The Lombok Lodge Liquid Gold
MADU RAJA TRIGONA
When you hear the word “bee” what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Is it maybe the delicious honey? The buzzing sound of bees? Or is it maybe the thought that bees can sting you? If you associate bees with stinging and that makes you a bit scared of them, then we have a piece of good news for you.
THE LOMBOK LODGE LIQUID GOLD – STINGLESS BEE HONEY
Did you know that there are stingless bees? Not all bees are the same! There are around 20 000 known species of bees, each with its characteristics. One of which is the ability to sting. Even though they have the word ‘stingless’ in their name, they are not actually stingless. Meliponines have a stinger, but it’s reduced and cannot be used for defense. Stingless bees, also known as stingless honey bees or meliponines, are a large group of bees that includes about 500 bee species. They are closely related to common honeybees since they belong to the same family.
Stingless bee honey is a precious bee product of the stingless bee. Stingless bee honey is different from that produced by the classic honey bee in terms of its color, taste and viscosity. This valuable bee product has traditionally been consumed directly and used in numerous medical practices: both traditional methods, in which honey is harvested directly from the forest.
The total antioxidant activity in the Stingless Bee honey was proven to be higher than that of the floral honey. Stingless bee honey has a distinctive “bush” taste—a mix of sweet and sour with a hint of fruit. The taste comes from plant resins—which the bees use to build their hives and honey pots—and varies at different times of year depending on the flowers and trees visited.
STINGLESS BEE HONEY – THE MOTHER MEDICINE & ENEMY OF DISEASES
For centuries honey is known to be the enemy of diseases. Stingless bee honey is called Mother Medicine and there are an increasing number of traditional practitioners and researchers suggesting its use. Many known health benefits of eating stingless bee honey regularly include anti-ageing, enhanced libido and immune system, fighting bacteria and treating bronchial catarrh, sore throat, coughs and colds.
Honey is also restorative after an illness and said to sooth pain, act as antiseptic, hasten healing, relieve cough and be effective in curing burns, carbuncle, boils and diabetic wounds.
An extensive study on honey reported that among the various honey varietals, dark colour honey produced by Trigona from starfruit or carambola trees contains exceptionally high levels of potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Stingless bee honey certainly has a lot of nutrients because meliponine is smaller than the normal bee and can suck nectar from flowers to the deepest space. As a result, the honey collected contains many vitamins and minerals, among which is propolis, produced from the bee’s saliva mixed with its food such as pollen, bark, tree shoots and flowers.
Propolis is considered beneficial to health because it contains all 16 amino acids, glucose, vitamins A, B, C, D and E, bioflavonoids and minerals. Bioflavanid repairs and improves the systems of the human body and livestock.
Honey from stingless bees can be used externally in treating infections. It can be applied to skin wounds to prevent infections. An untreated wound oozes liquid and excessive moisture can act as a catalyst in causing infections. Honey absorbs these excess moisture and fights off infection causing agents in these wounds.
Honey can be an effective medicine for burns. Soothing and antiseptic properties of honey from stingless bee can be useful in the treatment of burns.
TREATS THROAT IRRITATION AND COUGHS
Stingless bees honey can be used as an effective medicine for cough and throat irritation. A warm drink of honey and lemon is advised for the treatment of coughs and sore throat.
PROVIDES RELIEF AGAINST ULCERS AND BACTERIAL GASTROENTERITIS
Honey from Stingless honey bees are advised for the treatment of ulcers and bacterial gut infections. Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach is known to be the cause of peptic ulcer. Antimicrobial property of honey is useful in eradicating these micro organisms and provides relief for ulcer patients.
WHAT MAKES STINGLESS BEE HONEY MORE VALUABLE THAN NORMAL HONEY?
Stingless bee honey is considered to be the most nutritious honey than other honey varieties. Stingless honey bees exist in most parts of the world. These bees are much smaller than the usual honey bees and each of them is not bigger than 5 mm. One of a unique feature of these honey bees is that they are not stingers. In South Indian state of Kerala these bees are called by a different name called ‘Cheruthen eecha’ and their honey is known as ‘Cheruthen’
SINCE THEY ARE NOT STINGERS, HOW WOULD THEY DEFEND THEIR COLONY FROM ENEMIES LIKE ANTS AND OTHER PESTS?
They live in hollow trees and rocks and make use of resin to build tube-like entrances to their nests. As their colonies rely entirely on flower nectar and pollen for food, they are important pollinators of many forests plants. They make use of a plant resin called propolis to trap the ants and other pests, they even bite their enemies, as in the case of humans they make use of propolis on the human skin and bites on the eyelids, they even crawl inside the nose and ears. They are capable of biting and could become very aggressive when protecting their hives.
WHAT’S THE REASON BEHIND THE MEDICINAL QUALITIES OF STINGLESS BEE HONEY OR CHERUTHEN?
Medicinal qualities of stingless bee honey or ‘Cheruthen’ is mentioned in Ayurvedic tests and other medical journals. This honey variety can be administered to small children for treating mild fever. Since it has antibacterial properties, stingless bee honey can be used against various infections.
The flowers of many of those antibacterial and anti-fungal medicinal shrubs and herbs are very small. Normal honey bees are much bigger and are not cut out to take away the nectar and pollen from these flowers. Bigger bees are mostly circulated in fruit orchards, where all sorts of chemicals and hormones are used for production. But the small size of stingless bees enables them to feed on these medicinal flowers, thereby increases the medicinal value of their honey
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