How Sweet it Is

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Honey Not Only Tastes Good, It?s the Bee?s Knees for Health Benefits
Honey?s medicinal properties have been touted for years.  In fact, we?re talking thousands of years, because references have been documented in early Greek, Roman, Vedic and Islamic texts from such highly regarded authorities as Aristotle and Aristoxenus.  Some experts also believe that the health benefits of consuming honey date as far back as the early days of Egyptian tombs.
 
Regardless of when honey came into vogue, medical studies and anecdotal experiences suggest that its healing properties are here to stay. In addition to naturally sweetening our hot teas and iced beverages, honey is a nutritional powerhouse of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids ? valuable nutrients that help support optimal body functions.  And because it can be stored indefinitely if it has no contact with air or water, honey is the ideal addition to any pantry or medicine cabinet.
 
Blow away allergies and colds.
 
When the temperatures dip and seasonal allergies and colds are on the rise, honey?s anti-inflammatory and cough-soothing properties can be just what the doctor ordered.  According to the World Health Organization, honey ? especially with lemon ? helps to relieve throat and mouth inflammation, which makes it well suited for upper respiratory tract infections.  And since ingesting pollen-containing honey can help your body build up a natural immunity, resulting in less histamine production, honey can also promote a less overall allergic response.
 
Go for the burn (and wounds and scrapes).
 
According to authorities such as Dr. Sergey Kalitenko, a holistic doctor with two practices in the greater New York City area, honey?s natural anti-bacterial properties may also be effective in disinfecting and healing burns and chronic wound infections.  Manuka honey, the premier tier of this medicinal liquid gold, has also been linked with improving herpes lesions, killing harmful bacteria and helping reverse its resistance to traditional antibiotics.
 
Get sweet dreams ? naturally.
 
Because honey can boost insulin levels, causing a concomitant increase in serotonin, it can lay the groundwork for a good night?s sleep.  Not only does the body convert the serotonin to melatonin, a hormone charged with regulating the length and quality of sleep, honey is also a powerhouse of rest-promoting amino acids.  It contains tryptophan, for instance ? the same ingredient found in turkey that inspires many of us to take a post-meal nap after a big Thanksgiving feast.
 
As with any vitamin or nutrient, honey has its caveats.  Because of its high fructose content, Dr. Kalitenko recommends honey be consumed in moderation to avoid excess natural sugars that can contribute to weight gain. Honey also contains yeast, so those with weakened immune systems may want to avoid it altogether.  
 
While some studies are still inconclusive on honey?s healing properties, it certainly seems to be a natural way to address certain medical conditions.  Before utilizing honey to address your individual health concern, speak with your primary physician to determine if it?s an appropriate remedy for you.  
 
For more information on honey?s holistic healing properties, schedule a consultation with me at my Brooklyn office (718-382-9200) or Great Neck office (516-467-0253.)

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