Madhu(Honey) which is consuming all over the world from many more years and is one among the nitya sevaneeya dravya according to acharya charaka, Madhu is the best kapha-pitta shamana dravya by its kashaya, Ruksha, Sheeta and Vishada Guna.
Madhu is best anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and having best wound healing property. If it is taken in prescribed quantity then only it will be helpful, otherwise in excess quantity leads to indigestion of Honey i.e मध्वाम or मध्वाजीर्ण is serious condition and very difficult to treat because of its viruddhopakrama.
According to Ayurveda Madhu (Honey) is one among the daily consumable food i.e Nitya sevaneeya dravya.
षष्टिकाञ्छालिमुद्गांश्च सैन्धवामलके यवान् ।
आन्तरीक्षं पयः सर्पिर्जाङ्गलं मधु चाभ्यसेत् ॥
च. सू. ५/१२
Madhu(Honey) Best drug used to relive Kapha and Pitta dosha.
मधु श्लेष्मपित्तप्रशमनानां । च. सू. २५/૪०
There are approximately 320 varieties of honey which vary in colour and flavour. Honey is made by honeybees using nectar from flowering plants and is a natural sweetener and although consist mostly of sugar; it also contains amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is commonly used as a natural healing treatment for coughs, burns and wound healing.
It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent.
During the production process of honey by honeybees, it can possibly become contaminated with bee pollen and pollen from other plants and trees. Therefore if a person is allergic to pollen they may have an allergic reaction to some types of honey, although it may be hard to pinpoint which brands of honey are contaminated. In many cases, it is actually the pollen that is the cause of the allergic reaction, rather than the honey itself. For people who have sensitivities to pollen, doctors advise they use extreme caution, not only when consuming honey, but any other bee products- all of which could possibly contain their allergen.
Other possible allergens in natural honey are: Buckwheat, Tulips, Sunflowers, Eucalyptus, Willow, Oak, Hackberry
Other plants in the area: Allergic to Honey, Honey as an allergen
The BIG question- can a person be allergic to honey?
Allergy to honey is rare and although the exact figures in the general population are as of yet unknown- it is estimated to be less than 0.001%. But a quick search online will generate hundreds of people who state they have a severe allergy to honey.
Honey is a natural anti inflammatory and antioxidant. However, it’s common pollen and other plant allergens to contaminate honey. Symptoms from a honey allergy may resemble common pollen allergy symptoms, such as:
*Bumps on the skin
Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of your allergy. Eating honey or skin coming into contact with honey can trigger an allergic reaction.
In more severe cases, symptoms may include:
Precautions to be taken while using Honey
- Do not eat honey in excess quantity due to its properties – heavy, rough, astringent and cold. If taken in excessive quantity, produced a condition called Madhvama (a situation called indigestion of honey in Ayurveda) no other kind of indigestion is more difficult to treat than that caused by honey because of the need of opposite kinds of
treatment. Hence it is very severe and kills
immediately like poison.
- Honey should not be heated, or mixed with hot foods. Also should not be consumed when you are working in hot environment where you are
exposed to more heat or during hot seasons.
Honey includes nectar of various flowers of which some may be poisonous. Poison has hot or Ushna qualities. When honey is mixed with hot and spicy foods the poisonous properties get enhanced and cause imbalance of Doshas.
- Do not drink hot water after eating honey.
Because of softness, coldness and being produced by the juice of many plants, honey is incompatible with hot things.
- Honey and water, honey and ghee, mixed in equal quantities should not be consumed. as it has been proved that heating of honey reduces the specific gravity with a subsequent rise in its ash value, pH, HMF (hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde), browning, phenolics, and antioxidant activity. The mixing of honey with ghee brings about enhancement in browning, antioxidants and specific gravity without altering the food consumption and organ weight of the rats. The study revealed that heated honey (>1400C) mixed with ghee produces HMF which may produce deleterious effects and act as a poison in due course.
- Honey should never be mixed with rain water.
- Honey should not be consumed with lotus seed.
- Avoid giving honey to infants under 12 months to avoid the risk of Botulism (a type of food poisoning). Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin
- Producing bacteria in the infant’s immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death.
Case Report :
A 26yr old female patient came to our clinic with complaining of severe diarrhea with abdominal cramps after consuming half tea spoon of honey(freshly extracted) with Sitopaladi choorna and she had history of allergic to honey previously 2 times when she consumed plain honey(1 tea spoon) she got same symptoms of diarrhea with cramps which continues gastric upset for 15 days to months.