Introduction of Feng Mi:Honey or Mel.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Honey, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its source 2 insect species, ①.Apis cerana Fabr., ②.Apis mellifera L, with a detailed introduction to the features of these two insect species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two insect species, the features of the herb Honey, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


Honey:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Fēnɡ Mì.
 English Name: Honey.
 Latin Name: Mel.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Mel is a saccharine fluid made by the hive-bee, Apis cerana Fabr., or Apis mellifera L., used as an antitussive for dry cough, and as an aperient for constipation of the aged people. The herb is commonly known as Mel, Honey, Fēnɡ Mì.

 Animal source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Mel (Honey) as the saccharine fluid made by the hive-bee species (1).Apis cerana Fabr., or (2).Apis mellifera L. They are small insects of Apis genus, the Apidae family (bee family) of the Hymenoptera order. These 2 commonly origin species are introduced:

(1).Apis cerana Fabr.

 Apis cerana Fabr. Insect description: The insect, Apis cerana Fabr is commonly known as Zhōng Huá Mì Fēng or Chinese Honey Bee. The abdomen color of worker bees varies with different regions, and some regions are yellow, some regions are dark; beaks (trophi) averages 5 mm long, the head of a worker bee is slightly triangular, the chest is composed of three segments, two pairs of wings, wings are membraneous and transparent, three pairs of feet, its foot has a structure for collecting pollen. Its abdomen is coniform (conical shape), has ioterium (poison gland) and stinger, and there are four pairs of wax plates under its abdomen, and contains wax glands inside, secrete wax.

 Queen bee has two body colors: one type is that the abdomen has a distinct brown ring, and the whole abdomen is dark brown; in another type, the ventral segment has no distinct yellowish brown ring and the entire abdomen is black. The body of queen bees is biggest among bees, and wings are short and small, abdomen is especially long, reproductive organ is developed and has strong spawning ability.

 Drones (male bees) are usually black, slightly bigger than worker bee, and its head is globular (spheric shape), tail has no ioterium and stinger, its foot has no structure for collecting pollen, its abdomen has no wax plates or wax glands.

 The bee species in southern area are generally smaller than those in the north, and the body length of worker bees are ranging from 10 ~ 13 mm, the body length of drones (male bees) are ranging from 11 ~ 13.5 mm, and the body length of queen bees are ranging from 13 ~ 16 mm.

 Apis cerana Fabr. Habits: Apis cerana Fabr (Chinese Honey Bee) fly quickly and have a keen sense of smell. They leave the nest early and return to the nest late. They spend 2 ~ 3 hours more than Italian bees every day to collect honey. It is resistance to bee mites and America larva putrid disease is strong but susceptible to bee larvae cystic disease, susceptible to wax moth, like the journey, in the lack of honey it easily catching diseases, or easy to abandon the nest and moved especially due to attack from enemy threat, prone to natural swarming and stealing bees, no gum, ability of secreting royal jelly is not strong.

 Apis cerana Fabr. Bees are social insects that live in groups of one queen, numerous worker bees (all females), and a few drones. The three types are different in shape, physiological function and productive function. The queen bee specializes in reproduction and spawning (egg-laying); Drones (male bees) specialized in guarding the nest and insemination, after mating drone dies; the functions of worker bees are nesting, collecting feed, feeding larvae, queen bee, cleaning the nest and adjusting the nest temperature. In terms of cold resistance and heat resistance, dense bees show the power of cluster activities and take nectar and pollen of plants as the staple food.

 Apis cerana Fabr. The Chinese honeybee originally refers to a subspecies of the Oriental honeybee (Apis cerana Fabricius), but there may be more than one subspecies of the Oriental honeybee are distributed in China. Given the undetermined subspecies classification of the Oriental honeybee in China, Oriental honeybee in China is temporarily called Chinese Honey Bee. The Chinese honeybee is a native characteristic species of China, which is very adapted to the natural environment in mountainous areas of China.

