Just before Christmas, the good people over at the New Zealand Honey Co asked me if I would like to take part in their ‘natural remedy challenge’. The idea being that they send me a box of natural goodies and I would use them instead of all the normal pharmaceutical nonsense I normally chuck down my gullet. Being a fan of both New Zealand (that did just beat France on the World Cup after all) and honey (the Bee is mine and Kaede’s favourite animal), I decided to accept their offer and let the chips (poker, not potato) fall where they may.
When it arrived, my box of natural goodness contained the following:
· Manuka Honey 15+
· Beech Forest Honeydew Honey 20+
· Thyme Honey 20+
· Dried Blueberries
· Peppermint Tea
· Lavender oil
· Lemon juice
The garlic and ginger would be no problem, I practically put garlic in everything I cook anyway and quite often use ginger in my stir fry’s, so all I had to do was figure out how to use the rest.
I decided to start my two week challenge on the 1st January, new year, new regime and all that. Except I had a bit of a hangover on New Year’s Day and well, the 2nd was a bank holiday so ditto that day as well. So on the 3rd I finally got started.
Dried blueberries are packed full of vitamin C and are great for your immune and muscle systems, so a handful of them went into my bowl of muesli every morning (and let’s be honest – anything you add to muesli is only going to improve it) and with that I would have a cup of hot water with lemon juice and Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is a great antiseptic and should hopefully combat any coughs or colds that were heading my way, as is lemon juice, double immunity for me.
For my elevenses (I know, so very English) I decided I would have a slice of toast with Thyme Honey, accompanied by a cup of peppermint tea. The thyme honey is a great antioxidant and is great at fighting the free radicals in our bodies (take that you hippy trespassers). The peppermint tea aids digestion and can help sooth upset stomachs, so maybe I should have tried it with my hangover after all.
For my ‘mid-afternoon give me strength for the school run’ snack, I would have some Beech Forest Honeydew honey either on some toast, or on one of those ‘God aren’t I healthy’ cracker thingies. The honey is a pre-biotic with a rating of 20+, so I guess it starts fighting all the nasty stuff in your digestive system before the bugs have time to put on their armour and start getting all aggy.
Lavender oil can help induce and aid a restful sleep, so a few drops of the lavender oil went on my pillow every night, although the Mrs tartly suggested that ear plugs would probably be a better aid for her to get a good nights kip. After that quip I decided to test the theory that lavender also helps relieve stress and depression, so I put some in her tea – which resulted in the only failure of the two weeks testing – she got the right hump.
Two weeks have now passed and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with the results. I can honestly say that in those two weeks I haven’t had a single cold, not a single bout of ‘Delhi belly’, or any other malady come to think of it. I know two weeks isn’t enough time for all conclusive proof, but it’s working so far and I intend to stick to it. As another plus, not only is the honey making me healthier, it actually tastes great as well, the thyme honey being my favourite of the bunch.
As a curious (well curious to me anyway) by-product, it’s made me think more about my health and being healthy in general. I have cut down on the booze a bit and have mostly knocked the midnight snacks on the head, they were always my dieting downfall.
Many thanks again to the New Zealand Honey Co for providing me with a free box of goodies and all the bees in the 14,000 hives for providing the wild honey.