Alternative Medicines:The Miracle of Honey
By: Vivian bint Joan Taylor
More than 1,400 years ago Allah and His messenger sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), told us that honey can heal a variety of medicinal problems.
Allah says in the Quran, "And the lord inspired the bee, saying: Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you)'. There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily in this is indeed a sign for people who think." [Qur'an 16:68-69]
The Prophet, sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), has also told us of the healing found within honey for a variety of medical problems, including stomach ailments. One hadeeth, reported by Bukhari, states that a man came to the Prophet , sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), because his brother had a stomach disorder. The Prophet said "Let him drink honey." The man returned a second time and again the Prophet , sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), responded again, "Let him drink honey." The man returned again, and said "I have done that." The Prophet then responded, "Allah has said the truth, but your brother's stomach has told a lie. Let him drink honey." He drank it and was cured.
Tirmithi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi also reported that the Prophet, sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), said, "Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Quran."
Modern medicine is only just learning of this fact. Traditional uses of honey have included honey mixed with lemon for sore throats. Honey coats the throat and reduces throat irritation. Research has already shown that honey blocks the growth of oral bacteria. Honey has also been used for stomach pains and problems. Modern research shows that honey is effective when used in the treatment of gastric or peptic stomach ulcers. Research has also revealed that honey is effective in the treatment of various wounds and infections because of its antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal) properties.
Researchers are not absolutely sure why honey heals but they are learning new things about honey everyday. We do know that honey contains a variety of sugars and minerals. Honey is also considered an antioxidant. This means it allows the blood to circulate better and provide more oxygen to areas of the body such as the brain. Honey can also be used externally to promote healing when applied to wounds, even postoperative wounds. Honey has also been effective in its use to treat burns. It has even been shown to be low in calories and useful as a sweetener for diabetics, people with heart disease or those overweight.
Although there is healing in honey for a variety of medical disorders, certain precautions should be taken. Children under the age of one year never be given honey due to the possibility of infant botulism. This type of food poisoning can be deadly, however, it only seems to affect infants under one year of age. Also, if you have any known allergies to specific plants, then you should make sure the honey you are using is not made from that plant. People with allergies to bee stings should be careful when using other bee-related products such as propolis or royal jelly. If these precautions are followed, then honey may provide healing for you.
As Muslims, we must acknowledge and accept that Allah and His Prophet, sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), know better and have revealed the truth. We should, therefore, study the research that is available, not to confirm or deny the truth that has been revealed by Allah and his Prophet, sallallahu aleyhe wa sallam (peace be upon him), but to learn of new ways we can use honey.