As the number of reported cases of the flu increase, so has the demand for raw honey at the Mohawk Valley Trading Company. Honey is a well known antioxidant with antimicrobial effects which helps to heal wounds and has been used for eons in many cultures for treating and managing upper respiratory infection symptoms.
“Last month, Dr. Oz talked about his flu prevention checklist and special guest Dr. Tasneem Bhatia from the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine recommended taking 1 to 2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey every day.” said Mary Ross of the Mohawk Valley Trading Company. “Soon after that, the sales of our buckwheat honey took off.”
Honey has been used for eons in many cultures for treating and managing upper respiratory infection symptoms and the World Health Organization recommends the use of honey to soothe cough in kids over one year old. It is a well known antioxidant with antimicrobial effects which helps to heal wounds and burns.
“We thought interest would have tapered off by now, but since the flu outbreak, there has been a dramatic increase in the sale of not only buckwheat honey but all varieties of raw honey” she continued "and the orders from Boston and the surrounding area have been crazy.”
To date, 18 people have died in Massachusetts from the flu and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency this past Wednesday morning.
"This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I'm urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven't already," Menino said. "It's the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family. If you're sick, please stay home from work or school."
According to the mayor’s office, there have been 700 confirmed influenza cases since October 1; 10 times more than all of last year's flu season.
About Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey has a deep, dark brown color, pungent, strong molasses like earthy flavor and recent studies have shown it to be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup for treating a cough.
Buckwheat is neither a grass nor wheat, but is a fruit related to rhubarb it was one of the first crops cultivated in the United States. Dutch colonists brought buckwheat to North America where they planted it along the Hudson River. Buckwheat was sometimes called beech wheat, because its seeds look like small beech nuts.
Buckwheat was an important crop in the U.S. until the demand declined in the 1960's. Buckwheat honey is not a widespread honey and finding it locally may be difficult because today, buckwheat is primarily grown in the northern states.
Buckwheat seeds are also used or making gluten free flour and buckwheat blossoms are an excellent source of nectar and blooming can continue well into the autumn.
Buckwheat hulls are used as filling for pillows and meditation cushions. The hulls are durable and do not conduct or reflect heat as much as synthetic fills and they are an excellent substitute to feathers for people with allergies. However, buckwheat hull pillows made with uncleaned and unprocessed hulls contain high levels of allergens that may trigger an asthma attack in those who are at risk.
Honey has been used by humans since ancient times for its health benefits and as a sweetener and flavoring for many foods and beverages with tea being the most popular. Honey bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and regurgitating it to store in beeswax honeycombs inside their hive. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis and one it’s most popular uses is beeswax candles.
The flavor and color of honey is determined by the type of flower the bees gather the nectar from. Dark colored honey is considered to be higher in minerals and antioxidants than light colored honey and one of the most well known dark colored honeys is buckwheat honey. Raw buckwheat honey contains a higher amount of minerals and an antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives it its dark color.
Honey is a healthy alternative to refined sugar, however when cooking or baking with honey, it is not necessary to use raw honey since the heat destroys the all of the pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and aromatics. Since the flavor and color of honey is determined by the type of flower the bees gather the nectar from, it is a good idea to taste the honey before using it in a recipe. For example; a dark honey like buckwheat honey will result in a strong, heavy, a pungent flavor, whereas orange blossom honey will result in a delicate orange flavor.
The Mohawk Valley Trading Company hours of operations are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, seven days a week. Reach them at (315)-519-2640 to learn more.
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