May honey: what is made of it, the benefits and harm, use
The name May honey is derived from its collection period. With the advent of May bees become more active and begin to collect nectar from the first flowering plants. The pumping of such honey takes place in early June.
- What plants are the basis for May honey
- Does May honey crystallize?
- Which honey is better: May or summer honey
- What's the difference between May and regular honey
- Composition and Calorie
- What is May honey good for?
- For Women
- For Men
- For Pregnancy
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- In weight loss
- May honey in folk medicine
- Cosmetological applications
- Lip Scrub
- Hair Mask
- Face Milk
- Moisturizing Mask
- Body Care
- Culinary Uses of May Honey
- Harm and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to test for naturalness
After the pumping is done, the honey is almost transparent in color. It also happens to be light yellow and sometimes pale green in color. At the beginning, honey is more like syrup without much of a smell. To make it tasty, saturated with all the useful properties, it takes about five months for it to stand. After this time, honey will become very tasty and fragrant.
The aroma of May honey is fragrant with menthol notes. It has a cool, whiff of aroma. This honey is the most popular and in great demand.
What plants serve as the basis for May honey
From the name May honey we can conclude that compared to other types, such as acacia honey, buckwheat honey, and linden honey, it differs in the collection period. Specialists advise all buyers to remember that this concept is mostly just a marketing ploy, which sellers specifically invented for potential customers. Professional beekeepers have not been using this concept for a long time.
The main mistake in the name of the product of beekeeping is that honey is actually produced in June, not in May. So it is better to even call it early summer or June. The most important thing to remember and know is that the May honey is polyphyllous, that is, it contains several honey-bearing plants that grow close to each other, and their blooming period coincides.
May honey can be quite diverse in its composition. It all depends on the number and name of honey-bearing plants. The cost of honey is quite expensive. This is due to the limited amount and not at all to the composition of the plants.
The main components of the first pumping May honey are often cherry, hazel, cherry, apple, plum, and various fruit shrubs: raspberries, gooseberries, currants. It can also be alder, maple, willow, mountain ash, and even barberry, honeysuckle, hawthorn, almond, strawberry, violet, and dandelion.
Each honeysuckle honeysuckle composition depends on the climate and location of the apiary.
Does May Honey Crystallize?
Experts assure that the duration of crystallization depends primarily on the percentages of the two ingredients in the bee product. It is about glucose and fructose, which are necessarily included in its composition. If there is more fructose than glucose in honey, the product takes a long time to crystallize and can remain liquid for about a year.
If glucose predominates, it will crystallize more rapidly. This process begins two to three months after it is harvested in the springtime. By the beginning of September, the honey product is already candied, fully usable and ready for consumption, gathering in itself a lot of useful properties. By its consistency such crystallized honey must resemble a fairly thick cream, and obtained crystals - quickly dissolve in the mouth.
The properties of crystallized honey that indicate its high quality:
- The crystals formed are of equal size.
- After the crystallization process expires, a fairly pronounced aroma can be heard coming from the container.
- This honey has a tart taste.
- Pollen is observed on the surface.
However, honey produced in the springtime may not thicken over time. If this process does not occur, it is an indication that the quality of the finished product is low. The duration of the thickening period depends primarily on the percentage of glucose and fructose. For example, if there is more fructose in the honey, the product remains liquid for a year. If it has more glucose, it will crystallize quickly.
Other cases of no crystallization of May honey:
- Adding water. Experienced beekeepers add water to the finished product, which prevents it from becoming sugary.
- Effects of heat treatment: cooling or heating. This results in suspension of crystallization and loss of many of its useful properties and flavors.
- Feeding sugar. While collecting nectar, the bees were simultaneously fed with sugar to speed up the production process and get more product out. This honey will remain liquid for a long time, but will lose many of its beneficial properties.
- Adding sugar syrup to the finished product to increase the volume. These tricks are resorted to by some sellers who aim to make a big profit.
Which honey is better: May or summer honey?
In fact, the honey harvesting period in May begins near the end of May, when many flowering plants and fruit trees are in bloom, so that the bee product is full of useful trace elements and substances. There is no particular difference between May honey and summer honey, since the former is mostly produced by bees in early June, which is the first summer month.
What is the difference between May honey and ordinary honey
The main difference between May honey and ordinary honey is that during this period many plants are in bloom. It is they who enrich the product with healing properties. This kind of honey has the subtlest taste, a mild aroma. If you compare exactly the May variety with the usual ones, the first one prevails over all other varieties. The regular one contains, for the most part, the beneficial elements of a single plant.
Composition and calories
The composition of May honey is quite complex, with more than 300 ingredients. This diversity is due to the huge number of flowering plants that bees pollinate, collecting nectar from them. The honey produced looks different each time.
