Saturday, November 20, 2010

Honey Therapy: the health benefits of nectar and honey

I have just finished my visual narrative - Poisonous Venomed Barbs: Words that kill, you know the drill; and whenever I finish a visual I look at other ways of promoting it. I make collages to be the cover:

Then if I still have left-overs I make ATCs (Artist Trading Cards):

This time I've focused on the positive message of the visual narrative, so instead of the serpents, barbed wire and stabbings that were in the visual, I've taken on the positive message about our words.

So the collage and ATCs are aptly named Their Words Drop Like Honeycomb.

From this theme I like to develop it further as my visual narrative is about a medley of philosophical, psychological, religious, belief and spiritual elements; I feel I need to throw something in on those lines.

The Bee - is a symbol of co-operation, order, diligence, immortality and collaboration. It is often used in Christian symbolism. Also honey represents sweetness. Ancients regarded honey as a substance of great purity. The bee is also associated with royalty.

Bees resent with great fury any interference by men with their retreats (Deut 1:44; Psa 118:12).

Beeswax - is used for candles (liturgical alters) which signifies light.

In the Old Testament honey was not to be burned on the altar. This is because honey ferments. However, it could be used for first fruits and was presented for the use of the priests (2 Chron. 31:5).

Beehive - is a symbol of freemasonry and heraldry. It also represents the church.

Honey - References to honey convey sundry moral lessons found in the Bible (Ezek 3:3; Psalm 19: 10; Prov 16:24).

In Old Testament honey symbolized abundance and prosperity (Deut 32: 13; Job 20:17; Psa 81:16; Jer 41:8).

But honey can also be a symbol of deprivation and judgement (Isa 9:22). Proverbs tells us it is good to eat honey but not in excess.

In the Song of Solomon eating honey is symbolized for sexual pleasure (Song 4:11; 5:1).

Honey was administered soon after birth, when evil spirits were meant to be especially potent. Honey and sweet things were believed to drive evil spirits away. This was due to its ability to restore a person's health, which had been initially believed to be caused by evil spirits.

The Poles ornament the bride's lips with honey. This is interesting when we look at it from the perspective of the Book of Proverbs and Song of Song. In Croatia and Turkey a cup of honey is handed to the bridge at the door.

Heathen nations offered honey to their gods, but the Hebrews were prohibited because it fermented (as previously posted). The fermentation in honey was symbolic of corruption.

Benefits of Honey
As with all remedies outlined below, you are cautioned not to use honey without the approval and strict control of your physician/doctor if you are on prescriptive pharmaceuticals.

Honey in biblical times was not only used in its separate state, but fruit was preserved in it too. It is good to eat honey, but not to indulge to surfeit (Prov 25: 16, 24). It is good for your health (Prov 24: 13).

It has invigorating powers (aphrodisiac). 1 Sam 14: 26; 29; 2  Sam 17: 29.

The ancients used this nectar from heaven as a remedy for everything from arthritis and asthma, to burns, constipation, and hangovers, form hay fever to haemorrhoids, migraine, and shingles, from varicose ulcers to bathe wounds. It warded off infections and speeded healing.

Why does honey have such a fatal effect on germs? It's to do with its capability of absorbing moisture (humectant). Honey can withdraw a moisture from a rock, metal or glass container. The moisture holding ability that honey has can be readily observed in bread and cakes that contain honey and that remain moist.

When germs come into contact with honey, all their moisture is withdrawn – germs shrivel and die. Disease producing germs cannot live without water, and honey sucks it out of them, causing them to die. This wards off infections and speeds healing.

Honey contains three ingredients that make it ideal for treating wounds – it's ability to absorb water, making it hard for bacteria to survive; it contains hydrogen peroxide that disinfects cuts and scrapes; and it contains propolis - a compound in nectar that can kill bacteria.  Manuka honey produced in New Zealand (where the bees feed on a type of flowering shrub called the Manuka) appears to kill the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.

Honey should never be consumed in high doses or to infants as it may contain a small number of spores called Clostridium botulism. The spores can grow, causing a serious form of food poisoning.

Honey is also a fine heart stimulant, which peps up the heart temporarily and then wears off.

Honey is also a sedative so it relieves any tension in the nervous system.

Feel free to email or comment about this article if you have other material to add.

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