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4 dangerous honey combinations according to Ayurveda


Who doesn’t love honey? Health benefits aside, this natural sweetener also has loads of medicinal value [1].  A versatile sweetener, honey can be used as a part of salad dressings or stirred into a healthy smoothie. According to Ayurveda, honey is the best yogavahi, or a catalyst that carries the properties of the medicines added to it. But this potent substance can also turn dangerous if it is mixed with the wrong ingredients.

However, experts believe in exercising caution while combining honey with certain food stuffs since not every combination can be considered safe for consumption. Dr Surya A Bhagwati, a certified ayurvedic medical practitioner from Dr. Vaidya’s New Age Ayurveda,Tardeo and Dr Thulasidas from The Ayurvedic Village list down dangerous combinations of honey which should be avoided at any cost.

Do not mix ghee and honey in equal quantities

According to Dr Bhagwati the thumb rule is to avoid mixing of honey and ghee in equal quantities. Honey and ghee are not considered an ideal combination. In many food preparations like honey-oat cookies or muffins, clarified butter is often used along with honey, which could have undesirable repercussions on one’s health.  Even Acharya Charaka, one of the pioneers of the ancient discipline of Ayurveda, has warned against this possibly fatal combination of ghee and honey. “But it is ok to combine an unequal ratio of two (2:1),” adds the doctor.

Do not combine radish and honey

According to Ayurvedic texts, combining radish with honey can result in the formation of toxic compounds. Dr Thulasidas warns against this dangerous combination. Next time you rustle up a salad with a honey dressing, make sure you don’t add radish to it. Read how radish can improve sperm count.

 Mixing honey with non-vegetarian food

It has become common practice these days to add honey to non-vegetarian preparations, especially while preparing glazing for roasts. According to Dr Thulasidas, honey and meat products are incompatible as per Ayurvedic principles and combining these ingredients with conflicting qualities can cause health problems.

Adding honey to boiling hot water

Honey is often used as a sweetener in teas and other flavoured beverages. According to Dr Bhagwati, another strict no-no when it comes to using honey is mixing it in boiling hot water or beverages. While raw honey is considered nectar, cooked honey is dangerous. Studies reveal that heating honey above 60 degree Celsius causes a significant rise in hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF) which can cause toxicity in human beings. [2]

References: 1. Kumar, K. S., Bhowmik, D., & Chandira, M. R. (2010). Medicinal uses and health benefits of honey: an overview. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research2(1), 385-395. 2. Annapoorani, A., Anilakumar, K. R., Khanum, F., Murthy, N. A., & Bawa, A. S. (2010). Studies on the physicochemical characteristics of heated honey, honey mixed with ghee and their food consumption pattern by rats. AYU (An international quarterly journal of research in Ayurveda)31(2), 141.

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Published: February 10, 2017 4:17 pm



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