The basic composition of May honey includes pollen from such flowering plants:
- bird cherry;
- apple trees;
The caloric value of May honey is quite high. There are 331 kcal per 100 grams of this sweet and useful product. Therefore, this product can be consumed during the day in an amount not more than 3 tablespoons.
What is useful for May honey
May honey is very rich in fructose, which helps the human body quickly absorb it. The assimilation of this trace element does not lead to a malfunction in the pancreas and the development of diabetes. The use of May honey is useful in the presence of liver disorders, atherosclerosis, as a sedative for nervous disorders and insomnia.
May honey is also an excellent addition to any tea-drinking ceremony, will improve the taste of prepared dishes.
For the female sex honey is useful in that it strengthens the entire body, helps to preserve youth. This is an excellent assistant in the treatment of many female illnesses. Its benefits for the female body is undeniable, as honey can be found in cosmetics: face, body and hair masks.
May honey is very useful for the male reproductive system, as it acts as a natural aphrodisiac for men.
As a result of eating honey, many men note an increase in sexual desire, prolongation of erections. Honey is beneficial for potency, as it helps to strengthen the immune system, improve blood composition, normalize the function of all organs.
It is useful to consume honey of dark varieties, which contain a sufficient amount of trace elements - iron, copper, cobalt. They help to develop a sufficient number of blood cells, providing a normal course of pregnancy.
Honey consumption by pregnant women has a positive effect on reducing the caloric intake and helps not to gain weight quickly.
Consumption of honey by pregnant women helps to normalize the nervous system, reduce tension, improve well-being, and improve mood. If you add honey to milk and drink it before going to bed, you can eliminate insomnia.
During the period of breastfeeding for normal milk production, a young mother is recommended to use honey, but only after 3-4 months after delivery. In small quantities it is very useful, as it improves blood quality, tones the body, eliminates all arising inflammatory processes, does not withdraw calcium.
Honey is very useful for children, saturates his body with the necessary trace elements that help in development.
Useful properties of honey in the diet of children:
- Contributes to the strengthening of the skeleton, helps the proper formation of bones, teeth.
- Improves blood composition, increases hemoglobin levels, helps to quickly recover from anemia.
- Helps improve digestion, rapid digestion of food, active process of digestion of proteins and fats.
- Acts as a general tonic.
- Helps improve vision, increase its sharpness.
- Beneficial to the teeth without destroying tooth enamel.
- Helps in the treatment of the genitourinary system.
- Acts as a sedative, which helps to relax the child's nervous system, the normalization of sound sleep.
- Relieves attacks of increased coughing in diseases of the respiratory tract.
When losing weight.
During the diet, it is recommended to eat a spoonful of honey in the morning on an empty stomach, drinking all this with a small amount of water. You can also eat a spoonful of honey before lunch and dinner thirty minutes before eating. Such a mechanism of intake helps to reduce appetite before a meal.
If you replace sweet, fatty, salty and fried foods with honey and stick to this principle of dieting, you can lose five or six pounds.
May honey in folk medicine
The main features of the use of May honey in folk medicine is the treatment of such ailments as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome. After drinking honey, the amount of glucose and fructose in the human body increases, which contributes to the appearance of the so-called energy explosion.
- Insomnia and other various nervous disorders.
- Colds, which are accompanied by a strong cough and sore throat.
- A hangover, in order to free the body from the remains of the products of alcoholic intoxication.
- Headaches, other painful conditions: arthritis, arthrosis and rheumatism.
- Skin diseases, skin rashes.
- All kinds of inflammatory processes.
- Health problems associated with a lack of appetite.
- Respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
In addition, honey is used as a general tonic as part of the complex therapy at the stage of recovery in a period of great exhaustion of the body.
Folk medicine contains many recipes using honey. The most popular of them are:
- Honey with radish - help for coughs. To do this, it is necessary to wash a radish well, cut a hollow in it. Pour there 2 tablespoons of honey. After that, stand the radish for four hours. When coughing, the resulting syrup is given to children and adults before meals, one spoonful, three to four times a day. And it is best to drink the syrup before going to bed.
- Onion juice with honey for hair growth. This recipe is very popular among the inhabitants of Greece. It is necessary to take and grate an onion, add honey to it. The proportion is one to four. Then rub the resulting mixture into the scalp and leave it alone for 30 minutes. After this time, the hair should be rinsed with warm water.
- If you have a runny nose, you need to make a 30% solution of honey based on beet juice and put it into the nostrils of your nose six drops each five times a day. You can also use such a solution to help children get rid of a runny nose.
