Honey and its incredible anti-inflammatory properties

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Honey and its incredible anti-inflammatory properties

In herbal medicine, honey is recommended for the treatment of the hematopoietic system, the skin system, the nervous system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the digestive system. There are thousands of plant species visited by bees: some give rise to unifloral honeys due to the presence of plants over large areas, others contribute to producing the wildflower.

In unifloral honeys, however, there is a variable percentage of nectars from different plants, because it is impossible for bees to take nectar from a single type of plant. Depending on the flowering from which the nectar is collected, the color, texture of the honey but above all its flavor and organoleptic properties vary, leading to differences in smell and taste.

From the delicate aroma of acacia honey, clear and liquid, with the resinous scent of that of linden, with the lactic taste of that of fir honeydew and eucalyptus. It goes from greenish reflections, to the bitter taste of chestnut, to the more gentle and floral one of citrus or asphodel.

There are also toxic types of honey, but they are not present in Italy.

Honey and its incredible anti-inflammatory properties

The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of honey are the subject of in-depth scientific studies.

These are maximum in fresh honey and decrease over time and with exposure to light and heat, while in pasteurized honey they may be completely absent. Honey has a high sugar concentration, and in solution it benefits from the action of the contained glucosidase: this enzyme, inactive in pure honey, is activated in solution, transforming glucose into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide.

This allows to protect the honey in formation from the presence of bacteria, when the acidity and the concentration of sugars are not yet acting. In honey there is a fair amount of trace elements, such as copper, iron, iodine, manganese, silicon, chromium, present above all in darker honeys, vitamins, caffeic acid derivatives, enzymes and bactericidal substances, formic acid and antibiotics: these last categories of substances in particular allow honey to be stored for a long time and justify its use as a natural disinfectant.

For plants, the nectar serves to attract various pollinating insects, and allows to ensure the fertilization of the flowers. Depending on their anatomy, and in particular on the length of the proboscis (technically called ligula), honey bees can collect nectar only from some flowers, which are called melliferous.

The composition of the nectars varies according to the plants that produce them. However, they are all mainly composed of carbohydrates, such as sucrose, glucose and fructose, and water. Their water content can be important, and can reach up to 90%.