Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Drunk on honey? Pass the bottle

Did you know there is such a thing as "honey intoxication"? Don't believe it? Well, look no further than that venerable institution of learning, wikipedia:

"Honey produced from the flowers of rhododendrons, mountain laurels, sheep laurel, and azaleas may cause honey intoxication. Symptoms include dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and vomiting. Less commonly, low blood pressure, shock, heart rhythm irregularities, and convulsions may occur, with rare cases resulting in death. Honey intoxication is more likely when using "natural" unprocessed honey and honey from farmers who may have a small number of hives."

Now, I've heard of honey beer, ale, mead, what have you, but actually getting drunk off the honey itself? Better limit your honey on those biscuits or the cornbread this summer if you are going to be driving.

Since I've been on a bee kick lately (I'm in good company; Martha Stewart just devoted an article in the latest Living to the disappearing bees, as well as collecting honeybee housewares), I thought I'd pass along a few lesser known uses for the yellow stuff. Please note: Babies shouldn't have honey; it can cause botulism in the young. So keep the sticky stuff off any little sticky fingers.

Honey is believed to have antiseptic properties and might help wounds stay free of germs or help heal burns - I think I'll go with neosporin myself

Is it a laxative? Is it a facial polish? Folks claim that it is both. Honey can be added to oatmeal as a gentle facial exfoliant or eaten as a way to help nature along (perhaps bran muffins with honey?).

Those who follow Ayurvedic teachings might recommend one of eight different types of honey for specific ailments (Honey is classified by the type of bee that created it; small ones, fat ones, etc. Feel free to google for specifics.)

Honey and lemon juice mixed together can help out a sore throat (probably with a little whiskey mixed in too, no doubt).

Any other unusual uses for the stuff? Feel free to pass them along. Honey on peanut butter toast is about as good as it gets, in my book, but I'm sure there are other novel ways to enjoy some honey goodness.

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