One of the newest honey varieties to grace Savannah Bee showrooms is our Lavender honey from Spain. Most of the folks I know around Savannah have been familiar with the Lavender plant for ages. Lavender thrives here in the Hostess City! These shrubby and fragrant sun-loving evergreen perennials are so easy to care for that growing them is very enjoyable. When planted alone they are pretty, but if you bunch them together in a 3-foot square space or plant them along a driveway they become a beautiful accent to your yard or garden. There are a thousand and one uses for the lovely Lavender plant.
Is it an outside plant? Absolutely not! Apartment dwellers love it not only for its color but also for its pleasant fragrance. They are super easy to care for and don’t require a college degree to successfully grow.
Long after loving the way lavender looks while it is growing, someone told me about lavender essential oil. I was absolutely amazed. For centuries, the essential oil from this beautiful plant has been used to address several kinds of man’s ailments. Then when Savannah Bees brought lavender honey into our showcase of honey varieties, I wondered if any of those healing benefits could make their way into the honey. The more I studied, the more I was pleasantly surprised. Let me share with you what I found out. You’ll be amazed, too.
Lavender essential oils were commonly used by the Romans as early 500 B.C. They were the first culture to start exploring the different applications for the essential oil. The Greeks called it nard and then later they referred to is as ‘spikenard’.
It didn’t take long for the Romans and Greeks to find out that lavender essential oil was excellent for its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. Historically, it has been used as an effective bug repellent as well as be the main ingredient in perfumes and men’s cologne. The calming scent of lavender is an excellent tonic for the nerves and for minimizing anxiety. It was only natural that it would also be helpful in treating headaches, depression, and nervous stress. One study that I read said that inhaling lavender essential oil before an exam not only relaxed the students but it actually increased their cognitive functions. (Why didn’t my eighth grade Science teach know that?)
All of that is well and good. However, there is a different side to the many health benefits of that beautiful purple plant. The honey that the bees make from its nectar has a different set of benefits.
Lavender honey is not just a sweet tasting alternative to sugar. It is loaded with all kinds of health benefits. Not only does it, like all honey, contain vitamins and minerals, but it contains a tremendous amount of antioxidants. What are antioxidants and why do we need them? Let me explain.
Our body’s trillion or so cells face ominous threats all throughout the day. Lack of proper nutrition, invasion by a nasty virus, or molecular damage caused by chemicals called free radicals are just a few examples of everyday threats to our cells. All of these stressors ultimately damage cells and can even alter our genetic makeup. The body generates free radicals as the byproducts of converting food into energy, a process known as cellular respiration. That’s right, it's just part of the process. As a result, our cells are subject to constant exposure to these cell degrading chemicals.
Free radicals come in many shapes and sizes. But all of them have a great appetite for electrons. Free radicals steal or strip electrons from any nearby molecules. As the electrons are removed from the molecules of out cells and tissues their functionality often decreases or halts altogether.
The National Institute of Health has found that free radicals are responsible for a variety of diseases which include, atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia, and degenerative eye disease just to name a few. Of course, the process of biological aging has also been linked to the damage caused by free radicals.
Here’s where honey, in general, comes in. All honey varieties contain molecules called antioxidants. In short, antioxidants counter the damaging action of free radicals. Just as different vitamins affect your body in different ways, different honey varieties have different combinations of antioxidants and will affect your body in different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the antioxidants found in Lavender honey.
Lavender honey is rich in Tyrosine and Tyrosine is one of the primary amino acids in all types of honey. The human body uses Tyrosine to make neurotransmitters that may help prevent or treat certain conditions involving the brain. Taking it one step further, your body uses niacin, folic acid, vitamin C, and copper to convert tyrosine into many important protein substances. Among these are melanin, a skin pigment, and the hormone estrogen.
Researchers have found that Lavender honey showed anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans, Candida krusei, and Cryptococcus neoformans. This study also concluded that perhaps Lavender honey could be used in the future as a natural remedy for a variety of mycotic (fungal) infections. That is important because fungi are becoming increasingly resistant to antifungal drugs as a result of over prescribing.
Luteolin, another antioxidant found in Lavender honey, can help boost the immune system, promotes healthy blood glucose levels, and can protect the eyes from UV radiation. It neutralizes some free radicals and helps limit their effects.
There is one antioxidant that is ONLY found in honey. It is called pinocembrin. Some studies show that pinocembrin can protect the brain cells against the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Savannah Bee Lavender honey is harvested from a pristine, remote region of Spain. Beehives are trucked into this mountainous region each spring and set up in vast fields of wild lavender. This Wild Lavender honey is prized across all of Europe and we are incredibly honored to be able to offer it to our customers. Our Lavender honey not only gives your taste buds a sweet little thrill, it can also do your body a world of good. Order some Lavender honey today and find out what the buzz is all about!
Submitted By: Henry Givins