According to the ancient texts of Ayurveda, honey is much more than a sweetener. It is also a medicine in its own right, a rejuvenative food and a yoga vahi--a vehicle for herbal formulations.
Although honey has a sweet taste, it leaves an astringent after taste. It is drying and cooling, good for digestion, beneficial for the complexion, softening and tonic. Honey kills parasites, destroys toxins and is demulcent and aphrodisiac. Its scraping and fat reducing properties are among of the reasons it benefits kapha conditions. In fact, honey is one of those special substances that calms all three doshas. To help with obesity, age your honey until it thickens and condenses. This aged or thickened honey is a marvelous medicine for all three dosha.
- Honey is palatable--hence it helps you take a bitter-tasting herbal formula
- Honey helps herbs and herbal teas penetrate into the minutest channels of the body.
- Honey can be applied topically to burns and wounds to promote healing and prevent infection.
- Ayurvedic doctors use honey in eye medicines to help heal the eyes.
- Honey can be used in various home-made cosmetic preparations such as facial masks. (Always test recipes carefully on your forearm before applying to your facial skin. Then test on a small patch of facial skin, away from your eyes.)
- Hot water with honey first thing in the morning helps scrape fat and reduce weight.
- Honey mixed with ghee is an important rejuvenative as long as you get the proportions right. *
- Honey is a good expectorant; enjoy it when you have a cough.
- Honey should not be boiled or cooked, though it is fine to add it to your tea when the tea has cooled down enough to drink.
- Honey should be kept dry. Never dip a wet spoon in your honey jar; it could cause the honey to mould.
- *Ghee and honey should not be taken in equal amounts by weight. 1t honey and 1 t ghee is good because honey has a higher specific gravity than ghee, so 1t honey weighs twice as much as 1 t ghee.
- Honey is emetic in high doses.
- It is important to use high quality raw honey from a trusted source.
Bees work incredibly hard to make honey. Today, as we all know, bees face many threats. And without bees we will lose our access to this divine medicine, so highly praised in the Ayurvedic texts. Read here how you can help bees.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!