Title: The Healing Powers of Honey
Author: Cal Orey
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrated by: Tara Marie Kirk
Pages: Audiobook
Genre: Health / Natural Food / Alternative Therapies
Length: 8 hours and 26 minutes
Reviewed by: Beth Adams

Read Book Review

The narrator reads heartfelt stories from the author who shares her travels with a dog across America and Canada. Cal Orey, dishes on how she was  like a wayward honey bee... and the author does learn about the gifts from the hive during her adventures in the South, Northeast, MidWest, and Pacific Northwest to even Quebec and Toronto... PACIFIC BOOK REVIEW:

IT is impossible to listen to this narration of The Healing Powers of Honey by author Cal Orey on audiobook without going to the cupboard and pouring a cup of hot tea, and of course, adding a heaping teaspoon of honey into it.  The soothing taste and coating of honey is talked about in so many ways, thus while listening and sipping the tea, it makes for an amazing multi-dimensional learning scenario, having both your brain and body absorbing the true nectar of the gods.  What’s more than revealing the facts is the way Cal Orey interleaves her own life’s adventures into describing her quest of gaining the background information to compile the facts about honey into this highly specialized enlightening guide.

The story begins with the author taking on the project of doing a book about honey by the request of her publisher.  Listeners are brought to the planning stage of how Cal Orey organized her research to achieve what she is known for; as being a down-to-Earth presenter of health benefits of various food substances.  Honey follows her repertoire as she has demonstrated with vinegar, olive oil, chocolate, and other healing books.  Nobody is born with honey knowledge, so she first acquired every book she could find on the subject, then arranged for meetings with bee keepers in Fresno, Reno, and other places.  So as a listener, I found the tome of the narration as having a quality of discovery, as new factoids are learned and shared, making this story a journey of discovery.

“A Hippy Chick,” as she often referrers to herself as being, due to her expert knowledge of organic health foods, understanding their therapeutic effects having antioxidants, allowing for stress relieving, blood pressure control, diabetes cure, heart fortitude, and even helping lower the risk of cancer, honey fits right in at the top of God’s gifts to humanity – or should I say the Bee’s gift.  Her ‘textbook’ parts of the book when she is educating listeners (readers) on the many types of honey, their relative histories and specialized qualities, and somewhat magical powers are explained with describing each varieties’ color, taste, and even how best to pair it up with other food items.  Then, of course, she adds her own commentary to each of the about 30 variations of honey – that’s when I began to google the online stores to buy my own bouquet of flavors.

Some diversion to the author’s factual narration on the honey subject was most sentimentally touched upon with the stories of her dog(s).  At one point she talks about traveling all around the USA from California to Key West with her K-9 companion, and even smuggling the dog into Canada because she didn’t have the correct documents at the border – now that’s “chutzpah!”  She then talks about having a sixth sense at Lady Luck Casino in Las Vegas when someone commented, “Nice dog” to her, only to find the dog missing after she tied it up outside a building for only a few minutes.  The sadness, crying, and sensation of loss was contagious. Tea and honey followed  in the morning to comfort her after a night of searching for her stolen canine companion... A few months later she was “rescued” by a lab with sympathetic eyes in San Diego, and life with a dog partner took a happier path.

Honey is amazing.  The antibacterial properties makes it ideal for fighting off any bacterial infection, both inside and outside the body, as it is known for enhancing and protecting the skin and healing wounds.  Forget Pepto-Bismol, eat honey to cure suffering from diarrhea.  Heart healthy, even helping diabetics (which seems odd due to honey’s sweetness) as well as hypertension, lowering cholesterol and even aiding longevity, plus weight loss and libido enhancement are all benefits of this golden nectar.  Thank you, bees.

I must admit I did not know the vast variety of types of honey; yes, Clover is popular, and Van Morrison introduced me to Tupelo Honey, but Cal talks about Alfalfa Honey being native to Northern Nevada, and Buckwheat Honey being very powerful with antioxidants.  She thought Fireweed Honey might have been bitter yet was pleasantly surprised by its flavor.  I never would have thought Avocado Honey existed, and Dandelion, nor Eucalyptus – I guess I need to walk down the health-food isles in Whole Foods a bit more slowly next time.

It may seem as if I am making light of the subject, but that is how I perceived Cal Orey takes the sting out of being a dry educational presentation, and embellishes her work with her humble wisdom and incredible stories which she has gained on so many other subjects.  Just like blending honey into bakery items, combined it with cinnamon for holistic healing, or dissolving it in a tea, smoothie or drink, honey’s versatility and benefits are un-bee-livable.

Reviewer’s footnote:  Having the audiobook version of this bestselling book, the narration by Tara Marie Kirk was very clear and fluid, not missing a beat with those 5-syllable Latin names of the specific varieties, however as a personal preference I played it back at 1.25 speed, slightly picking up the pace for my listening pleasure, and cutting the play-time from just over 8 hours.