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In today’s day and age when creams and serums are available in abundance, a lot of research is being conducted on the best new possibilities in skincare and beauty. Despite such a modern setup, the ‘golden liquid’ aka honey retains its relevance as an age-old product of nature with multiple benefits.
Honey is derived from honey bees that collect the essence of one of the most beautiful creations of nature – flowers. This essence of nature’s beauty has stood the test of time through thousands of years and continues to be immensely useful in skincare even today. There is a well-described role of honey in various traditional medicine systems, including Ayurveda.
From a ‘modern scientific’ understanding, honey is not just useful from an external application perspective but also for the purpose of cleansing and supplementing internal health, which is essential for long-lasting beauty.
Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and many other physical and chemical properties, which makes it a wonderfully broad-spectrum anti-microbial agent. It is active against bacteria, viruses, and fungi without causing harm to the microbes that are healthy for us. In fact, it is rich in food for good microbes, hence it works well as a pre and probiotic also. This is an amazing enigma of nature, an antibiotic with probiotic properties!
For internal use, there are well-documented benefits of honey that aid in digestion and healing gastrointestinal disorders, and offer cardio-protective effects. It is also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant medicine. Honey is rich in bio-flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are nature’s best antioxidants. They help protect the body from the harmful effects of pollution, food, and emotional toxins.
When we look at honey from an Ayurvedic perspective, honey with its sweetness, helps build up ‘ojas’ or our vital immunity and essence. With its warming property, it has a ‘vata’ and ‘kapha’ dosha pacifying properties.
It is also important to know that if consumed in large quantities, honey can aggravate ‘pitta’ dosha. Hence, it needs to be consumed in moderation – one teaspoon at a time or one tablespoon total in a day. For ‘pitta’ body types, it should be consumed in much lesser quantities.
Although it can be consumed all through the year, autumn weather which is the time for ‘vata’ excess and low pitta is the best time to consume honey. Also, there is a saying, “Uncooked honey is nectar, cooked honey is poison”. Hence, one should avoid heating honey.
To summarize, honey is nature’s gift and it enhances our inner and outer beauty.