Honey, the sweet to the soul..! 

Honey is sweet as your soul and it’s good for your body too. It helps to direct and strengthen the immune system in a natural way (immunomodulatory). The monosaccharides, fructose and glucose in honey are what give it its sweetness. Honey is called Madhu in Ayurveda. Madhu is produced by honey bees from different Pushpa rasas (flower juices). Madhu mixed with different pharmaceutical preparations alleviate many diseases due to its Yogavahi properties (capacity to carry these medicines to the place where they are needed).

General properties of Madhu

Honey has Madhura rasa (sweet taste), but astringent in after taste (Kashya anurasa). Other properties as follows,

  • Ruksha (dry)
  • Sheeta (cold)
  • Agnideepana (kindles digestive fire)
  • Varnya (improves body colour)
  • Svaryam (improves voice)
  • Laghu (light to digest)
  • Sukumaram (soft)
  • Lekhana (depleting)
  • Hrudya (good for heart)
  • Vajikarana (aphrodisiac)
  • Sandhana (helps to the healing of fractures early)
  • Shodhana (purifying)
  • Ropana (healing)
  • Sangrahi (control over the secretions)
  • Chakshushya (good for eyes)
  • Prasadana (clears the impurities)
  • Sukshma marganusari (penetrates minute channels)


Dosha action: Pittahara, Kaphahara Madhu is Kapha hara due to laghu guna.

Vatapittagna due to Picchila guna and Madhura rasa.

Dhatu action: Medohara (depletion of fatty tissues)

Indications: Meha, Hikka, Kasa, Atisara, Chardi, Trishna, Krimi, Visha: Prashamanartha.

Types of Madhu (Honey)

There are 8 types of honey according to Acharya Susruta,

  1. Pauttika: The honey which is produced by Puttika (tawny brown) coloured big bees.
  2. Bhraamara: Honey produced by commonly seen variety of honey bee.
  3. Kshaudra: The tawny brown coloured small bees are called Kshudra bees and the honey of these are called Kshaudra.
  4. Maakshika: The same variety when the bees are big in size, they are called Makshikas and such honey is Makshika.
  5. Chaatra: Yellowish brown bees are known as Baga. These make bee hives of umbrella shape in hemavata and malava forest (In this  era, these locations encompass western and central India) and honey from these is called Chaatra.
  6. Aarghya: The yellow coloured and sharp trunked beetle like bees collect such honey which are called Arghas. It is also      called Aarghya. This variety of honey, unlike the others can be given along with hot substances.
  7. Audhaalaka: Udhaalaka is the reddish brown bee small in size and generally collects honey inside ant hills and that honey is called Audhalaka.
  8. Daala: Daala is leaf. The honey collected on leaves is Dhaala. Others opines that the very small bees have Kapila colour (reddish brown) are called Dhaala and honey collected by them is also called Daala.


Properties of Madhu (Honey)

Nava madhu (Raw Honey): Brimhaniya (Nourishment), Nati shleshmahara (It will increase Kapha, but doesn’t trouble)

Purana madhu (Old Honey): Meda sthaulyapaha (helps to reduce excess fat and obesity), Grahi (promotes absorption), Atilekhana (highest scraping property)

What are the measures to be taken while consuming honey?

Honey is the combination of the juices of different flowers and substances of mutual antagonism in substances as a whole, taste, quality, potency and actions also since it is collected by bee, it should not be heated. The honey becomes incompatible by contact with hot substances. Studies on physiochemical characteristics of heated honey shows that there is a reduction in specific gravity with a subsequent raise in ash value, pH, HMF, browning, phenolics and antioxidant activity.

  • Taking honey that is hot, in hot season, mixed with hot dishes or by a person who is afflicted by heat is fatal (due to its toxic effect when hot).
  • In Vamana yogas (emetic formulations) Madhu mixed with warm substances (Ushna dravyas) doesn’t contradict. Because it is not undergone paka (digestion) and doesn’t stay in the body.
  • No ama (indigestion) other than that of Madhu is so dangerous due to Viruddhopakrama (incompatible diet and regimen) and it acts like Visha (poison). As it does not go through Paka (digestion) and does not remain in the body.

Home remedies of Honey

  • Application of honey along with lime juice on face can improve skin tone.
  • Applying honey on burns right away will hasten their recovery.
  • Daily intake of honey can improve the health.
  • Honey with equal quantity of ginger juice can reduce the cold, cough and bronchial asthma, fever caused by Kapha dosha.
  • Consuming honey, Indian gooseberry and turmeric in empty stomach can regulate the blood glucose level.
  • Regular intake of honey can reduce cholesterol level.

Honey tastes sweet at first, but leaves a slightly bitter taste afterwards.  Honey, when mixed with various drug compounds and formulations can cure many diseases as well as can help medicines to work well. Since it is collected and produced by honey bee from the nectar of flowers and has different flavours, qualities and strengths. Honey is considered as best augmenting agent, that which promotes the action of drug which is added to that particular substances, honey is regarded as best.

Disclaimer: The body benefits from using honey in accordance with Ayurvedic principles. However, it is important to use caution when consuming and seek the advice of an Ayurvedic doctor.

Author: Dr Seleena V

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