Considered a 'super food' for centuries, raw honey is experiencing a renaissance for its amazing nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Raw honey is one of nature's most delicious and wholesome natural sweeteners, is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and absolutely jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that assimilate directly into your bloodstream.
Whilst delivering a sustained form of energy, raw honey also offers very powerful anti-inflammatory properties to your body.
However, like many other natural, wholesome foods, honey has been heavily commoditised, so it pays to understand the difference between raw organic honey and the processed and refined versions of honey you'll commonly find on your supermarket shelf.
What Is Raw Honey?
Derived from the concentrated nectar of flowers, raw honey is produced by honeybees and left in a natural, unfiltered and unpasteurised state often still contained within honeycomb.
When left in unrefined state, raw honey contains hefty nutritional properties and health-giving qualities. Also, thanks to it being constituted of similar substances present in plants, it has an alkalising effect on your body.
As a result of it being straight out of the hive and taken directly from the cells of the honeycomb, raw honey often contains bee pollen and propolis, both of which are powerful anti-oxidants with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
What’s the difference between commercial and organic raw honey?
Honey that you get from supermarkets and convenience stores often has some or all of the following characteristics:
- Clear, sparkling gold-ish colour & appearance
- Heavily processed
- Chemically refined
- Contains chemical additives, preservatives & white sugar
- Has been heated (pasteurised)
- Bees treated with antibiotics
Exactly What Is Raw Organic Honey?
The purest form of honey available, is produced by honeybees that derive their nectar from plants, not sprayed with chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides.
By only consuming raw honey from trusted local sources, you'll be assured of a real 100% natural product, that is not only guilt-free, but incredibly delicious and loaded with amazing health-promoting qualities.
The Benefits Of Raw Honey
Thanks to raw honey being derived directly from plants, it possesses the same disease-resisting properties of each floral species that the bee gets its pollen from.
Since its naturally derived, your body actually recognises raw honey so that it can absorb and assimilate all of the nutrients and healing qualities directly.
Additionally, raw honey won’t ferment in your stomach and actually functions as an "aid" to indigestion.
With a naturally occurring sugar content of around 80%, the composition balance of raw honey is made up of rich mineral, vitamin and protein content, making raw honey a fantastic source of nutrition and clean natural energy!
This type of energy is a rich form of glucose (carbohydrate) which gets stored in the liver and muscle, and is a very effective fuel source, particularly for moderate physical activity.
As a result, raw honey is great to enjoy as a morning boost to help kick start your day, or as a fuel or replenishment source when exercising.
Interestingly, consuming raw organic honey can assist as a weight management tool, because unlike processed sugars, honey actually can balance blood sugar levels rather than create "spikes and troughs", that cause you to crash and burn.
Therefore, locally sourced, raw organic honey is a great, natural sweetener, which you can easily use as a substitute for the common choices you would otherwise use to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.
Learn more about the dangers of processed and refined sugars and sweeteners in our blog, Overcoming Sugar Addictions & The Best Natural Substitutes
Other Dietary Benefits Of Raw Organic Honey
Aside from the many nutritional and dietary benefits of raw honey, it can also help to:
- Harmonise & promote optimal functioning of the liver
- Predigest starchy foods such as bread
- Neutralise toxins in the body
- Promote ‘good bacteria’ in the digestive system thanks to its probiotic properties.
Like the plant sources it comes from, raw honey is rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants which not only boosts the immune system but also serve as a preventative aid against many common diseases.
Additional Health Benefits Of Raw Honey
Besides being a source of nourishment and natural energy, raw honey gives you additional benefits for treating and healing a wide variety of common ailments and discomforts such as:
- Acne & Skin Problems
- Colds & Flu
- Gum Disease
- Healing of wounds & burns
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Pain Relief
- Stomach Ulcers
How To Enjoy Raw Honey
Raw honey should never be cooked or heated, as this will destroy many of its natural nutritional and beneficial properties.
Consume a 1-2 teaspoons of raw organic honey directly from the jar or add it to:
- Organic Yogurt
- Nuts e.g. Walnuts, Macadamias, Brazil Nuts
- Home-Made Muesli
- Whole grain bread or Toast
If adding honey to tea or coffee, be sure to let your beverage cool down to warm before mixing it, in order to maintain the healthy benefits!
Raw Honey Natural Remedies
In addition the dietary and health benefits, here are some home remedies which you can use to treat and heal a range of common health complaints and ailments.
- Burns & wounds - Bandages soaked in raw honey assist and speeds up healing. Apply to burn or wound and change every 24 to 48 hours
- Coughs - Take a teaspoon or 2 before bed time to serve as a natural cough syrup
- Sleep - Eat a small amount before bed to help promote deep, restful & uninterrupted sleep
Raw Mānuka Honey
An article about raw honey is not complete without mentioning the popular variety, Mānuka, which is native to New Zealand.
Mānuka is a flowering species of plant, particularly renowned for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And it is sometimes referred to as New Zealand "Tea Tree".
Mānuka Pure Essential Oil is produced from this tree and has proven to have particularly potent health-promoting and curative properties.
A mono-floral honey, Mānuka is a unique variety made by bees who only get the nectar from the mānuka plant. As such, this honey also possesses the same powerful qualities that are present in the Mānuka tree.
Mānuka also has a level of ‘conductivity’ about four times that of normal raw honey, making it super rich in minerals and extra potent in terms of its health and healing benefits, especially in regards to its ability to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Where To Find Raw Organic Honey
If you’re lucky enough to live in honey-producing region, you will most likely be able to easily source raw honey directly from the beekeepers or your local farmer's markets.
Otherwise, raw honey is readily available in most health food stores, some big chain supermarkets and online stores.
The great thing about honey, is that it has an indefinite shelf life when kept air tight sealed and kept in a cool, dry place.
The Main Take Away
Raw Organic Honey is a genuine super food that you should definitely incorporate into your regular diet and self care routine.
Packed with an endless supply of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and potent energy-giving nutrients, raw honey is a true natural sweetener that not only tastes incredible, but also has a long list of nutritional compounds to help protect you from bacteria, viruses and fungi.
If you haven't already, be sure to add raw organic honey to your shopping list so that you have it available, at home to enjoy at any time, in the place of less nutritious and even harmful sweeteners.
Tolman Self Care.