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Medicinal Foods

Eastern Health Description

Honey's warming/cooling energy is neutral. All types of honey, both raw and heated, work naturally to harmonize the liver, neutralize toxins, and relieve pain. In addition, pasteurized or cooked honey moistens dryness and treats dry or hoarse throat and dry cough. Both raw and heated types of honey are useful for treating stomach ulcers, canker sores, high blood pressure, and constipation and can be applied directly to burns.

Honey's sweet and antitoxic properties are used to break the cycle of alcoholism (alcohol is a sugar); give honey by the spoonful during a hangover when more alcohol is craved.

Honey's harmonizing effect is also beneficial when a person is overworked, having menstrual problems, or is exhausted from salty and rich foods.

Heat-processed honey should not be used by people with copious amounts of mucus. Raw, completely unprocessed, unheated honey is preferable, because it has the ability to dry up mucus and is helpful for those with damp conditions including edema and too much weight.

Raw honey is not recommended for infants.

For those whose diet is primarily grains and vegetables, a small amount of honey is normally adequate. For most purposes, dilute one to three teaspoons of honey in warm water or mix with other food to reduce its strong effect.

The science of Ayurveda has long claimed that the beneficial properties of honey are lost when heated. Raw honey can be obtained from some grocery and natural food stores, or from beekeepers.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Western Health Description

Raw honey contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. The vitamins found in honey may include (depending on floral variety) niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid; minerals present include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Just as the color and flavor of honey varies by floral source, so does the vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and amino acid content.

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