Can One Eat Too Much Honey

Galen advised by mixing honey with other food, would not only nourish, but also impart a good color in ones skin tone. An anonymous writer in the “Planurian Appendix” suggested that honey should not be eaten alone, and that “too much honey is gall (something bitter to endure).” Honey taken by itself, without other food, honey would make one lean rather than fat.

“Too much of a good thing,” applies also to honey. In Prov. XXV. 16, we find: “It is not good to eat much honey—as for men to search for their own glory, is not glory.” In Prov. XXV. 27, there is another suggestion: “Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith and vomit it.” It is an old Latin saying, “Qui mel multum comedit, non est ei bonum (He who eats much honey does himself no good.)”History shows that the Crusaders who followed Edward I to Palestine, died in large numbers from excessive heat, and from eating too much honey and fruit.

People who have glutted themselves with honey will turn against it. As a matter of fact, overindulgence in any food may produce a permanent aversion. Medical science calls this an allergic state and often presumes that such victims have been sensitized to the substance. In medical literature there are innumerable reports of such cases. Hutchinson and Duke describe abdominal allergy due to honey. A man twenty-seven years old consumed a large quantity of honey and afterwards the slightest bit produced severe abdominal pains. Rolleston mentions a case of migraine after the least consumption of honey, due to previous indiscretions. Cane-sugar, barley, oatmeal, butter, milk, eggs, in fact any food substance may cause similar reactions. As already stated, sensitivity toward honey is least common among all food allergies.

There are many mysterious circumstances which may influence a like or dislike of honey. Dr. G. H. Stover reported a case in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin (November, 1898) which has immunological as well as neurological interest:

“A woman thirty-five years old, single, consulted me for a rather unusual swelling on her right cheek, following a bee-sting injury received several days before. Her face was considerably swollen and she felt some unpleasant constitutional symptoms. Five days later, she had fully recovered, when she made the very interesting statement that she never before had been able to eat honey, even the smell of it nauseated her, but after she was stung, developed a craving for it and ate it with complete satisfaction.” Stover finishes his report: “Will some of the immunization experimenters throw a light on this occurrence?”

The author of the present volume can corroborate Dr. Stover’s observation. During his extensive experience in administering bee stings to arthritics and rheumatics he has been frequently surprised by the voluntary reports of patients that they had developed an expressed longing for honey which did not exist previously. This actuality could be ascribed to the effect of bee venom, which, by increasing considerably the blood circulation, induces a consequent craving for an energy-producing substance.