Heal Like an “Ancient” Egyptian: 5 Reasons Why We Share Their Love for Honey
The TOUTANKHAMON (AKA “King Tut”) exhibition arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, displaying over 1,000 different replicated artefacts associated with the boy king and his world in ancient Egypt.
One of the biggest lessons learned during this latest incarnation of the exhibit concerned the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with beekeeping and honey, which are subjects dear to us at Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva as well. The ancient Egyptians may have been civilization’s first beekeepers, harnessing their worker bee power to produce everything from cosmetics to sweet-tasting treats, but many of their traditions still have practical utility in the modern world.
In fact in 2013, honey bees checked into our hotel and became permanent guests. With an urban apiary placed on our rooftop, a trend that has been gaining increasing acceptance and popularity around the world since 1985, we now produce our own honey and use it to sweeten tea, some of our favourite baked goods; but we also use it as an organic breakfast condiment.
Honey: A Chef’s Best Friend
There’s another very important reason why it’s a good idea to keep a bit of honey handy. Cooking in one’s own kitchen becomes a bit precarious at times – even for the most skilled culinary masters. Chefs’ kitchens are busy environments. With all that chopping, slicing, boiling and frying, there are bound to be “little” accidents and spills resulting in minor cuts and burns. This is something that even the ancient Egyptians knew all too well because they also used honey to treat medical ailments, heal cuts and wounds and aid in overall skin recovery. It’s a primordial way of healing, but it’s also espouses a green attitude, which is welcomed in the 21st century.
For years, old wives’ tales suggested that applying a pat of butter to a minor cut or wound would not only soothe the pain, but also aid in recovery. Now, modern scientists know that this is wrong and actually generates the opposite effect.
So here are five reasons why no kitchen should ever be without this, wholesome, sweet and sticky goodness.
1. Honey as an Antiseptic
Think of honey as the NEOSPORIN® of the ancient world. The ancient Egyptians applied honey-ladened bandages to cuts and burns to facilitate healing. It was effective because honey also appears naturally to contain a generous amount of the chemical, hydrogen peroxide. Due to its very thick consistency, honey creates a barrier between the wound and bandage, thereby preventing sticking. The result: less skin scarring.
2. Honey as an Energy Booster
Cooking requires a lot of aerobic exercise. Chefs are constantly on the move in the kitchen and by the end of a 12-to-15-hour shift, they are exhausted. By mixing a bit of honey with water, you can enjoy drinking a natural pick-me-up. This solution releases glucose, and once the effects hit the brain and bloodstream overall fatigue reduces.
3. Honey as an Antibacterial Solution
Because it is sterile, has an acidic pH balance and a thick consistency, bacteria and germs cannot survive when covered in honey. The gooey substance traps microorganisms and kills them…period. Recent scientific studies have shown honey to hamper the growth of food-borne pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, which are deadly serious topics when it comes to handling meat, poultry and overall food preparation in any kitchen.
4. Honey as a Weight Loss Remedy
Honey is an excellent substitute for sugar and it also helps speed up metabolism. However, do remember to use it in moderation.
5. Honey as a Preservative
An additional benefit of honey’s high acidic pH balance means that in its edible state, it does not spoil.
When you are in need of a quick sweetener, check the cupboard for honey. It really is all that you need.
Discover more than a thousand replica funerary items, exactly as found by archaeologists in 1922, in a reconstruction of the original find with a didactic tour.
20 September 2013 – 12 January 2014
Open Daily: 10:00-19:00
Palexpo, Hall 7
Route François-Peyrot 30, (Chemin Edouard-Sarasin), 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland
Admission: (10-30 CHF)
Other Egyptian Collections in Geneva
Musée d'art et d'histoire (Art and History Museum)
Hours: 10:00 – 17:00. Closed on Mondays.
Rue Charles-Galland 2
Tel. +41 (0)22 418 26 00
Admission: Free / SFr. 5 for temporary exhibitions.
The largest museum in Geneva, the Art and History Museum is veritable encyclopedia on western culture with over one million pieces in its collection. The Archeology wing contains relics from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (Tues, Thurs through Sun), 12:00 – 21:00 (Wed)
Place Neuve 2
Tel: 022 418 3340
Admission: Varies according to exhibition.
Nicknamed “The Temple of the Muses”, the Rath Museum was the first museum dedicated solely to the fine arts in Geneva in 1826. Check out their on-going exhibits dedicated to ancient world.
For more cultural ideas around Geneva – Egyptian inspired or not – visit the Events section at Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva to learn more.