The history of honey dates back to 3000 B.C. It was recorded that people of ancient Egypt used honey as a medicine, applying it to scrapes and cuts, as well as to prevent bacteria. Due to its medicinal properties, honey is used in almost all Egyptian medicines. Another popular use of honey was to preserve the pharaohs that were mummified as a symbol of royalty.
Honey’s natural properties also made it a popular ingredient for beauty purposes. Cleopatra is said to use honey as part of her beauty recipe, especially in her bath to keep her skin smooth and firm.
History from Egyptians
The ancient Egyptians also used honey as a sweetener in their cakes. History has also shown the importance of honey as an essential ingredient that was favored by the Romans. Back in those times, honey was used like how we use sugar now. The history of honey is of extra significance for the Romans especially because the Romans were known to be experts in the beekeeping industry.
Since the ancient Romans were very fond of sweet food and beverages, their recipes rely a lot on honey (thyme honey was a particular favorite amongst the Romans). It was said that the Romans put honey in their food at every meal. Besides food and beverages, the Romans also used honey in cosmetics and medicine. Soldiers used honey as an antiseptic to treat wounds during a battle. Other than that, the ancient Romans made honey as a gift for their gods.
The benefits of honey can be found in the history of ancient Greece too. Hippocrates said, “Honey serves food, health, and energy.” Like the Egyptians and Romans, the Greeks also used honey as a sweetener in their food. According to Greek mythology, nectar was the “food of the gods” in Olympus.
The history of honey and its significance in ancient Greece is clear as the magical value of honey was even written in many Greek poems. In the poems, the poets mentioned about honey as having the power of wisdom and eloquence because Plato, the Greek idol, was fed with honey. Until today, Greek honey is still considered to be one of the finest honey in the world. For the Chinese, the history of honey in their tradition has started as early as the 11th century. In the 14th century, particularly at the time of the Ming dynasty, one text was written by a pharmacist mentioning the use of honey to heal many diseases and as a pain reliever.
The Chinese believe that honey can help enhance the yin, or “cold energy”. Besides healing, honey is known to be a special menu for the royal families. Honey was considered very special that they even send honey as gifts. For the Muslims, benefits of honey had been revealed more than 1400 years ago. The Prophet Muhammad told about the healing power of honey for various ailments. It was also reported that Prophet Muhammad once said, “Make use of two remedies: honey and the Quran”. In the Muslims holy book, the Quran, there was a chapter that was named after the bee, and in one verse God said regarding the bee, “There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying color wherein is healing for men. Verily in this is indeed a sign for people who think.”