A Secret Love Affair
Well I have to admit – I have had a secret love affair with Honey and everything that goes with it! This has been going on for many years now! Well what can I say – my name means Honey Bee! I have been true to the personification of this name ‘Melissa’; in that I have been a busy bee, creating delicious things. Should I throw hard-working in there for good measure!
I have always been amazed by this liquid edible Gold. Trust my luck that I was able to settle in a gorgeous country like New Zealand, where this edible gold takes on a whole new form! Manuka!
Manuka Honey is even better than regular honeys as it comes packed with loads of essential extras! In New Zealand Manuka or the Tea Tree grows wild and is the source of the magic that goes on in our little bee hives here. It is used in both traditional and modern medicine (yep!) for its natural antibacterial properties. In addition to containing hydrogen peroxide, Manuka Honey is high in the antibacterial methylglyoxal (MG). MG is found in most types of honey in small quantities. However, Manuka Honey contains up to 100 times more MG than normal honey.
Anti-Aging: MG has been shown to increase collagen cross-linking, promoting the structural growth of collagen in skin cells. And since amino acids are the building blocks of collagen, they also protect collagen. Healthy collagen means healthy, firm, youthful-looking skin.
Acne: Manuka Honey works wonders for blemished skin because of its aforementioned natural antibacterial properties. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory, so soothes inflamed skin while healing blemishes. It also helps balance the skin’s pH and contains amino acids which slough away dead skin cells, helping to keep pores clear.
Retains moisture: Manuka Honey is a natural humectant, drawing moisture into the skin. This hydration helps to further enhance the skin’s elasticity and cell regeneration, as well as promote healing.
Besides Honey, our wonderful busy bees also create natural Wax which they created in their abdomen.
Natural beeswax is formed almost entirely of fatty acids and chain alcohols and includes large amounts of oleate esters, hydroxypalmitate, palmitate, and palmitoleate. These ingredients blend to produce properties that make beeswax the key for maintaining skin texture and health. The ability to keep moisture in the skin and the high vitamin A content stimulate the production of skin cells while keeping the skin insulated from environmental dangers. Beeswax also brings to the skin the necessary antioxidants for a healthy complexion.
Beeswax brings to your skin each of these healthy effects in a package that is completely natural. Even when processed, beeswax is still active biologically and preserves anti-inflammatory, germicidal, antibacterial, and anti-allergenic properties, making it the chosen solution for many skin disorders. The melting point of beeswax is quite high ranging between 62- 64 degrees Celsius. Beeswax generally comes in colors like yellow, white, orange, brown, or red and the changing color depends on the age of the honeycomb or its usage to raise a brood.
In ancient times Beeswax was considered to have mythical and magical properties. There are several health benefits of beeswax when used as a topical application. Some of the main health benefits are as follows:
- Acne: The effectiveness of beeswax for acne treatment and control is well known. It has strong antiseptic, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in the treatment of acne. Beeswax contains vitamin A, which is an added advantage in the treatment of acne. It is also an excellent skin softener and emollient that helps maintain a smooth skin texture after acne elimination. A combination of non-comedogenic skin care products, diet, and exercise is the best way to control and prevent acne.
- Beeswax is edible – so you can cook with it. Great to rub a small block directly onto your pan before cooking.
- Allergies: Beeswax contains non-allergenic properties that help protect the skin from airborne allergies like hay fever and asthma. It is also a good remedy for relieving the symptoms of insomnia and depression.
- Beeswax is a natural sunscreen of SPF 15. Bees wax provides ultra UV protection because of it’s barrier properties (as well as warding off free radicals), it makes a wonderful alternative to those who want safe, natural sun protection for their lips and skin.
- Dry skin: The ability of beeswax to lock in moisture has made it an important ingredient in a variety of lotions and creams for treating dry skin. In addition, its rich vitamin A content and emollient properties help in the healthy development of skin cells. It is a natural moisturizer that not only treats dry skin, but also helps prevent it. You can combine beeswax with almond oil and a few drops of vitamin E oil to prepare a homemade remedy for dry skin.
- Eczema: Beeswax is a great treatment for skin problems like eczema that cause an itchy skin rash. Eczema is a common skin problem especially during the colder months that results in extremely dry skin. A mixture of beeswax, olive oil, and honey is effective in relieving the symptoms of eczema as well as psoriasis. The medicinal properties of beeswax help in reducing eczema inflammation and prevent further infection.
- Lip care: The natural moisturizers in beeswax make it a good balm for the lips. You can easily treat problems like cracked or chapped lips with the help of topical beeswax applications. You can make your own lip balm by combining beeswax with vitamin E oil, coconut oil, honey, and essential oils of either orange, peppermint or lemon.
- Stretch marks: Stretch marks are a common complaint especially after pregnancy or because of weight gain or weight loss. You can combine beeswax with wheat germ oil, vitamin E oil, apricot kernel oil, and cocoa butter to prepare a natural remedy for preventing and treating stretch marks.
- Hair: Beeswax is also a natural treatment to stimulate hair growth. Furthermore, being a good thickening agent, beeswax helps add volume to your hair while keeping it soft, shiny, and more manageable. It is also beneficial in protecting the hair from environmental damage. Beeswax is therefore commonly used in hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, balms, pomades, emulsifiers, and products for hair repair. Beeswax is a natural, safe, and hypoallergenic ingredient to use on both the hair as well as the scalp to add strength, luster, and volume to the hair.
- Hemorrhoids: Beeswax is a natural remedy for problems like hemorrhoids. Experts recommend combining it with calendula oil and olive oil for the treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures. You can also combine it with honey and olive oil to make a topical application for hemorrhoids. This remedy is very effective in relieving itching and reducing bleeding caused by hemorrhoids. Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources and then modified by the bees’ own enzymes as they process the material, mix it with beeswax, and make it into a protective antibacterial glue and sealant. It’s not surprising that the word “propolis” means “defender of the city” in Greek.
- Propolis Provides Powerful Nutrients including polyphenols, vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium), enzymes and antifungal and antibacterial flavonoids, plus pinene and other essential oils inherent in tree and plant resins. Organic Bees Wax containing Propolis is even more potent and has numerous health benifits.
If you are interested in doing a course on Bee Keeping I would highly recommend The Bee Hive in Drury, Auckland. Greg is an amazing teacher and you get a wealth of knowledge and hands on practical hive time.