A Touch of Honey for Wellbeing and Winter Comfort

Brrr! Winter is definitely here in Nelson, bringing with it misty weather and a series of wet weekends. But even though the Nelson markets have been a bit soggier than usual, nothing seems to dampen the spirits of our lovely customers.

Larry (Nicky’s dad) and Murray take turns to man our stall and they love seeing our regulars each week, as well as meeting people from all around New Zealand who are enjoying a Nelson visit.

There are many reasons to love winter. It’s a time for cuddling up and staying warm and indulging in comfort food and log fires. Many more people are embracing Matariki this year, and are getting excited about the brand new holiday set up for 2022. 

Winter solstice celebrations are a great chance to slow down and enjoy time with family and friends.

But there’s a whole lot of winter between the shortest day and spring. The colder weather can make people feel a bit tired and rundown, and it brings on the inevitable coughs, colds and dry skin. A little boost is sometimes in order. 

These days more people are looking for gentle and natural remedies to take care of themselves and families — like raw honey. 

An age-old remedy used by ancient cultures all around the world, honey is a bit of a secret weapon when it comes to treating winter ailments. Honey and lemon drinks are a Kiwi classic. Now there’s science to back up the wisdom of our mothers, and their mothers. 

Raw honey is not just antibacterial, killing the germs that lead to infection, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. That means it acts to soothe irritated tissues and relax the muscles of the throat. 

You just have to remember to use raw honey and always let the drink cool before stirring it in. That way all the natural properties of the honey are retained — and you won’t make your throat worse by scalding it! 

Because honey is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, many people take it daily throughout the year to boost their immune system. 

But honey really comes into its own in the winter to help with skin problems. Raw honey, especially kānuka, is a great topical treatment for cold sores, acne and dry skin. Honey is a versatile ingredient in balms and face masks, with a wide range of dermatological uses

This fact was not lost on the ancient Egyptians. Cleopatra’s use of honey is almost as legendary as her beauty. One of her secrets was to bathe herself in milk and honey. 

While you might not want to go as far as Cleopatra, honey is the perfect way to pamper yourself this winter — without splashing out on expensive cosmetics. It’s also a wonderful way to add a little more comfort to comfort food. 

Honey drizzled on your porridge on a winter’s morning is not just delicious, it’s healthy as well. And that’s the lovely thing. A touch of honey is the perfect winter pick-me-up, and one that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

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