Applied Trophology, Vol. 8, No. 9
(September 1964)

Honey; Metabolic Effects of Vitamin E; Control of Food Allergies Provides Relief to Patients; Non-Caries Snack

Contents in this issue:

  • “Honey—The Food Extraordinary,” by Robert J. Wyndham,
  • “Some Metabolic Effects of Vitamin E,”
  • “Control of Food Allergies Provides Relief to Patients with Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis,”
  • “Wanted: A Non-Caries Snack.”

The following is a transcription of the September 1964 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.

Honey—The Food Extraordinary

By Robert J. Wyndham

Many of us, at one time or another, get interested in some new food item that promises to give us more strength and better health. The novelty of it fascinates us, and in the process we may overlook the unique qualities of one of the oldest foods known to man: honey.

For thousands of years honey has topped the list of quick energy and health-giving foods. Yet the average housekeeper is poorly informed about the exceptional food value of honey. How else could we explain the fact that the honey consumption per capita amounts to only 1½ pounds per year? Compare this with a sugar consumption of one hundred pounds per year for every man, woman, and child in the nation!

The trainer who recommends that athletes keep some honey in their lockers knows what he’s talking about. But perhaps he doesn’t know that more than two thousand years ago, the Greek Olympic athletes trained on honey. They knew that no food gives such a volume of quick energy. One reason: honey is the only food item that is almost completely predigested. In about twenty minutes it passes into the bloodstream, ready to spark large volumes of energy.

Whenever unusual demands are made on the human system, honey is remembered. In the early stages of the Battle of Britain in World War II, the pilots of the British Spitfires were desperately outnumbered by Hitler’s dive bombers. These pilots had to fly ten and more missions a day at altitudes of up to 35,000 feet. The fate of their country depended upon their endurance under grueling conditions. Therefore liberal amounts of honey were included in their diet. Also, every time they landed to refuel their planes, they were given honey in water.

Expert Swiss alpine climbers have learned by centuries of experience what honey does for their fitness. When they prepare for hazardous expeditions, where perfect physical condition may spell the difference between life and death, they train on honey. For years the world’s best mountain climbers had tried without success to reach the top of Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. Finally, in recent years, Sir Edmund Hillary succeeded. He had trained on honey.

Perhaps there is no other food that has so many unusual qualities, proven by experience and research. King Solomon must have known it. For in Proverbs (24:13) he says: “My son, eat thou honey, for it is good.”

Some doctors take advantage of the fact that honey is predigested and prescribe it for heart patients and for those recovering from serious diseases, such as pneumonia and typhoid fever. In sanatoriums and orphanages in Europe controlled experiments yielded remarkable results with both sick and healthy children. It was proven that a regular intake of honey made a marked difference in their health and development. Then, honey has been successfully used in infant feeding. A Chicago children’s hospital has been using honey for years in its formula and found it very satisfactory.

Many people buy chemical alkalizers. But how many of them know that honey acts in the stomach as a natural alkalizer? Tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture have shown that the darker honeys top the list of alkalizing foods, sharing the honor with orange juice.

Our nation swallows sleeping pills by the ton, no doubt to the detriment of its health. Unfortunately, not enough people know that in many cases honey comes to the rescue of the sleepless. Two tablespoons of honey dissolved in hot lemonade should be taken just before hitting the hay. It gives a feeling of well-being and relaxes the body, both inducive to wholesome natural sleep. The sleep-inducing qualities of honey were discovered by a French doctor and published in our country by the late Dr. Bodog F. Beck of New York.

It is more than likely that our nation spends more than one hundred million dollars a year on laxatives, most of them chemicals and habit forming. People who include honey in their daily diet have no need for laxatives. For honey is a mild, natural laxative. Honey is perhaps the “cleanest” food. Laboratory tests have proved that disease-causing bacteria cannot live in it. This is one of the reasons that honey is the only ready-to-eat food that doesn’t spoil in its natural state and that keeps indefinitely. Honey in jars, found in ancient Egyptian graves, was still edible after thirty-three centuries!

Though honey has been thoroughly researched and analyzed, its known chemical components do not fully account for its impressive contribution to our fitness and health in general. Some feel that honey may contain still undiscovered health factors. The vitamin content of honey is small. But, whereas vegetables and fruits lose a great deal of their vitamins on their way from grower to table, honey keeps its modest amount of vitamins well. Honey is also a source of minerals, essential for good health. Again, the amounts it contains are small. But then, our body needs traces of them only. Up to a dozen different minerals have been found in honey. Curious enough, the dark, less popular honeys are by far the richest in minerals.

Believe it or not, honey is handy to have around for first aid. For flesh burns, immediately covered with honey, will not blister and heal faster. Native doctors in Central America, who have never heard of asepsis, cover the wounds of their patients with honey. Reportedly they prevent infection that way. In fact, with some doctors in Central Europe honey has regained its place on surgical dressing. This is not too surprising, for since the dawn of civilization honey had a great reputation as a medicine. It was an ingredient of almost all prescriptions of the Ancient Egyptians. The Bible mentions honey as a medicine. Mohammed summed it up very neatly: “Honey is a remedy for all diseases.”

The symbol of medical science also tells the story. Here we see a snake symbol of Aesculapius, god of medicine—coiled around a staff, ready to feed from a cup of honey. Sixteen centuries ago, St. Ambrose said: “Honey cures their wounds and conveys remedies to inward ulcers.” Today we live in an age of chemical medicine, and honey is largely forgotten by modern medics. Still, most of us are familiar with first-hand reports that honey has benefited people suffering from stomach trouble, arthritis, persistent coughs, etc. Then recent experiments by the New York Department of Agriculture brought to light that honey performs miracles as a sober-upper. A few tablespoons of honey dissolved in a glass of warm water restored the intoxicated to sobriety in about thirty minutes.

