There’s no denying that honey is delicious goodness. However you eat it, swirled into a warm drink, as a natural sweetener in a post gym smoothie or enjoyed straight from the spoon, honey it’s a deliciously sticky, sweet experience for your tastebuds.
But not all honey is created equally. Supermarket honeys that generally come in squeezy plastic containers might be convenient, but this kind of honey tends to be cheaper for a reason.
Known as one of nature’s greatest all-natural healers, honey has been used as a home remedy for thousands of years. Even today, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of honey’s superpowers, from soothing a cough to embracing the natural sweetener’s antioxidant properties.
Find yourself an apiculturist. Beekeepers are also called honey farmers, apiarists, or less commonly, apiculturists (both from the Latin apis, bee; cf. apiary). Read below on why you want to find LOCAL Raw Honey!
Honey is a sweet, syrupy, golden-colored liquid made by honeybees. Honeybees store honey in the beehive to use for food and nutrients. Raw honey comes directly from the hive while regular honey undergoes processing before being bottled.
What is raw honey?
Raw honey comes straight from the honeycomb. The beekeeper will usually just filter the honey to remove small bits of debris, including pollen, beeswax, and parts of dead bees. They do not pasteurize the honey. Raw honey appears cloudy or opaque because it contains these extra elements. It is still safe to eat.
What is regular honey?
Regular, or pasteurized honey, is clear and smooth. The pasteurization process improves the honey’s appearance, increases its shelf-life, and kills yeast cells that can affect the taste of the honey.
However, some people believe that pasteurization reduces the number of antioxidants and nutrients in the honey.
What’s the difference?
Raw honey is naturally cloudier than regular honey due to honeycomb debris that is too small to be filtered out.
Raw honey tends to have more variation in color and texture than regular honey. The color of raw honey may change depending on what flowers the bees pollinated.
Regular honey tends to look ALL the same, like it has been manufactured in a factory (WHAT??? NOOOO! Yes there I said it.)
Raw honey contains bee propolisBee propolis is the sticky substance that bees use to build their hives and hold the structures together. This glue-like substance not only helps the bees, but some scientists believe that it is healthful for humans as well.
A review study from 2017 reports that bee propolis, found in raw honey, may have:
- anti-inflammatory effects
- anti-cancer and antiulcer action
- antifungal effects
Bee propolis also contains B vitamins, vitamins C and E, magnesium, potassium, and beneficial enzymes.
Pasteurization may destroy antioxidants
Some people believe that pasteurization removes some of the healthful antioxidants in honey.
There are no official studies on how pasteurization changes antioxidant levels in honey, but studies show that heating processes decrease the antioxidant level in other foods.
Raw honey contains flavonoids and phenolic acids that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body. Research has linked oxidative stress to many chronic health conditions, including cancers.
Regular honey may contain sugars or additives
Some regular honey products contain added sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup.
Studies show that some products labeled as “honey” may not be 100 percent real honey, but contain sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup.
Raw honey does not contain any ingredients other than the honey from the beehive…. re-read this last line.. Raw honey does NOT contain any ingredients other than honey form the beehive.
Does it matter? YES as Raw Honey has many benefits.
- Antioxidant effects
Researchers believe that some of the main health benefits from honey come from its antioxidant content.
Natural honey contains a range of compounds that act as antioxidants, including phytochemicals, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid.
Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body by mopping up free radicals. Scientists have linked oxidative stress to a range of chronic health conditions, including many cancers. By eating an antioxidant-rich diet, people can reduce their risk of chronic disease.
Honey contains specific nutrients that can make it a healthful addition to the diet.
The exact nutrition and chemical composition of raw honey varies between different countries and environments and depends partly upon which types of flowers the bees gather their nectar from. Regardless of these factors, honey still contains healthful compounds, such as antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins.
One tablespoon or 21 grams (g) of raw honey contains 64 calories and 16 g of sugar. These values may vary between brands and batches.
