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Who doesn’t love honey? It’s creamy, sweet and it’s healthy for you! Yep, you heard me. Honey is good for you! Raw honey provides many health benefits whereas processed honey doesn’t. Processed honey is what you normally see sold at stores.
There’s a lot of differences between raw and regular honey. Some of the things you may not know might surprise you! But before we get into all that, let’s start at the beginning.
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The Beginnings of Honey
Honey has been used for thousands of years! In fact, there is an 8,000-year-old rock painting in the Araña Caves in Spain. It shows two honey-hunters collecting honey and honeycomb from a wild bee nest.
Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Ayurveda (Traditional Hindu System of Medicine), and Traditional Chinese Medicine have used honey to treat various ailments such as; gastric disturbances, ulcers, skin wounds, burns, rashes, and coughs.
It was first reported in 1892 that honey may have antimicrobial properties and could be useful as a safe, improvisational wound treatment.
Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey
At honey.com, The National Honey Board defines raw honey as “Honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.”
To clarify, the difference between raw and processed honey is that raw honey hasn’t been pasteurized. During the pasteurization process, the honey gets heated up and filtered. As a result, all of the honey’s enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids gets destroyed! Therefore, it decreases the nutritional value of the honey.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that “Any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey.” Processed honey may even contain additives such as high fructose corn syrup and natural flavoring.
In short, if you’re still wondering if processed honey has any benefits? The answer is no. If you want the benefits of honey, RAW honey is the way to go!
Appearance and Taste
Raw honey will be in a liquid state when it’s been recently harvested and gets denser as time goes on. However, honey can be found in comb, liquid, or in a solid/cream state. It’s common to find pieces of honeycomb, bee pollen, and propolis in it. Bee pollen and propolis have their own health benefits as well.
The color of honey is determined on where the bee got its nectar and varies from a lighter or darker color. As for taste, generally, lighter honey is more mild and darker honey is stronger.
Your honey may crystallize. But don’t worry! Crystallization of raw honey is NORMAL! It’s just a natural process of honey and can be consumed in that state.
To get rid of crystallization, first, place the container of honey in some warm water and then let it sit till it dissolves. But most importantly, don’t place the honey in boiling water or in a microwave. It’ll ruin the natural components in the honey!
Dangers of Honey
Whether the honey is processed or raw, it can contain bacteria spores that cause botulism. Botulism is a rare poisoning that’s caused by toxins from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Do not give honey or anything with honey in it to children under 12 months.
10 Benefits of Raw Honey
1. Heals Wounds
Apply some raw honey to your cut every 24 hours or so. We put raw honey on our cat’s cut and it never got infected and healed very nicely! You can even purchase honey-infused band-aids now!
Raw honey naturally has hydrogen peroxide and is said to have other antibacterial properties too. So it makes a great germ killer! Best part? It won’t sting when putting it on open wounds!
3. Good Source of Antioxidants
Honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants and are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. You can also find them in fruits, vegetables, tea, and olive oil.
4. Helps with Digestive Issues
Take a couple of teaspoons of raw honey on an empty stomach to help with the pain and healing process of stomach ulcers as well as diarrhea.
5. Acne Fighter
Raw honey can help fight acne without all the harsh chemicals! Put some raw honey on your face and other places with blemishes. Then let it sit on your skin for 15-20 minutes then rinse off!
Raw honey is also said to be a good moisturizer too. So your face should feel extra soft afterward! Bonus!
6. Soothe Sore Throats and Coughs
Make some lemon honey tea by mixing fresh lemon juice, warm water, and raw honey. It’s our go-to-thing at my house when having throat problems. Not only does it do wonders but taste great too!
It’s important to make sure the water isn’t too hot! If the water is too hot it’ll kill the enzymes in the honey and lemon. Both are which very good for you!
Also, eating 1-2 teaspoons of plain raw honey can help ease sore throats and coughs as well.
Plants contain a compound called phytonutrients, that provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Honey, of course, is made from the nectar of plants. Therefore, honey contains these benefits as well!
8. Natural Sweetener
Raw honey is a delicious and healthier choice to help sweeten up your food or drink! Have some in your morning coffee, tea or spread some on your toast. People even use it as an ingredient for cooking. Yum!!
9. Hair Repairer
Help restore the health of your hair and scalp by putting some raw honey in it! In addition, it can even help with that pesky dandruff. Let some honey sit in your hair and then wash it out when you take a shower. What’s more? It may give your hair a little more shine!
10. Naturally Highlights Hair
Hydrogen peroxide has been used to lighten hair before. And since raw honey naturally has hydrogen peroxide, it can be a “sweet” alternative for it! So while you’re out sun-bathing, let some raw honey sit in your hair for a nice lil boost!
Raw Honey Brands
We all have a lovely bottle of honey sitting in the back of our cupboards somewhere, so why not get some raw honey instead? And experience all these wonderful benefits!
Not sure where to find some? Raw honey brands that I’m familiar with are YS Organic Bee Farms and Really Raw Honey. I’ve been using them for years and I still use them til this day. Either one of these brands is a good option to start with!
(Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. I am just a Mom whose going off of her own experiences and research. You can read my full disclaimer policy here .)
What benefit was most surprising to you? Are there different ways you use raw honey in your life? Let me know in the comments below! And if you liked it, give it a share!