 Apis cerana Fabr. Ecological environment: In China, the honeybee is distributed in most areas from the southeast coast to the Qinghai-Xizang plateau. The distribution of the Chinese bee is found in the northern line to the lesser Xing'an Mountains, in the northwest to Gansu province, Qinghai province, and in the deep mountains in Xinjiang. Southwest line to the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung zangbo river, south to Hainan province, east to Taiwan. The concentrated distribution area is in the southwest and the south of the Yangtze River. China has more than 2 million colonies in artificial breeding, accounting for about a third of the country's Honeybee population.

 Apis cerana Fabr.:BeehiveHoney of chinese honey bee Characters of herbs: Honey is a translucent, glossy, thick and dense liquid, white to faint yellow (pale yellow) or orange to tawny (yellow brown), white granular crystals gradually precipitate when it is stored for a long time or in a cold environment. Honey has a sweet fragrance, and it tastes extremely sweet.

 Apis cerana Fabr. Chemical constituents: Glucose and fructose are the main saccharides of honey produced by honey bees in honeycombs. It also contains sucrose, dextrin, organic acid, protein, volatile oil, wax, pollen granules (pollen grains), vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, K, H, amylase, zymose, peroxidase, esterase, growth hormone, acetylcholine, nicotinic acid, pantothenate (pantothenic acid,or vitamin B5), carotene, inorganic elements, including calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iodine, etc.

(2).Apis mellifera L.

 Apis mellifera L. Insect description: The insect, Apis mellifera L is commonly known as Yì Dà Lì Mì Fēng, or Apis mellifera Ligustica Spinola, Italian Honey Bee. Individuals of Apis mellifera are slightly smaller than European black bees. Abdomen is thin and long, trophi is long, about 6.3 ~ 6.6 mm long, chitin of abdomen plate is bright color. The front end of the 2nd to 4th notum of uromere of a worker bee has a yellow annule (yellow band). But the size and color tunes of the yellow zone varies greatly, some are wide and shallow, some are narrow and deep. The Italian bee of light color often has a small yellow shield, especially the Italian bee of the lightest color only has black or brown spots in the abdomen end, known as the golden bee (Aurea). The fluff of Apis mellifera is yellow, especially easy to make a difference on drones. Worker bees have longer beaks (trophi), averaging 6.5 mm long. The villi on the back of the 4th abdomen segment are medium in width, averaging 0.9 mm. The upper coat on the 5th backplate of the abdomen is short, with an average length of 0.3 mm; The cubitus index is moderate, averaging 2.2 ~ 2.5.5.

 Apis mellifera L. After the queen bee starts to lay eggs in early spring, its spawning amount is not affected by climate, honey source, and other natural conditions. Even in the hot summer and the late autumn, when the temperature is low, it can maintain a large area of spawning. Weak bees, easy to maintain large groups. The ability to collect a large amount of nectar is strong, but the ability to use scattered nectar powder is poor. The collection of pollen is large. In summer and autumn, more gum is collected. Good ability to make honeycomb by wax. The ability to secrete royal jelly is stronger than that of any other bee species. Feed consumption is large when the honey source is poor, easy to appear in the food shortage phenomenon. Gentle temperament, not afraid of light, it keeps very quiet when the box is opened for inspection. Strong directional force, not easy to confuse the nest, strong theft. Its nest cleaning habit is strong. Apis mellifera pass winter in the form of a strong group, overwintering feed consumption is large, its pass winter performance in cold area is poor. Weak disease resistance, easy to be infected with American larval disease, paralysis, spore disease, and chalky disease; Anti-mite ability is weak, easy to suffer from mite damage. The ability to resist nestlings is weak.

