Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Herb of the Day -- Honey

Being new to this blog writing business, I'm trying to develop a theme for this site that will be fun for me and useful for others.

While not exactly mind blowing, I was thinking that perhaps an herb of the day lesson might be useful for some, and if nothing else, interesting for others.

With that...

Yesterday I wrote an all too long treatise on Dal. While I like Dal well enough and we do eat it quite frequently, I'll be honest in saying that I don't eat it for weight loss or for strictly health reasons on average. Apparently, in China Dal is called congee, or porridge, and is also used as medicine. Typically the Chinese will add some useful medicinal herbs to the batch and will tailor the herbs to whatever ailment is presenting itself. Personally, I tend to stick with the "green chile and garlic cures all" mentality. But since I study this stuff and have imbued my brain with countless hours of research, I still feel like I have to share the traditional medicinal concepts and practices of other cultures.

Since yesterday's topic was really a response to the Bomb Town News Observer blog regarding the consumption of meat, and the disgusting excess (that comes with a cheap pricetag, but high cost) that has become the norm here in our American culture, I thought that perhaps I should introduce the concept of Purgatives today.

Herbs that fall into the category of Purgative are, well, purging...and generally they act from the "bottom" down.

Some are extremely powerful and can be used for only one dosage, while others are considered gentle, and can be used daily. There are 3 types of purgatives: attacking, lubricating, and cathartic.

Attacking purgatives purge internal heat and inflammation. Lubricating purgatives (also called laxatives) attract and hold water in the intestine to lubricate it and also help to promote bowel elimination. Cathartic purgatives are the most powerful and are used to forcefully evacuate solid and fluid waste--thus these should be used with caution.

Ayurvedic medicine promotes the use of an ayurvedic formula called Triphala, which gently eliminates "excess" without creating dependency. Triphala can be purchased in most natural food stores, or ordered on the internet.

Today, however, I'll focus on one sweet little purgative that is probably not known as a "laxative," and that sweet nectar is HONEY.

According to Chinese medicine, Honey, or Apis melifera, has a neutral energy and a sweet taste.
Honey affects the lung, spleen, and stomach meridians.
Honey contains natural sugars, inorganic salts, enzymes, protein, wax, pigments, resin, aromatics, pollen, choline, Vitamin A, B2, C, and D.

In Western Herbal medicine, Honey is said to be antitussive, aperient, demulcent, tonic, laxative, and expectorant.

Honey is especially useful for chronic dry stool, and constipation in the elderly. It should not, however, be used for chronic diarrhea. Cinnamon is more useful for chronic diarrhea.

Generally, the dosage for constipation would be 15 to 30 grams, 2 to 4 times per day.

Honey, can be taken with tea, and will lose none of it's purgative properties even when mixed with tea.

Even though Honey is considered to be a laxative, it is probably more well-known as an expectorant and demulcent --meaning it helps the body to remove phlegm, and is moistening. It truly is one of those wonderful blessings from little bees that those Vegans are really missing out on.

More later!


Jimbo said...

Vegans don't eat honey? Really? That settles it then: No Vegan for me!

Chrysanthemama said...

Honey is an "animal product" and thus, for strict vegans, honey is taboo.

Too bad for them!

keven said...

To quote The Queers - "Stupid F'n Vegans". And though I know Jimbo must be wary of the little buggers his mother, like mine, knew that a little honey is second only to Mom's TLC when you're feeling down.