A saccharine substance deposited in the honey comb by the Apis mellifera, Linné or Honey Bee (Family Apidae).
Common Name: Honey.
Description.—A thick, viscous, syrupy, yellowish or yellow-brown fluid, clear when fresh, but losing its translucence with age and depositing crystals. It has an intensely sweet, feebly acrid taste, and a distinctive odor.
Principal Constituents.—Laevulose (fruit sugar), dextrose (grape sugar or glucose), and sucrose (cane sugar), with the first named predominating; also a trace of formic acid.
Preparations.—1. Mel Depuratum, Clarified Honey.
2. Mel Boracis, Borax Honey (Borax, Glycerin, Honey).
3. Mel Rosa, Rose Honey (Fluidextract of Rose mixed with Clarified Honey). Dose, 1-2 fluidrachms.
Action and Therapy.—External. Honey is sometimes incorporated in poultices for mammitis, fissured nipples, boils and carbuncles, and is added to gargles for irritated conditions of the fauces. Honey of borax and honey of rose are preparations frequently recommended for aphthous ulcers of the mouth and female genitalia. Our experience has led us to regard honey as a barbarous application in sore mouth of infants and young children on account of the vicious smarting it causes. The borax, in weak solutions, is equally as efficient.
Internal. Honey is nutritious, demulcent, diuretic and antiseptic; sometimes it proves laxative. Though extensively used as a food it sometimes occasions unpleasant symptoms, as pyrosis, a peculiar and persistent bellyache, flatulent colic, head symptoms and occasionally diarrhea and urticaria. It is sometimes incorporated in cough mixtures as an agreeable demulcent, and is occasionally used to allay irritation of the urinary passages.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.