 Apis mellifera L. Origin and habitat: Italian bee is short, it is native to Italy's Apennines peninsula, is a typical Mediterranean climate and ecological environment. It is believed that the Italian bee was formed by natural interbreeding between the original European black bee on the Apennines peninsula and the imported Cyprus bee. The climate and nectar source conditions of the Apennines peninsula are characterized by short, warm and wet winter; summer is hot and dry, nectar plant is rich, the flowering period is long. The Italian honeybees have good economic characters under similar natural conditions. But in the long and cold winter or spring, a cold spell often attacks the place, its adaptability is poor.

 Italian bees are a product of the Mediterranean climate. The Mediterranean region has a mild, wet and short winter, and a long and dry summer. It has been proved that the Italian bee is a very good species in similar climate conditions. But it is difficult to adapt to areas with long winters and more variable weather in early spring. For more than a hundred years, it has been introduced to the northern Alps of Europe, but it has not been well established.

 The ability of Italian bee to produce honey and royal jelly is strong, which is an ideal variety for producing both honey pulp and pollen, and can also be used for propolis production. Because of this, the breeding range of Italian bees has already gone far beyond the place of origin and become a popular worldwide species.

 Apis mellifera L. Ecological environment: Italian bees play a very important role in the production of beekeeping in China. They are widely raised in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, north, northwest areas of China. It is also suitable for chasing flowers to collect honey, follow the source of pollen in four seasons. In the flowering stage of rapeseed, violet, Chinese gooseberry, linden, litchi, tallow, and other major nectar sources, it is common to see a group producing more than 5 kg of honey per day and a group producing more than 50 kg of honey per day. Its pulping performance is the best among all bee varieties. The selected excellent strain can produce 5 ~ 7 kg of royal jelly annually. It is also suitable for producing bee pollen, propolis, bee pupa, and bee venom.

 Honey of italian honey bee Characters of herbs: Honey is a translucent, glossy and thick liquid, white to yellowish or orange to yellowish brown, white granular crystals gradually precipitate when it is stored for a long time or in a cold environment. Honey has a sweet fragrance, and it tastes extremely sweet.

 Chemical constituents: Glucose and fructose are the main saccharides of honey produced by honey bees in honeycombs; it also contains a small amount of sugar, dextrin, organic acid, protein, volatile oils, waxes, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, K, H, amylase, zymose, peroxidase, esterase, alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase, acetylcholine, growth hormone, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin, carotene, pollen granules (pollen grains), and trace elements including calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iodine and other elements.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.enhancing humoral immunity; ②.purgative; ③.detoxification; ④.anti-tumor; ⑤.adjusting the acid-base balance in the body; ⑥.bacteriostasic activity, and so on; ⑦.lubricating expectorant and mild laxative effect; ⑧.astringent; ⑨.promoting healing effect on the wound surface.

 Medicinal efficacy: Invigorate the middle energizer or replenish the spleen and stomach, moistening dryness, relieve pain, relaxing spasm and relieving pain, moistening lung to relieve cough, relaxing bowel, skin moistening and promote tissue regeneration, detoxification; externally functions prompt granulation and healing sores. It is indicated for epigastric deficient pain (epigastric pain due to deficiency), pulmonary dryness and hacking cough (dryness of lung and dry cough), constipation due to intestinal dryness, epigastric pain, nasal sinusitis (acute and chronic sinusitis), hot eyes (red-eye), aptha (oral ulcer), as an antidote for herbal toxicity or poisoning of aconitum species; Externally for unhealing sore and ulcer, urticaria itching (nettle rash or measles, itching), burn or scald due to hot liquid or fire, rhagadia manus et pedis (chapped skin of hands and feet), etc. 

 Administration of Mel (Fēnɡ Mì): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Mel (Fēnɡ Mì)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 15~30 grams; ②.Internally: brew or dissolving in water and take, 0.3~1 liang (about 9~30 grams); or prepare to pill, ointment. Externally: smear applies at local part; ③.Internally: brew or dissolving in water and take, 15~30 grams; or prepared to pill, ointment. Externally: proper amount, smear apply.

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