Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said, “Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Qur’an.” (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith)
Honey is the oldest sweetener known to humans. Historically, honey was seen as a symbol of contentment and prosperity, and earned the name “liquid gold”. Ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians and Greeks, prized honey and used it in many remedies and applied it to wounds.
Although honey is a sweetener, it is different from simple sugars in that it provides good nutritional value. This complex food made up of mostly glucose and fructose, and small amounts of sucrose; it also contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes and vitamins B and C. Honey also contains antioxidants, which are the parts of cells that get rid of detrimental particles of metabolic functions, such as free redicals, which can cause cancer. These antioxidants –one of which, Pinocembrin, is found only in honey- can contribute greatly to the prevention of cancers and heart diseases.
Most amazing about honey is that it does not accommodate the growth of bacteria, and will not spoil if left for a long period of time. When used to sweeten cakes and breads, it improves the shelf life and allows the baked goods to stay moister longer due to honey’s water attracting properties.
It takes the nectar of 1 ½ million flowers to make just a pint of honey, which was the cause of its expensive price and limited availability in the past. But presently, honey is readily available in most countries around the world. But while people may take advantage of its dietary use, much of its curative power is not used to the fullest extent.
Allah, Most Exalted, says in Holy Quran of the bee: “Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees, and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you). There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying color, wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.” (Surah Nahl or The Bee: 68-69)
In this statement, “a drink of varying color wherein is healing for men”, Allah tells us directly that there are curative properties in honey, many of which have been proven in medical tests. Honey has also been used in the prophetic medicine. The Holy Rasul, peace and blessings be upon him, said “If anyone licks honey three mornings every month, he will not be afflicted with any serious trouble.”
The benefits of honey can be seen in that it is used in cold remedies, to sooth sore throats, coughs, flu, to prevent bedwetting, and as part of treatment for alcohol poisoning. The anti-inflammatory action of honey when applied topically reduces the swelling around a wound and reduces pain.
In a well known hadith, a man came to the Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, and said, “My brother has got loose motions. The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said “let him drink honey.” The man again came and said, “I made him drink (honey) but that made him worse.” The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said, “Allah has said the truth, and the abdomen of your brother has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.
From this we can clearly see that honey is a miracle mentioned in Al-Quran and a superior dietary aid.