What Was Honey Used for in Ancient Greece?

Honey has been a staple in Greek cuisine and medicine for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks believed that honey was a gift from the gods and used it for various purposes. Let’s explore the different ways honey was used in Ancient Greece.

Culinary Uses
Honey was commonly used as a sweetener in Ancient Greek cuisine. It was added to desserts, pastries, and even savory dishes like meat stews. The Greeks also used honey to make a popular drink called mead, which is made by fermenting honey with water and adding spices.

Medicinal Properties
The Greeks believed that honey had medicinal properties and used it to treat various ailments. Honey was often mixed with other natural ingredients like herbs, vinegar, or wine to create remedies. It was also applied topically to wounds to promote healing.

Here are some common medicinal uses of honey in Ancient Greece:

  • Coughs and Sore Throats: Honey mixed with lemon juice and warm water was used to soothe coughs and sore throats.
  • Burns: Honey was applied topically to burns to prevent infection and promote healing.
  • Skin Irritations: Honey was applied topically to skin irritations like rashes, cuts, and bruises.
  • Digestive Issues: Honey mixed with herbs like mint or ginger was used to soothe digestive issues like indigestion or stomachaches.

Spiritual Significance
In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, honey also had spiritual significance for the ancient Greeks. They believed that honey symbolized fertility, love, and purity. Honey was often offered as a sacrifice during religious ceremonies or used as an ingredient in offerings to the gods.


Honey was a versatile and important ingredient in Ancient Greek society. It was used for culinary, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. Today, honey is still widely used in Greek cuisine and medicine, and its popularity continues to grow around the world.