Wednesday, March 16, 2011
propolis, buckwheat honey, bee pollen.
home made ambrosia
some time during the winter I found the Andrew's Honey booth at the Union Square Green Market. I looked through the products- honey made from various flowers, honey with the comb, bee pollen, etc. and asked (I think it was Andrew himself) which was the best for immune system support. I've heard for years that eating local honey and related products is especially good for allergies. It's like taking homeopathics or allergy shots- introducing a small amount of the allergen into the system to work as an antibody. The difference with bee products is that you're eating a whole food, filled with complex nutrients.
Andrew handed me a small jar of what he called Ambrosia. It was a mix of honey, royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis. I ate a small spoon of the ambrosia every morning until it was gone.
Last Wednesday I went back by the market looking for the ambrosia. A different guy was working the booth- he said they were sold out. At the same time a little old lady was asking him a million questions and kind of driving the guy crazy. I had to kind of poke and prod to get him to supply me with what I needed! but finally he produced the goods- the components of ambrosia, minus the royal jelly. (thus the reason why they were sold out) The honey and bee pollen were right on the table- he suggested buckwheat honey as being the most nutritious. And you can tell- it's dark and not nearly as sugary as other honeys- similar to molasses. The propolis he produced from behind the table, handing me a ratty plastic bag sealed with blue painter's tape.
I brought the ingredients home and first off researched propolis, the bagful of waxy chunks with a sweet, perfumey smell. Propolis is a resinous material that bees collect from conifers. It has antiseptic properties, and bees use it to keep the hive hygenic, encasing foreign bodies in it and using it to line the hive when the queen gives birth.
Before mixing the ambrosia together I decided to try the propolis by itself. It's quite sticky and waxy, and on first try I took too much. I chewed it like gum- it releases an herbal, medicinal flavor. Propolis is known for keeping gums healthy- it is an ingredient in some toothpastes- and for soothing sore throats. Since the mouth is an entryway to the respiratory system, I can see how chewing the propolis is probably good for allergies as well.
Posted by dash at 2:38 PM