- For statistical constipation, it is recommended to use pumpkin seeds with the addition of honey or mixing it with the mush of this vegetable. Take 400 grams each of apricots and prunes, one package of alexandrite leaf. All grind in a meat grinder and add to the resulting mixture 200 grams of natural honey. Such a porridge to take 1 teaspoon in the morning before a meal or an hour in the evening after dinner, drinking a small amount of warm water. Before using this method of treatment, it is recommended to consult a doctor.
- In the presence of inflammation of the larynx, trachea, ears, use a combination of aloe juice and honey. For this purpose, prepare the following mixture: wash the lower cut aloe leaves well and chop them into small pieces, then squeeze the juice from them. The resulting juice is diluted with honey at a ratio of five to one. The resulting fresh mixture should be taken orally before meals, 1 teaspoon three times a day for a couple of months.
- Honey with garlic is very useful for diseases of the lower extremities and heart problems. You need to take peeled and grated garlic in an amount of 250 grams and pour it with honey in an amount of 350 grams, all mixed well and put to stand for 7 days in a place protected from light. Take such a remedy for 1 tablespoon 40 minutes before a meal three times a day for two months.
- In the presence of diseases of the stomach, you need to take honey with the juice of the plantain. To do this, take half a kilogram of bee product, mix it with plantain juice in the same amount and boil the mixture on the fire for 12 minutes. After cooling the resulting juice to take before eating three times a day in the amount of 1 tablespoon.
The most common use of honey in cosmetology is to add it to the composition:
- Facial masks, which are aimed at cleansing, nourishing, improving the overall condition of the skin.
- Balms that strengthen the hair, give it shine, get rid of dandruff.
- Scrubs, creams for body care.
- Other products for spa treatments such as massages, wraps, aromatherapy.
Honey is an excellent moisturizer, which is full of vitamins and minerals, which helps to bring the skin to the necessary pH balance.
There are several good recipes that should be used in skin and hair care.
The use of honey as a lip scrub, according to cosmetologists, is very effective. You need to take 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of honey in a liquid state, half a teaspoon of cream, mix it all up and apply daily to the skin of the lips in a smooth circular motion. After 5 minutes, rinse the mixture off the lips with warm water.
To make it, you need to take coconut oil in a melted state in an amount of 3 tablespoons and a quarter of a cup of honey of a new harvest. Mix the listed components together, the resulting mixture should be applied to the entire length of the hair, starting from the roots. After that, leave such a mask on the hair for 20 minutes, then gently rub it into the scalp, then wash everything off with warm water. Such a mask to apply to the hair if necessary.
The sugar in honey affects the skin as a natural moisturizer and softener. It leads to an increase in the amount of water in the dermis, reduces the degree of dryness of the skin. To create such a remedy, you need to take only 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of warm water. The resulting milk is applied to the skin of the face for a couple of minutes, then simply rinse with water.
Mask with moisturizing effect
The benefits of using this mask is that the vitamins it contains mask the appearance of wrinkles, help reduce the risk of dehydration of the skin, improve its structure. Such a mask leads to improved skin elasticity, the appearance of a healthy shine. To prepare the mask, take half a banana, one apricot, 1 teaspoon of natural fresh honey. Combine all the ingredients with a blender to a creamy state with an airy texture. The resulting mixture is applied to the entire face, neck, protecting the skin around the eyes. Apply this mask for 25 minutes, then rinse with cool running water.
Excellent for body care is a coffee scrub based on honey. It is the best way to combat the appearance of cellulite on the skin, as well as removing dry skin. Such a scrub has a lifting effect. To make it, you need to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a quarter of a cup of ground coffee and honey in a liquid state of 2 tablespoons. After mixing these components you get a thick paste. Cosmetologists recommend applying it to the body for 20-40 minutes after showering on areas that need to be tightened. After time, everything should be rinsed off with cool water.
Using May honey in cooking
The easiest way to use honey in cooking is to eat it by eating it with spoons or as part of a sandwich with butter.
As cooking has evolved, many chefs have found interesting uses for honey. The rich flavor that May honey has is great for using it in the preparation of various marinades, peculiar dressings for salads. May honey is good with lemon juice, sunflower oil, and mustard. Even in ancient Egypt, when buried in the tombs was placed vessel of honey. Archaeological excavations of a tomb around the thirteenth century B.C. testify to this. After unsealing the honey vessel, it was revealed that the product had a wonderful smell, taste and consistency.
When honey is used to marinate meat, poultry, during the cooking process, a beautiful ruddy and crispy crust will appear.
Honey dip is used during the cooking of fish and vegetables. But not all cooks use it, because they know little about the intricacies of this process.
When creating sweet culinary masterpieces, honey is also used, which is often added to the dough, the base of the entire dish. This is exactly the kind of sweet baked goods that retain their freshness much longer, have an unparalleled aroma and taste that will impress even the most professional confectioners.
Honey does not bypass and sweet porridge, and cottage cheese, and muesli with milk.
