clinic show that a little honey (about a tsp) helps keep arteries free of inflammation. That reduces the risk of heart attach and stroke. One of the rewards from obeying God is a land flowing with milk and honey. Scripture also says too much honey will make you sick. Like everything else, honey should be used in moderation. I have one tsp of honey each day with breakfast and it does not make my blood sugar go up. I use honey in tea and coffee as a sweetener - it's good.
The main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, as a spread on breads, and as an addition to various beverages such as tea and as a sweetener in some commercial beverages. According to international food regulations, "honey stipulates a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance...this includes, but is not limited to, water or other sweeteners".
further reading at:
More about Azaleas a news letter "Happy DIY Home" by Jean Stark
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by Frances M. McCrory-Meservy