The buzz about honey

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dr. Nick D’Andrea doesn’t practice medicine but he does sing the medicinal praises of honey.

D’Andrea owns and operates the Berry Patch in Pike County and is a regular vendor at the Pike County Farmers Market which opened Saturday at its new location on the grass field between Bicentennial Park and Troy Bank & Trust in Troy.

Of course, D’Andrea, laughingly said, he would like to sell all of the Berry Patch honey that his bees produce but for him, hawking honey is more than putting a jingle in his pocket.

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“The Berry Patch honey comes from the flowering fruit at the ‘patch’ and has a sweet, fruity taste and it is especially good to me,” D’Andrea said. “But I also want people to know the health benefits of honey and there are many.”

At the top of D’Andrea’s benefits of honey list is the ability to acclimate the body to pollens in one’s specific area.

“Think about it,” he said. “The bees start making honey by visiting flowers. By using raw, local honey you help to acclimate your body to the pollens of your area. In turn, this helps to reduce your susceptibility to environmental allergies. If you really think about what bees do in the grand scheme of things, this makes perfect sense.”

D’Andrea also recommends honey water for what ails you.

Honey water is a combination of two things that are good for a healthy body, water and honey, he said.

“I know the warm water isn’t necessarily crucial to helping with allergies, but being hydrated is never a bad thing,” D’Andrea said. “Over time, honey and water can help shed those extra pounds.

“The sugar in honey is a natural sugar and that’s good sugar because it’s healthy source of calories. Drinking honey water lowers the carvings for drinks that have empty calories. The fewer of those ‘pops’ that you drink the less weight you gain.”

Drinking a warm glass of water with honey first thing in the morning helps to improve the digestive system. The antiseptic benefits of honey help relieve the acidity in the stomach while increasing the production of intestinal mucus.

Hot water with honey can help reduce the soreness and irritation of a sore throat, D’Andrea said. Honey helps coat the throat and the warm water soothes.

“This soothing and coating action also help reduce coughing that is sometimes caused by irritation from a sore throat.”

Honey also has healing properties and, applied to a lesion and covered, can speed the healing process.

“Smeared on a first- or second-degree burn, honey reduces healing time up to several days in some cases,” D’Andrea said.

Honey can be used to dry up pimples and reduce facial redness.

“Honey absorbs impurities from pores, making it an ideal cleansing agent,” D’Andrea said. “And a tablespoon of honey in eight ounces of warm milk will help you get to sleep at night.”

D’Andrea said honey is not a cure-all but it does have the ability to make life a little better and a little sweeter.

The Berry Patch owner is a regular vendor at the Pike County Farmers Market and will have information available of the health benefits of honey for those who are interested.

The Pike County Farmers Market will open at 7 a.m. Saturday at its new location. Beginning Tuesday, the market will also be open from 5 until 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Saturday mornings.

Everyone is encouraged to “Buy Fresh; Buy Local” and support local farmers.