Since antiquity the conviction that honey in the diet assures longevity has persisted. A belief like this cannot be proved easily. Still, indications that this is more than just a belief are plentiful through the ages. The Greek philosophers ate quantities of honey. Pythagoras died at the age of 90, his disciple Apollonius lived to be 113. Anacreon gave credit for his long life—he died at 115— to honey. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was a honey enthusiast and recommended it for a long life. Democritus, who explained the principle of the atom 23 centuries ago, firmly believed in the health-giving qualities of honey. At 109 he felt he had lived long enough and brought on his death by fasting. Then there is Piast the Beekeeper, who became the first King of Poland in 824 AD and lived to be 120. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls the Essenes were much in the news. They were an ancient Hebrew sect. Their longevity was proverbial, and they were beekeepers.

In modern times as well there are indications that honey in the diet may be related to a long life. Several famous beekeepers lived to a ripe old age, such as Francois Huber, Dzierzon, Langstroth, Dr. C.C. Miller, A.I. Root, Charles Dadant, and Thomas W. Cowan. Dr. Lorand in two books voiced his belief in honey for a long life, same as Dr. Bodog F. Beck.

Two years ago, an article was published in our country by a beekeeper from Kashmir, India. The writer stated that many beekeepers in his country lived to be 100. This is all the more remarkable as the average lifespan in India is very much shorter than in the western world. In 1955 a Frenchman did research among the members of a tribe living near Adijir in South Morocco. He found that among them centenarians are not exceptional at all. This in spite of the fact that their living habits would seem highly unsanitary in the western eyes. The researcher found that out of 130 (!) people aged 100 years and over, 80 percent were beekeepers. They had eaten generous amounts of honey since early childhood.

So why put off including honey in your diet? If you wouldn’t feel up to par, it would probably be the first thing you would try. Just use it as a replacement for sugar in coffee and lemonade for instance. It makes any cereal a treat. Pies, cakes, and cookies are much tastier when baked with honey, and they stay fresh longer. If you never tried honey on peaches, strawberries, raspberries, etc., you missed a good bet. It brings out and intensifies the flavor of any fruit.

When buying honey, it pays to see that you get raw honey. Where to look for it? Health food stores carry it, or you could buy it from a beekeeper. The light-colored varieties, like clover and orange honey, may have more eye-appeal to some people. But the dark honeys have decidedly the best food value. Therefore, people who know ask for buckwheat, wild buckwheat, eucalyptus, and other dark honeys. They have the added advantage that they are more tangy. If you ever hear of another food that has so much to say for itself, please let the world know!

—Robert J. Wyndham, Strength and Health Magazine, August 1961

Some Metabolic Effects of Vitamin E

(4609, Japanese). Wako H. Dept. of Pediat., Iwate Med. Coll., Morioka. J. Iwate, Med. Ass., 1962, 14/ 3 (117–121), Graphs 2, Illus. 3.

In experimental hepatic injury, vitamin E deficiency causes a hemorrhagic tendency and may produce ceroid pigment in the tissues of the rat due to the disturbance of lipid metabolism. Vitamin B has a sparing action or synergic action on vitamin E. Vitamin E plays a role of antioxidant in fermentative processes and metabolic effects of endocrinological functions. Though the fermentative and endocrinological aspects need to be much more investigated, vitamin E might be termed a “regulating factor” in the living body.

Excerpta Medica Physiology Biochem. & Pharmacology, Vol. 17, No. 6, p. 1078, June 1964

Control of Food Allergies Provides Relief to Patients with Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis

Food allergy plays a role not only in recurrent and chronic asthma but in emphysema and chronic bronchitis as well, the annual AMA convention was told.

Albert H. Rowe, MD, reported on results obtained when twenty patients with indicated destructive emphysema and chronic bronchitis were placed on a diet eliminating cereal grains, milk, eggs, and other common allergenic foods. “With this control of atopic allergy, especially to foods, marked or good relief occurred,” Rowe said. “It has resulted in increased efficiency and activity, and in some patients resumption of gainful occupation.

Food allergy as a factor in emphysema and chronic bronchitis has not been given adequate consideration, Rowe said, partly because test-negative diets are used in many cases and these frequently do not reveal food allergy.

“Our evidence that food allergy is a frequent major factor has depended upon accurate use of cereal-free elimination diets instead of test-negative diets.”

“Scratch tests also are inadequate in determining food allergy among patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema,” Rowe said. Of twenty cases documented by Rowe, food allergy was indicated by scratch test in five.

Rowe emphasized importance of patient cooperation in diet control for an adequate period because of the slow disappearance of tissue changes from chronic food allergy and persistence of ingested food in the body.

“Until relief is assumed, the addition of milk, wheat, other cereal grains, eggs, chocolate, coffee and spices should be delayed,” Rowe said. “Less allergenic vegetables, fruits, tea, pork, and fish can be added in one to three months. Though milk allergy is most frequent, cereal grains are also of special importance.

“Both should be entirely eliminated until relief is assured for several months. The frequent beneficial effect of summer on food allergy must be remembered. If symptoms recur, especially in the fall, winter, and early spring, the diet must be resumed.”

J.A.M.A., Vol. 188, No. 13, June 29, 1964

Wanted: A Non-Caries Snack

The question arises whether the food industry might not be somehow induced to provide food that would not favor caries or obesity and which could be readily distributed with the midmorning school milk. When we see the ingenious processing and refinements of which the industry is capable, we wish that it would devote some if its researches to a wholesome and convenient substitute for the cariogenic and calorific snack.

The Lancent, London

Heather Wilkinson

Heather Wilkinson is Senior Editor at Selene River Press.

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