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Honey and Your Health

PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION

The principal aim and object of this volume is to evaluate honey and appraise its true worth, particularly as an important nutrimental and superior medicinal substance. The authors venture in preparing and publishing this review during moments snatched from the hubbub of an active medical practice was inspired by a long cherished ambition to contribute his best efforts to the reinstatement of honey to its former exalted place. The advantages and efficacy of this substance should be appreciated.

For someone who knows the extraordinary merits of honey, it is difficult to comprehend the reason why this salutary substance has suffered such a setback. For sixty centuries, throughout historic ages and undoubtedly even in prehistoric times, honey was man's only "sweetener" and his most favored food, delicacy and medicine. But Nature's own sweet was displaced by one of man's inferior, nay, objectionable products. Upon the intrusion of "refined" sugars, honey declined in use and now, instead of being an important household necessity, it has become an article of luxury. Civilization and even science often post only dim lights as warning signals before deep chasms, on the other hand, they neglect to mark with road-signs abandoned paths which lead to a better life.

The culpable disregard of honey is a grave and lamentable error of the present generation and a sad reflection on its intelligence. It is almost unbelievable that such an ideal and nourishing food, with its delightful bouquet, is almost entirely missing from our tables. If honey were ever rehabilitated, man would wonder how he could ever have gotten along without it.

The medicinal merits of honey are fully discussed in the respective chapters of this book. The author considers it an especial privilege to avail himself of an opportunity at least to try to promote the physical, and indirectly, the moral welfare of his fellowmen. It accords a sense of gratification to hope that the advocated measures may benefit society.

It is curious that the numberless books on dietetics scarcely mention or only superficially treat the subject of honey. This applies to lay as well as to medical literature. While the ancient classical writers and those of the Middle Ages liberally contributed to the practical knowledge and appreciation of honey, their extravagant statements today sound fantastic, almost absurd. Their faith in the substance was so implicit that the information one gains from their comments has the aspect of legendary lore rather than of facts. On the other hand, the disregard of honey in current literature is diametrically opposite. It is astounding how meager are the scientific data available today concerning honey. Not a single book has been published of late years which creditably and thoroughly discusses its nutrimental and medicinal values. This actuality was an additional incentive for editing the present volume. May it induce further research in this almost virgin field.

B. F. B.
New York City
January, 1938

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