In Ikaria honey is used to treat everything from wounds to stomach issues, influenza, and the common cold. Ikarians start their day with a simple spoonful of raw local honey, which has a high antioxidant level. This may reduce inflammation and also contains amino acids and vitamin C which are known to speed the growth of healthy tissue in the body.
This famous Greek island is a part of ‘Blue Zones’ a name given to 5 places in the world- Ikaria, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa of Japan, Nicoya of Costa Rica and Loma Linda of California, USA, whose inhabitants surpass the life expectancy and reach over the age of 90 years.
A new television report by CBS has taken a close look at why Ikarian honey could be one of the main keys as to why the locals here keep healthy and strong well into old age.
“Up the winding mountain roads of this isolated isle, you're likely to notice brightly-painted boxes dotting the landscape. And what's happening inside those boxes is generating some buzz: Bees busy making a rare honey that locals believe is one of the secrets to a long life,” notes CBS.
Ikarian beekeeper Andoni Karimalis explained to CBS correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti that people on the island “have been eating the honey for generations, to keep healthy and strong well into old age.”
At work in her weaving studio, 109-year-old Yiayia Ioanna from Ikaria agrees there is something special about it.
So does 87-year-old-beekeeper Giorgos Stenos. He eats the honey "every single day."
For centuries humans have valued honey for its medicinal properties. And in Ikaria, known in ancient times as the "healing island," the honey is different from that found on most supermarket shelves.
As a result, the pollen and nectar collected by the bees are free of chemicals and pesticides normally found in commercial or private farming. And unlike most honey sold in the other parts of the world, Ikarian honey is also unheated, unfiltered, and unpasteurized – all processes which can destroy the natural vitamins and minerals.
Although this has been one of Ikaria’s best-kept secrets, after the CBS report aired live on American television, there has been a huge response with people all over the world wanting to get their hands on some on this Ikarian gem!