Kshitij Navinprakash Shah, P A Pawar, P R Wankhade
Honey is a most important natural product obtained from beekeeping and produced from the nectar of blossoms of flowers collected and processed by the honey bees. Honey might be the first sweetener used by ancient man in human history. Honey predominantly contains sugars (glucose, fructose, etc.) with many other compounds like proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. More than 400 different substances were reported to be found in honey. The properties of honey show a discrepancy as per the source of the geographical origin and floral source from which the nectar was collected. In many studies which were carried out for the study of honey properties, it was described that, since from the religious and ancient history, honey has been used as a medicine as well as food by almost all civilizations worldwide. Besides its nutritional value, honey shows many functional properties such as antimicrobial activities, anti-inflammatory effects, and antioxidant properties. Owing to its functional properties honey can be used as a drug or a preventing agent in many disorders. These functional properties of honey may be due to the rich phytochemical profile of honey. In this paper, the various properties of honey are discussed to enlighten the importance of honey as a food and medicine.