Benefits of Honey In Ayurveda
Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of medicine that has been practised for thousands of years and is becoming more popular worldwide due to its natural, holistic healing approach. For many centuries, honey has been used in vital alternative medicine of Ayurveda. It is mixed with a variety of herbs and spices and made into compound for curing various diseases. In Ayurveda honey is called as “Madhu” and its qualities are explained as follows. “Vaatalam guru sheetam cha raktapittakaphapaham | Sandhatru cchedanam ruksham kashayam madhuram madhu ||” “It has sweetness (madhura rasa) with added astringent as end taste (Kashaya anu rasa). It is heavy (guru guna), dry (ruksha) and cold (sheeta). Its effect on doshas is as follows. It aggravates vata, scrapes kapha and normalizes pitta and rakta. It promotes healing process.” The medicinal quality, taste, texture, colour, and aroma of honey differs according to the geographical area and the species of plants from which it has been collected. Eight types of honey are described in ayurveda depending on the type of bee which collects it. Pouttika, Bhramara, Kshoudra, Makshika, Chatra, Arghya, Oudalaka, Dala. Pouttika - This honey is collected by very large bees from the nectar of poisonous flowers. It increases vata, causes gout and burning sensation in chest. It is also sedative and reduces fat. Bhramara - This honey is collected by large bees and sticky in nature. Kshoudra - (Honey collected by medium sized honey bees) light and cold in nature. Dissolves Kapha. Makshika - (Honey collected by small honey bees) very light and dry natured. Usefull in VataKapha diseases and kapha diseases. Chatra - Heavy and cold in nature useful in gout, Leucoderma (Shwitra). Arghya - Good for eyes but causes arthritis. Oudalaka - Useful in skin diseases, and helps in modulation of voice. Dala - Dry and reduces vomiting. Amongst all the above “Makshika” is considered as the best type with immense medicinal properties. Various ingredients of honey have helped it to become not only a sweet liquid, but also a natural product with high nutritional and medicinal value. Therapeutic value of honey: Honey is very good anti-oxidant which restores damaged skin and gives soft, young looks. Honey has anti-bacterial properties due to its acidic nature and enzymically produced hydrogen peroxide. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles which fight bacterial and viral diseases. It gives strength and power to the intestines by stopping the accumulation of toxic elements and killing the worms and is beneficial for constipation, dysentery and diarrhea. Honey gives relief to the patients suffering from asthma and Tuberculosis and is beneficial for those who do more of mental work. Honey improves eyesight, phlegm disorder and skin problem Ayurveda explains another special quality of honey. Honey takes the qualities of the substance which is added to it. This is the special quality of honey and hence referred as honey ‘Yogavahi’. When honey is used with other herbal preparations it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.