Heating Honey? Not so funny!

Honey has been used as natural sweetener worldwide for more than 2000 years. As per Ayurveda it is supposed to be the best medicine for increased Kapha.  Kapha is not merely the phlegm thrown out while coughing; but anything that binds two cells in body is described as Kapha in Ayurveda. Monsoon causes increase in humidity. These atmospheric changes result in to increased moisture in human body as well. This moisture can be correlated to Kapha. Increased Kapha during monsoon causes respiratory diseases and certain skin diseases like Eczema, Fungal Infections. Honey helps in removing excess moisture i.e. Kapha from the body. That’s why Charaka, the ancient sage of Ayurveda, has advised regular use of honey during monsoon. ( पानभोजन संस्कारान् प्राय: क्षौद्रान्वितं भजेत् | )
 Most of people mix honey with hot water & drink it morning empty stomach for weight loss which is not a good practice at all. Ayurvedic dietary principles warn that consuming honey that has been cooked, baked or added to hot liquids contributes to ill health over time. The reason is because honey that is cooked becomes like glue. The molecules then tend to adhere to mucous membranes in the digestive tract producing toxins, called Aama. Charaka wrote over 1500 years ago that “nothing is so troublesome as Aama caused by the improper intake of honey.” 
This fact is now verified with modern scientific research as well. As per research article published in ‘Journal of research in Ayurved’ 2010 edition when honey is heated over 47 °C there is a significant rise in a chemical called hydroxy-methyl furfuraldehyde (HMF). HMF is considered as ‘Carcinogenic’ (Probable cause of cancer) as per modern science. So regular consumption of honey with hot water may produce deleterious effects and act as a poison in due course.
No doubt Ayurveda has advised to take honey and water for weight loss but the method is different. When water is heated and reduced to ¼ of the quantity is known as आरोग्यांबु; which is helpful for weight reduction. So one should take 400 ml of water then boil it till it reduces 100 ml. Wait till water gets up to room temperature itself. Then add 20 gm of honey in it. Mix thoroughly. Drink it empty stomach. The water has to be boiled in the morning itself.
So while following Ayurvedic advice it has to followed completely. Otherwise the mishap like Bottle Gourd poisoning will keep on happening and Ayurveda will be blamed unnecessarily. “So all you Honey Bunny & Bugs Bunny out there; never consume heated Honey because it’s poisonous and not at all Funny!”
© Dr. Pushkar Puryshottam Wagh
MD (Ayurved)
Ayush Ayueved Clinic,
A – 5, Palm View, RX -37,
MIDC, Dombivli (East)