Monday, June 24, 2024

What is honey?

Written By A Srinivasan (Grade 12)

Honey, a sticky and sweet product of the honeybee is glorified since ancient times for its therapeutic qualities. The latter comprises mostly of glucose and fructose, alongside a wide breadth of vitamins minerals amino acids enzymes as well organic acids which originate from the honey bee’s stomach. Seasonal variations, as well as locations from which nectar is gathered play a role in its composition.

The constituent components of natural honey include water, carbohydrates, proteins, phytochemicals, antioxidants and minerals. The major sugars in honey are fructose (at 38.2%) of total, glucose (31.2%), disaccharides and tri-sugar. Honey’s significant biological and medical importance is due to the specific combination of active ingredients including flavonoids, organic acids, phenolic acids vitamins as well enzymes.

The properties and active components of honey play a key part in the wound healing process. The viscous nature protects the wounds from bacterial invasion and limits dehydration. In addition to the normal flow, the high sugar content allows fluid movement and supplies another glucose source for cellular components. Water activity level less than 0.91%; low water levels restrict bacterial growth, remove debris from wounds and facilitate oxygen and nutrient transport.

Among the physicochemical properties of honey, which contributes to its wound-healing property are low water activity and acidity. The low pH increases the oxygenation of tissues, flavonoids and aromatic acids protect from free radicals’ elimination that prevents damage to the tissue. Honey’s therapeutic potential is not limited to wound healing but includes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune modulating effects.

Honey is also shown as an effective tool for healing various medical conditions such as gastric ulcers, recurrent canine dermatitis, arthritis tumours and diarrhoea. It has antibacterial activity and therefore can be used to disinfect the skin, while its anti-inflammatory effects enhance wound healing.

There is multifaceted therapeutic potential of honey with numerous active compounds and physiological properties. Honey has also demonstrated its efficacy in wound healing and fighting microbial infection. Welcoming the ancient concept of honey as a medicinal substance thus paves way to inventive possibilities for use in health care which may be this much needed candy cure for various maladies.

Featured Image Courtesy – Times of India

A Srinivasan
A Srinivasan
I'm a passionate writer and I like writing on a regular basis in different fields and expanding my knowledge. I have been to a few workshops for writing which has tremendously moulded my writing ability and my way to present a topic.


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