Natural honey naturally contains small amounts of the following vitamins and minerals ; niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium. magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc.Honey naturally contains sugar. A little more than half of the sugar in honey is fructose. Research has linked fructose to various health problems.
- Improve diabetes
Consumption of raw honey can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and help aid medication used to treat diabetes. Raw honey increases insulin and decreases hyperglycemia. Add a little at a time to your diet and see how your blood sugar reacts to it. (20)
- Antibacterial action
Honey can help clean wounds and prevent infection.Honey is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. It contains hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase and has a low pH level, which means it can kill harmful bacteria and fungi. Also, because of its unique chemical composition, it does not help yeast or bacteria to grow.
Because of its antibacterial action, people can use it to cleanse wounds.
Research has shown that manuka honey, which is a type of raw honey, can kill common pathogens including: Escherichia coli or E. coli, a bacteria that causes food poisoning and wound infections. Staphylococcus aureus or S. aureus, a microbe that causes skin infections. Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, a bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and chronic gastritis.
- Wound healing
Numerous studies have suggested that honey works well as a wound healing dressing.
A review confirms that honey is useful in wound healing because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Some evidence also suggests that honey has antiviral and antifungal properties.
Also, honey is acidic, which helps release oxygen from the wound and promote healing.
Apply raw honey directly to minor cuts and burns then place gauze or a bandage over the wound.
- Relieving coughs
Several studies have suggested that honey may be as or more effective than some over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines. Many cough medicines are not safe for younger children to take, so honey may be a good alternative for children over one year of age.
A meta-analysis suggests that honey may provide an effective way to decrease the severity and frequency of a child’s nighttime cough. One small-scale study found that a milk and one type of honey mixture relieved children’s coughs as effectively as an OTC medicine.
To relieve a cough, take a teaspoon of raw honey and avoid other liquids or foods afterward to allow the honey to coat the throat.
- Treating diarrhea
Raw honey may have a soothing effect on digestion, helping with symptoms of diarrhea.
A study of 150 children with acute gastroenteritis found that those who received honey with an oral rehydration solution had a better recovery from diarrhea than those who did not receive honey. The children who received honey had fewer bowel movements and recovered faster from the illness.
To help treat mild diarrhea, try taking a teaspoon of raw honey or mixing honey with a drink. Avoid taking too much honey because excess sugar can make diarrhea worse.
- Protecting the brain
Raw honey has anti-inflammatory properties.Some evidence suggests that honey may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers that can benefit the brain. An animal study found that rats that consumed honey had protection against brain damage caused by exposure to lead.
In addition, a review states that raw honey may contain ingredients that help fight inflammation in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory.
- Lower cholesterol
Honey can help reduce cholesterol and, therefore, decrease your risk for coronary artery disease. (21)
- Prebiotic support – Raw honey is full of natural prebiotics that promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestine. (23)
- Improve allergies – If sourced locally, raw honey can help reduce seasonal allergies. Add one to 2 tablespoons to your diet daily. (24)
More on that below…
Local Honey CAN improve allergies
Raw honey has Bee propolis also contains B vitamins, vitamins C and E, magnesium, potassium, and beneficial enzymes. This Bee proplis is collected locally from the bees and it is also the same Pollen that can upset and imflame allergies.
When raw honey turns to ‘sugar’
Raw honey may crystallize after a few months of storage. This means that the honey gets a grainy or sugar-like texture. Crystallized honey is safe to eat and has the same taste.
To make the honey liquid again, use a gentle heating technique:
- Boil a pot of water and remove it from the heat.
- Place the container of honey in the hot water. Do not allow the water to reach the top of the honey container to avoid contaminating it.
- Remove the container of honey after a few minutes. If it is still solid or crystallized, repeat the process.
Do not microwave raw honey or put it directly in boiling water or on a hot stove top, as this may destroy some of its nutrients.
I am trialing something new, references can be found DIRECT in each paragraph and at the end of the paragraph for further reading.