The earliest records of honey collection are found in rock art from the Middle Stone Age in southern Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Beekeeping, or honey gathering, is considered one of the oldest professions in civilization. The human relationship with honey and the honeybee is rich in symbolism and mythology.1
Honey comes from honeybees (Apis mellifera). In an intricate cycle, honeybees collect nectar from flowers, returning it to beehives where it is processed into honey. Honey is a supersaturated compound rich in fructose and glucose as well as proteins and amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Historically, honey has long been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes in addition to culinary applications. In ancient cultures, it is most often cited as a binder or vehicle for herbal extracts and remedies. Dermatological applications are also well established, with the use of honey to treat wounds and burns dating back thousands of years.2
In modern-day society, honey has been considered for conditions as varied as skin infections to anti-aging. Many honey-based cosmetics can be found advertising numerous beneficial claims.