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Honey: An Ancient Medicine With No Expiration Date

Archeologists have found pots of unspoiled honey in Egyptian tombs thousands of years old. Three reasons account for honey’s unique ability to remain pure: First it contains very little water. Accordingly, microorganisms cannot survive in its presence. Second, it is highly acidic, enough to kill anything that might try to grow there. Third, as bees regurgitate nectar from their mouths to make honey, they add an enzyme from their stomachs that produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic. And so, according to ancient Sumerian and Egyptian clay tablets, honey was the major component in salves to treat cuts, burns, and skin abrasions.

In THE DEADLIEST LIE, Miriam demonstrates her awareness of the healing properties of honey when she offers to make a salve for her friend Noah:

“Noah, what happened to your arm?”

“On the way home from your house, I was attacked by a pack of hounds. They wanted the grilled lamb you packed for me. Anyway, once I hurled the food basket, they sprinted after it and left me alone.”

“Oh, Noah. Let me make a salve for you and massage it into your arm.”

Miriam’s salve consists of grease, honey, and lint. The grease might be the fat from an ox or ibis to keep the bandage from sticking to the wound. The honey is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. The lint, from a plant fiber such as cotton, binds the two ingredients together and draws pus and other fluids away from the wound.

People still use honey as a healing agent for wounds. So, in addition to escaping modern day stresses in a thrilling story, you can pick up some still-useful remedies from THE DEADLIEST LIE. Just click here to find out more about the story that was named one of the nine most riveting mysteries set in the ancient past.


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