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By Rebecca Fending
This month holds two exciting recognized holidays: Senior Citizen’s Day and National Honey Bee Awareness Day. And although you wouldn’t think these two have anything in common, you may be surprised by the amount of good that locally sourced honey can have on a senior body.
How Honey Can Help Seniors
Specifically great for seniors, honey contains many antioxidants that help combat the aging process. Antioxidants also fight against the free radicals naturally produced within the body that contribute to chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and degenerative conditions. A tablespoon of honey mixed with apple cider vinegar from the “Mother” to taste is also a great temporary cure for a cough or sore throat.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac website, locally sourced raw honey is loaded with properties that make it both healing for the body and soul. Of the most interesting and useful, raw honey has natural antiseptic properties that make it an all-natural Neosporin. Honey contains sugar, hydrogen peroxide and propolis, all key ingredients for healing minor wounds. Place a small dab of raw honey on any minor cuts, burns or scrapes to protect the open wound from infection, as well as help speed up the healing process. Since it is sticky, you may want to place a bandage over the wound as your skin soaks in the honey.
Honey can also be used as a soothing treatment for mild sunburns. The Farmers’ Almanac says the magic ratio is one-half cup of honey and one cup of milk. Leaving this mixture on for as long as possible will help alleviate any pain, as well as prevent pesky peeling later in the healing process.
The magical healing powers of honey do not stop there: eating unfiltered, unheated, raw honey produced within your area (50-mile radius or less) is similar to receiving a natural anti-allergy shot. Quercetin, a component of honey, has been found in studies to reduce inflammation and pollen allergy symptoms. The compound helps to stabilize the cell membranes that release histamine, which triggers allergic reactions. Raw honey also contains bee pollen and bee propolis, which boosts the immune system and builds immunity to allergens.
So, since local, raw honey is so great for aging bodies, how can we help support honey bees in their production of this liquid gold? According to EarthDay.org, one of the best things we can do to protect these precious pollinators is plant a pollinator-friendly garden. Learn more about the details on our website and search “The Best Flowers to Keep Your Garden Healthy.”
You can also help protect honey bees by purchasing honey products from our local beekeepers to keep them in the business of helping bees. This gives bees a controlled space to live and produce within an area.
This Senior Citizen’s Day, celebrate with a locally sourced raw honey treat from a local beekeeper. Find beekeepers in your area online at www.abfnet.org/page/florida.
Take care and we’ll see you in September!