Honey is a regulated product in many countries. European legislation stipulates that it must not contain any additives of any kind and that nothing can be added to or taken away from it.
Bees collect nectar from flowers. They carry it in their honey baskets and take it to the hive where it is a stored in a cell by the worker bees. Mixed with different enzymes secreted by the bees then dehydrated, the nectar is turned into honey.
Beekeepers extract the honey from the cells using centrifugal force, then filter it to get rid of any impurities. It is not heated or pasteurised before it is packaged.
If its water content is below 18% it will keep for two years.
There are more than a hundred different substances in honey. As well as simple and complex sugars, it also contains protein that comes from pollen (less than 1%), amino acids, enzymes, minerals and organic acids.
In traditional pharmacopeia, each honey has specific virtues, depending on the origin of the flowers from which the nectar was collected. However, they all have prebiotic properties and stimulate the growth and activity of lactobacilli and gut flora.
Many scientific studies confirm its excellent antibacterial properties in relation to the main pathogenic germs found on all kinds of wounds.
It is sometimes combined with propolis or essential oils for best results.
Honey is not recommended for people with uncontrolled diabetes suffering from a recognised serious condition, people with kidney stones, untreated hypothyroidism or uncontrolled endocrine diseases. In all of these cases, it is essential to talk to your doctor before consuming honey on a regular basis.
*** source: Abeilles et Fleurs – Apitherapy special edition – January 2012