An amazing source of health and vitality
Honey has been prized since ancient times:
Egyptian papyri dating from three and a half thousand years ago refer to the therapeutic properties of honey.
According to the book of life of the ancient Indians, life is prolonged if on a daily basis we consume milk and honey.
Nectar was drunk by the gods of ancient Greece. Zeus was raised on honey by the nymph Melissa.
Hippocrates recommended honey as a cure for many illnesses, as did Aristotle, who believed that honey prolonged life.
The Egyptians offered up honeycombs to their gods as valuable gifts of devotion and consolation.
The nutritional value of honey
- The sugars in honey are simple and are absorbed immediately, this is why honey is a quick source of energy for athletes, children, pregnant women, patients and anyone who feels a bit run down.
- Honey has inorganic ingredients known as trace elements, which play an important role in the metabolism and in nutrition. They affect the bones and the cells, are involved in various enzyme systems and regulate the acidity of the stomach. The concentration of vitamins in honey is not sufficient for our daily needs, but they help in the absorption of sugars.
- Honey has antiseptic properties, is a stimulant, it increases the rate at which the heart functions, reduces the incidence of stomach ulcers and in general contributes to the proper functioning of the body.
- Consumption of honey helps restore health more quickly in cases of anaemia, because of the iron it contains.
- Honey helps significantly in the faster metabolism of alcohol, helping people recover more quickly from overindulgence.
- Honey is high in choline, which is particularly helpful for people who suffer from constipation because of a sedentary lifestyle.
- Honey has antimicrobial activity and prevents the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. It is also useful for healing and cleaning or disinfecting wounds.
Types of honey
There are two main types of honey: blossom honey, which is produced from the nectar of flowers, and honeydew honey, which is produced from pine trees, fir trees and other forest plants. Honey receives the name of the flower from which it is produced. Thus we have varieties such as thyme, orange, sunflower, heather, chestnut, cotton and acacia honey. The main varieties of honeydew honey are pine and fir honey.
Crystallisation of honey and quality
- Crystallisation is a natural phenomenon which does not change the nutritional and biological properties of honey in any way. It is related to the plant origins of honey and is affected by its chemical composition. Factors playing an important role in the speed of crystallisation are the concentrations of glucose and water, the ratio of fructose to glucose, the ratio of glucose to water, pollen content, and the presence of the tri-saccharide sugar melezitose, etc.
- Honey that has crystallised has not gone off and is not less pure.You can restore crystallised honey by placing the jar in a bowl of hot water, and it loses none of its biological and nutritional properties.
Greek vs. foreign honey
Greek honey is better than imported honey for the following reasons:
- Imported honey is thinner, having higher moisture content.
- Greek honey has excellent taste and aroma
- Greek honey is less standardised and processed, keeping its high nutritional value.
Source: Extracts from an article in the monthly publication "Beekeeping Review" by Andreas Thrasyvoulou, Professor of Apiculture in the Agricultural School of the University of Thessaloniki and President of the Greek Association of Apiculture and Sericulture.
Branded Greek honey
Branded honey is checked for its purity and biological value in accordance with European and Greek law. It is pure and natural, as it is in the hive. THE HONEY HAS NOT BEEN BOILED AND IT CONTAINS NO ADDITIVES.
Storing honey and expiry dates
Honey is a product which, by its nature (if it is stored properly), keeps for years without needing any additional means of preservation. However, European legislation requires that honey should have an expiry date, which appears on every pack.