Last week Tanu called as usual and said she had to tell me something before we launched into our marathon conversation, Mi. I had messaged her earlier in the day to tell her my sugar was a bit “up”. So here’s what she said:
- Take a 1 inch piece of a cinnamon stick in a bowl.
- Add a glass of water
- Boil it down to half
- Add half a teaspoon of honey
- Add half a teaspoon of lemon juice
- Drink twice a day.
She said, if that doesn’t stabilize my blood sugar, she’d change her name.
My first question was – honey? Wasn’t I supposed to avoid it? Her response was a loud snort before she got started on her lecture about the benefits of honey. She also reminded me of the various occasions we have relied on honey as a health cure. It got me thinking, and yes – I do remember that we used honey as a sweetener instead of white sugar.
- When I wanted to control weight, you advised me to have a glass of warm water mixed with honey in the morning on an empty stomach.
- A spoon of honey before going to bed at night ensured fewer bed-wetting accidents when Vidur was off diapers.
- Severe cough? A spoon of honey soothed the throat with its antioxidants and antibacterial properties
- You recommended honey when Vidur was a toddler as it is easy to digest and also gives energy
- A few pearls of peeled garlic soaked in honey is an excellent – and tasty – remedy for sore throats and infections.
- Applying honey on wounds heals them faster
- When Vidur was little, we got him to take his medicine crushed with a spoon of honey to make it more palatable. He used to look so sweet when he ate his “honey sandwich” and would get honey all over his cheeks!
Now Sury regularly adds a spoon of Dabur honey to his muesli every day. We love honey on practically everything from rotis, fruits, smoothies and ice creams to sweets.
My favorite memory of my own honey diet is when Vidur was just born and you made that special herbal medicine for me – quite similar to the Chyavanprash lehiyam. I smile to think of how Kondu Mama would scour the market for the purest honey as it was one of the critical ingredients in this medicine.
Almost all our ayurvedic herbal medicine depends on honey as an important ingredient.
Now that Vidur is all grown up and going to college, I welcome him with a glass of lemon juice with a couple of spoons of honey when he returns home so that he feels refreshed. Some days when the weather is cooler, I make green tea and add honey and he loves that too.
I am also enjoying using honey as a healthier sweetening option in baking, compared to crystal sugar.
Coming to diets…
Honey also reminds me of Sheelu, who used to pester you for home remedies for losing weight.
Remember how she wanted to go on a crash diet so she could fit into an expensive saree blouse for a wedding? You chided her about crash diets and explained why it is better to go on a steady balanced diet so she could not only lose weight but keep it off. You said that while diets may be effective in the short term for losing pounds, keeping them off is the challenge. I mean, who wants to stick to a diet? Also, crash diets have a long term negative effect on health which totally defeats the purpose, right?
Perhaps the worst thing about crash diets is, in their quest to produce quick results, they compromise on nutrients and have rigid rules that the individual has a tough time sticking to. The food restrictions can end up in dehydration, weakness and fatigue. Now who wants to say goodbye to health just to lose a few pounds?
A better idea is to live a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet that minimizes simple carbohydrates, especially sugar and baked goods that use white flour. Add regular exercise and one is good to go! When I was diagnosed with diabetes, that’s exactly what I did. Dropped all processed foods switched to healthier options. Yes, I start my day with a spoon of honey in cinnamon tea.
And oh, let’s not forget the beauty uses of honey as a wonderful moisturizer for fabulous skin!
Yes, honey is a regular item on my weekly grocery list! Truly, it is liquid gold!