Bees are a crucial part of our food supply. It is estimated that about 1/3 of the world’s food supply depends on bee pollination. Other than their relationship to food, bees provide us with valuable items for ‘medicine.’ These items include honey, wax, apitherapy, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis.
Everyone knows the characteristic sweet golden taste of honey. Honey is produced when bees consume plant nectar and mix it with various enzymes. They then regurgitate this partly digested substance, now honey, and store it in their hive for a quick source of energy.
Not only is honey a great natural sweetener and great alternative to white sugar, it is a great remedy for burns. Honey can be directly applied to burns to prevent blistering and speed healing. Part of its great healing power is attributed to its antimicrobial properties. Honey is the only food in the world that will never spoil.
Honey is also commonly used to prevent seasonal allergies. Take one teaspoon a day of your local raw honey if you suffer from allergies.
Bees fly roughly 6 times around the earth to yield one pound of beeswax. Beeswax can be used externally, mixed with olive oil, herbs, or essential oils, to make salves. It is very soothing to the skin. It also has great utility, as it is used in natural wood treatments and for sealing cracks. And of course there’s sweet-smelling beeswax candles. A great clean-burning alternative to toxic paraffin candles.
The actual bee itself, believe it or not, has great healing properties. Know as apitheraphy, the actual sting of a bee has been used as a therapy by doctors, beekeepers, and people from all walks of life. Although, there hasn’t been much research in the area (unfortunately), bee stings are believed to increase blood flow to the affected area, thus relieving conditions such as rheumatic conditions, arthritis, and sprains. This therapy isn’t for the faint of heart.
Tip: Feeling a cold coming? Chop up a clove of garlic and mix it with 1 tbsp. of honey. Consume 1-3 a day. Recipe from The Garlic Cure-All.