More than 1,400 years ago Allah and His messenger (PBUH), told us that honey can heal a variety of medical problems. The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Quran." (Tirmithi)
Modern medicine is only just learning of this fact. People knew honey from ancient times and long before they began to process refined sugar. Honey's natural properties also make it an excellent replenisher and a solvent; it opens the pores of blood vessels and eases menstrual discharge, forces out phlegm, and opens obstruction of the liver, kidney, and bladder.
Honey is abluent and an aperient. It contains detergent and tonic properties that cleanse the arteries and bowels of impurities. It opens obstructions of the liver, kidney, and bladder. It is also a general preservative, and it helps to preserve the potency of salves among other natural medicinal remedies. Honey is also a curative for a depraved appetite, and when taken as a drink mixed with hot water and a pomace made from sweet roses, it helps the treatment of rabies, and is considered a safeguard from further infections. Honey is also used as detoxicant for drug users, and as an antitoxin to treat accidental eating of poisonous plants of the nightshade family (Hyoscymus niger), or wild fungus, among others. As a preservative, honey can be used to preserve meat for up to three months, and is used in pickling cucumbers, squash, eggplant, and various kinds of fruits for up to six months. Known as "LIM trustworthy preservative".
Traditional uses of honey have included honey mixed with lemon for sore throats. Honey coats the throat and reduces throat irritation. Research has already shown that honey blocks the growth of oral bacteria. Honey has also been used for stomach pains and problems. Modern research shows that honey is effective when used in the treatment of gastric or peptic stomach ulcers. Research has also revealed that honey is effective in the treatment of various wounds and infections because of its anti-microbial (antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal) properties.
Researchers are not absolutely sure why honey heals but they are learning new things about honey everyday. We do know that honey contains a variety of sugars and minerals. Honey is also considered an antioxidant. This means it allows the blood to circulate better and provide more oxygen to areas of the body such as the brain. Honey can also be used externally to promote healing when applied to wounds, even postoperative wounds. Honey has also been effective in its use to treat burns. It has even been shown to be low in calories and useful as a sweetener for diabetics, people with heart-disease, or those overweight.
Although there is healing in honey for a variety of medical disorders, certain precautions should be taken. Children under the age of one year never should be given honey due to the possibility of infant botulism.
As Muslims, we must acknowledge and accept that Allah and His Prophet, (PBUH), know better and have revealed the truth. We should, therefore, study the research that is available, not to confirm or deny the truth that has been revealed by Allah (SWT) and his Prophet (PBUH), but to learn of new ways we can use honey.
Allah says in the Quran, "And Your lord inspired the bee, to build your dwellings in hills, on trees, and in (human's) habitations. Then, to eat of all the produce and follow the ways of your Lord made easy. There comes forth from their bodies a drink of varying color, wherein is healing for men: Verily, in this is a sign for those who give thought." [Qur'an 16:68-69]
The imperative "build" above is the translation of the Arabic word "attakhithi", which is the feminine form (Arabic grammar unlike English, differentiates between the sexes). The feminine form is used when all of those it refers to are female, whereas the masculine is used when a group consists of at least 1 male.
Therefore the Quran is in fact saying "build, you female bees." A swarm of bees, which collect honey and build the hive, are female only.
Thus, the phrasing of this command is in agreement with the scientific fact that male bees do not partake in the construction of the hive. Microscopes were not invented until 1610, when Galileo invented one of the first microscopes almost a thousand years after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Prophet (PBUH) has also told us of the healing found within honey for a variety of medical problems, including stomach ailments. One hadeeth, reported by Bukhari, states that a man came to the Prophet (PBUH) because his brother had a stomach disorder. The Prophet said "Let him drink honey." The man returned a second time and again the Prophet (PBUH), responded again, "Let him drink honey." The man returned again, and said "I have done that". The Prophet then responded, "Allah has said the truth, but your brother's stomach has told a lie. Let him drink honey." He drank it and was cured.
Honey indeed has great nutritional value and is the drink of drinks, a sweetener of sweeteners, an ointment of ointments, and there is no other food among what Allah has created for us that equals honey value, and nothing is close to its constitution.