Harm and contraindications
Although everyone is accustomed to believe that honey is a very useful product, but we should not forget that not everyone this sweet product is useful and suitable.
Contraindications to the use of honey:
- Allergy. If a person has an allergy, it is strictly prohibited to use honey, as well as any other products in which it is included.
- Hypersensitivity. If after the use of honey a person has an upset gastrointestinal tract, it is immediately necessary to stop eating this bee product or treating with it.
- Do not eat honey for women who are pregnant or young mothers who are breastfeeding a baby, as an allergic reaction to this product can occur in the newborn.
- It is extremely important to consult a doctor for people who have diabetes and pancreatitis.
- In the presence of couperose. It is manifested in the fact that the naked eye can see a grid of capillaries, which are dilated and damaged. It follows that it is forbidden to use cosmetics that contain honey, because it leads to the activation of blood circulation, which can be an excessive load for fragile vessels.
- The presence of poisonous substances in honey. It is very important to know where the bees collected nectar to produce honey. If these insects collected it from such plants as oleander, rosemary, belena, then the use of the product of beekeeping can lead to poisoning, loss of consciousness, the appearance of dizziness.
How to choose and store
In the selection process, the most important criterion is to determine the quality, because this factor is the most important condition for honey to have healing and nutritional properties, which must be assured when using this product of beekeeping during treatment.
Undoubtedly, the most natural is honey, which was collected and produced only in natural conditions, where no one has interfered with the very process of formation and composition of the sweet product.
The main rules during the selection of honey:
- The presence of a pleasant smell;
- The absence of taste and smell, indicating souring;
- Cost - the price should not be too low;
- Buy only from trusted vendors.
For honey to retain its useful properties, its owners need to ensure certain suitable conditions for its storage. To do this, you need to observe a few basic rules.
- The most common mistake is storing honey in the refrigerator. In cold conditions, honey begins to ferment, which over time leads to its deterioration.
- Store honey only in a glass container with a lid, which should be tightly closed.
- Do not keep honey exposed to direct sunlight. This can lead to a loss of the vitamins that are contained in honey. Therefore, the jar with such a delicious and useful treat should be kept out of reach of light, for example in the closet. However, it should be well away from other preserves so that the smell of pickles does not penetrate the honey.
Candied honey usually retains its beneficial properties for up to 2 years, if the product is natural and not store-bought.
If a person will use the rules when choosing honey, store it reliably, and use it according to the recommendations, the product will not lose its medicinal properties and will not cause harm in its use.
How to check for naturalness
When choosing honey at the market or in a store, a person cannot be sure about the places where it was harvested, what was the environmental situation there, and how honey was produced. Recently, there is a tendency that the consumer market is increasingly seeing honey that does not meet quality standards at all, adulterated, as auxiliary products (this can be corn or potato molasses, cane sugar, flour, chalk) began to be added to it.
Honey can only be tested qualitatively in the laboratory, when there is a detailed study of its composition. If it contains an excessive amount of sugar, this indicates that the bees were fed sugar syrup during the nectar harvest. If there is a lot of water in the honey, it means that it is not yet ripe and can go bad quickly.
The determining criterion for the quality of honey is the diastase number, which is determined in laboratory tests. It is a catalyst for metabolic processes. The higher the diastasis number, the healthier and better the honey, and the more rapidly it is absorbed by the body.
But to determine the quality of honey at home is very difficult, since for such studies you need a specialized laboratory, which counts a variety of chemical reagents.
Simple rules for buying honey:
- Buy honey only in proven places and from honest producers.
- When buying, pay attention to the packaging, which should be tight and neat.
- If honey is purchased in the store, the package must contain information about the place and date of collection, its compliance with state technical conditions, certification according to ISO 22000:2005, which confirms the high level of safety during the manufacture of products in terms of mass production.
- At appearance it should be determined that there is no liquid on the surface of honey. It should not stratify.
- Taste the honey before buying, if possible. On the taste it should not have any extraneous unpleasant tones. At the same time, the color, the smell of honey must necessarily correspond to the variety that is stated on the package or by the seller himself.
Assessment of honey for naturalness with the help of visual methods:
- If the product is natural, it should not be too liquid. That is, it is evaluated how it stretches. The slower the honey drips down the jar, the less water it contains. If the crystallization process has occurred with the honey, then it is no longer necessary to check for naturalness, as it will not go bad now if the storage conditions are met.
- If there are white spots, this indicates the release of glucose.
- Honey is famous for its color variety. It can be yellow, and light, and dark, even amber. The most important thing is that its color is clear, transparent and natural.
We can say that May honey should be in everyone's home. After all, this unique natural product is an active and indispensable helper to the body in the fight against various diseases, a good component of home cosmetics.
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