“From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for humanity. There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect.”
(Quran Surat an-Nahl: 69)
The making of Honey is in itself a Miracle from God. Knowing the method, the process & the effort the Bees put in to make this astonishing formula, can’t help but make you marvel and think deeply about Allah SWT and His amazing signs. Every time you take a bite of it on your toast or a spoon in your drink, it’s sure to put you in that trance.
How is Honey Made?
The main ingredient of pure honey is the nectar collected by bees from flowers and fruit buds. Bees by the will of Allah swt the Most Great can miraculously turn this nectar into honey. The pollen on the other hand does not affect the actual production of the honey, it is only used by the bees to collect the required amount of protein that they should need.
It takes 900 bees working an entire day to collect half a kilogram of raw nectar, only part of which can be turned into honey. The bees collect nectar from the flowers and then swallow it, and it’s during this process of swallowing that it undergoes a chemical change in its stomach. It then becomes a heavy, sugary liquid that is rich in vitamins & minerals. The bees later continue to place it into the honeycomb cells before sealing it with a wax cover. The honey acquires its distinctive sweet taste and appropriate consistency during its time in the comb, but this remarkable formation couldn’t be possible without the constant effort & hard work that the bees make creating the special air-conditioning needed for the process. An amazing fact to ponder on is that the aroma & oils in the flowers that the nectar was collected from, are the same aroma, oils & colour that give the honey its appearance & scent, sobhan Allah.
Using Honey as Medicine and to Cure
Using honey as a natural remedy and for its potential healing properties has been a practice for centuries, and it is supported by both traditional wisdom and modern scientific research. Here are some aspects to consider regarding the use of honey as medicine:
- Antibacterial Properties: Honey possesses natural antibacterial properties, which can help in preventing and treating infections. It contains hydrogen peroxide, which contributes to its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
- Wound Healing: The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey make it beneficial for wound healing. Applying honey to wounds or burns may help accelerate the healing process and reduce the risk of infection.
- Cough and Sore Throat Relief: Honey is known for its soothing effect on the throat and its ability to alleviate cough symptoms. It can be consumed on its own or mixed with warm water, lemon, or herbal teas to relieve sore throat and cough discomfort.
- Boosting Immunity: The antioxidants present in honey, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, contribute to its immune-boosting properties. Regular consumption of honey may support overall immune system function.
- Digestive Health: Honey has been used to address various digestive issues, including constipation and indigestion. It is believed to have a mild laxative effect and can contribute to a healthy digestive system.
- Allergy Relief: Some people believe that consuming locally sourced honey may help alleviate seasonal allergies. The theory is that exposure to small amounts of local pollen in honey can act as a form of immunotherapy.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties may benefit conditions related to inflammation, such as arthritis. However, more research is needed to establish specific therapeutic effects.
- Natural Sweetener & Energy Source: The natural sugars in honey, primarily fructose and glucose, provide a quick energy boost. It can be a healthier alternative to refined sugars when used in moderation.
It’s important to note that while honey offers potential health benefits, it should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. Additionally, infants under the age of one should not consume honey due to the risk of infant botulism.
When using honey for medicinal purposes, choosing raw, unprocessed honey is often recommended as it retains more of its beneficial compounds. As with any natural remedy, individual responses may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, especially for chronic or severe health conditions.
Honey in the Quran
The prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said: ‘Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qur’an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur’an and honey.’ (Bukhari)
Honey is mentioned several times in the Quran, and it is often described as a beneficial and wholesome substance. In the Islamic tradition, honey is considered a natural remedy and a source of healing. Here are a couple of verses from the Quran that mention honey:
- Healing Properties of Honey: In Surah An-Nahl (16:69), Allah says: “Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colours, in which there is healing for people. Indeed, in that is a sign for a people who give thought.”
This verse refers to the bees and the honey they produce, emphasizing its healing properties and considering it as a sign of God’s creation.
- Natural Sweetness: In Surah An-Nahl (16:11), Allah says: “With it He causes crops to grow for you, and the olive tree, the date palm, the grapevine, all kinds of fruits. Surely there is a great sign in this for those who reflect.”
While this verse mentions various fruits, it is often interpreted to include honey as part of the blessings and sustenance provided by Allah.
These verses reflect the Quranic perspective on honey as a natural and beneficial substance, emphasizing its healing qualities and the signs of God’s creation within it. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also spoke highly of honey, and it is mentioned in several Hadiths (sayings and actions of the Prophet) as a recommended food with medicinal properties.
Scientifically Proven Benefits of Honey
1. Prevents cancer and heart disease – Honey contains flavonoids, and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
2. Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders – Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis.
3. Contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal elements – All honey is antibacterial because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide.
4. Increases athletic performance – Recent studies have shown that Honey is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners. (Particularly useful for Athletes)
5. Reduces cough and throat irritation – Honey is already widely known to be used in many Cough & throat medicines, particularly buckwheat honey, because of its highly positive soothing effects of relief.
6. Balances the 5 elements – Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhoea, and nausea.
7. Blood sugar regulation – Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.
8. Heal wounds and burns – External application of honey is just as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is said that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.
9. Probiotic – Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
10. Beautiful skin – Honey is used for many facial masks both in supermarket products and in beauty salons. Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing. Arab women have been using it on their skin for centuries alongside olive oils!