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I love you honey!

So is anybody tempted by yesterday's lemon & honey shots?

For anyone in North London who gave it a thumbs up, I can highly recommend a fabulous honey company who sell their products from the Hampstead Farmers Market at Hampstead Parochial playground on Saturdays. They are called ‘Raw Artisan Honey’, and they produce an impressive array different blends (as well as fruit preserves). We are absolutely addicted to her pots of Raw ginger honey, Raw linden honey (which tastes like elderflower) and Lavender infused raw honey.

Are you wondering why I am promoting honey when the media is constantly crying out to ‘avoid sugar!’?

Well, most importantly, as with everything else in life, moderation is key. I’m talking about using honey as a natural sweetener, rather than lavishing it upon every food you eat.

Honey, its true, does contain glucose and fructose (and no fibre unlike fruit), so the sugars are rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract. However, approx. 80% of honey is comprised of sugars and 40% of that is fructose, which needs to travel to the liver first to be metabolized. Consequently, it does not raise blood glucose levels to the same extent as say table sugar (which is comprised solely of glucose molecules).

Raw honey, unlike sucrose (white table sugar), maltose, dextrose and artificial sweeteners, is not highly processed. Nor, as is the case with aspartame, is it an addictive carcinogenic neurotoxin (capable of inducing headaches, dizziness, diarrhoea, seizures, cancer or birth defects). In its raw state it is ALL-NATURAL and has NUMEROUS health benefits.

As honey liberates hydrogen peroxide, and contains Methylgyloxal and Bee defensin-1 (especially Manuka Honey UMF15+), it is a potent antibiotic (antifungal, antibacterial and antifungal) and anti-inflammatory.

If you’re suffering from any inflammatory skin condition such as eczema, dermatitis or acne, when you get home at night, you can smooth the honey on to your face (adding a little water to thin your honey to the desired consistency), and leave it as a face pack (for a minimum of 3 hours each night for two weeks). It has the potential to suppress overgrowth of Propionibacterium Acnes, pityrosporum ovale or Malassezia Furfur (studies have also shown that honey has the ability to reduce water concentrations in the pilosebacious follicle levels that allow p. acnes to survive). Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may reduce skin redness and irritation, and heal acne scars. Carry this out for two weeks and you should see a marked improvement in the condition of your skin.

Honey has also long been known as a potent antioxidant. Consequently, as acne involves a degree of squalene oxidation, honey helps by its ability to scavenge free oxidative radicals and put them in their place (these damaging molecules create inflammation and reduce levels of vitamin A and E essential for lowering inflammation and skin cell regeneration)

Interestingly, in another study, scientists applied Manuka honey to the eyelids of patients with a tear deficiency. Twenty four hours later, they found the bacteria that caused the problem had substantially diminished, and any irritation from dry eyes had been greatly reduced. Knowing Aristotle (around 300BC) conferred the benefits of honey for sore eyes may have led the scientist down this research path?

If your child should injure or burn themselves, honey (if they don’t lick it off!:) has the potential to be a great reliever and healer for damaged skin.

So you see, raw honey has its place in our diet (in moderation!:) and in our medicine cabinet.

If a honey lemon drink, or honey & banana oat cookies or a slice of spelt or rye toast spread with two teaspoons of honey is going to stop you reaching for that Mars bar....well I say "bring it on!"

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