|MadSci Network: General Biology|
It is believed that the existence of honey dates back millions of years. The products from bees have been used by the Chinese for millenniums. The first writings extolling the healing virtues of honey were published in a Chinese herbal classic in the third century B.C., entitled 'The Agriculture Emperor's Materia Medica'. Honey was also documented in India as part of Ayurveda treatments as far back as 5000 B.C. The Rigveda and Atharva-veda (5000 years B.C.) are the earliest documented ancient Indian knowledge and references on health and diseases. Ayurved texts like Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were documented about 1000 years B.C. A little more recently a book, "Jane Bardsley's Outback Letterbook, Across the Years 1896-1936," by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1987 tell of the varied use of an aboriginal medicine - native honey. Mrs. Bardsley's October 1898 letter tells that an aboriginal individual told her that for constipation they eat honey and in no time are relieved. From many modern and ancient writings (anthropological and scientific), honey has been long stated as having various healing properties as well as mild laxative properties. Dr. Yangfang Liu, Clinical Dean of American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in Houston, Texas, states that many Chinese herbal medicines are mixed with honey and then covered with bees wax to protect them. She states that Chinese medical remedies include the use of honey as a treatment for weakness, fluid deficiency, blood deficiency, and constipation among other conditions. In recent years, raw honey has been scientifically proven to be hygroscopic (it absorbs water) and maintain copious quantities of water. The combination of possessing relatively large quantities of water, varying quantities of residual wax, and a tendency to hold on to its water content makes honey useful in keeping fecal matter moist and soft as it passes through the digestive system. These properties help honey act as a lubricant and stimulates the bowels for passage of fecal material. Laxatives, even herbal laxatives, should be used with caution. Other natural remedies should be tried first. The gentlest remedies for constipation include increased movement and exercise, certain yoga postures, increase of fluid intake, and dietary changes including increased fiber and fruit. And prune juice may be the most effective and gentlest remedy for constipation - tons of fiber and moisture. However, if constipation is a chronic problem, seek a physician's help - the symptoms may be part of another medical problem. The following websites may provide additional information on honey and other traditional methods for treating constipation: Honey http://members.aol.com/beehealthy/b_honey.htm http://www.mainebee.com/articles/index3.php http://usacupuncturists.com/index.cfm/CFID/3637768/CFTOKEN/74307037/aol/1/M enuItemID/340.htm Constipation http://www.natmedpro.com/nmp/Constip.htm http://www.health911.com/remedies/rem_consti.htm Hope this will help answer your question.
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