6 Benefits of Raw, Organic Honey
Honey is a superfood with strong nutritional and medicinal properties. Cultures across time, let alone the ones I’ve visited on my global travels, value this sweet liquid for a long list of whole-body health benefits (internal and external). For example, in Chinese medicine, bee pollen is used to improve unbalanced nutrition, vitality, longevity, energy, and more. Roman soldiers placed honey on wounds to promote healing. Aristotle advises that honey is “good as a salve for sore eyes and wounds,” while Dioscorides (c.50 AD) suggests it for ulcers.The healing properties of honey are even mentioned in many religious texts, including the Bible, Veda, and Koran.
To experience the health and medicinal benefits of honey, you must be using raw (unprocessed and unfiltered), organic honey because the quality and type of honey you use will greatly determine its nutritional or medicinal effectiveness. While stores will try to sell you filtered, processed honey that looks beautiful in the jaw or bottle, this actually dramatically strips away its healing potential.
While the filtration and processing helps extend honey’s shelf life and boosts stores’ profits, these ultra-purified versions have little to no health benefits (and can even have negative health impacts including unwanted toxins and health risks from contamination).
However, when honey is produced ethically and sustainably, it has tremendous value for your health and wellness. Check out this list of six whole-body health and medicinal benefits of raw, organic honey:
- Honey boosts your immune system. Its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes protect your body from bacteria and boost your immune system.
- Raw honey actually contains propolis. This mixture of resins is sued by the honeybees to protect their hives from viruses and bacteria. Propolis’ unique set of nutrients give honey antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Honey can help alleviate cold and flu symptoms.This includes coughs, sore throats, and congestion. In a 2012 study, children with a nighttime cold-related cough who were given two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed coughed less. The theory is that honey’s sweet taste actually triggers nerve endings in the throat that help protect against incessant coughing and the thick consistency coats the throat and soothes irritation.
- Honey helps heal wounds via osmosis. When you place honey on a wound, it actually pulls water away the wound (through hygroscopic qualities, which is the ability to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment). This creates a dry environment that promotes faster healing. At the same time, honey is also said to pull lymph fluid to the wound, which creates balanced conditions for healing. Manuka honey is the gold standard for healing wounds with honey. Learn more here.
- Honey has phytochemicals. This includes carotenoids, peptides, phenolics, and phytosterols that promote healing by signaling your body’s immune system to activate cytokines, which have anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties.
- Honey contains antioxidants. These help the body in so many ways, including brain health. In a 2011 study, honey was tested as an alternative therapy for the hormone-related memory issues. Women who took 20 grams of honey a day for 4 months had were more likely to have better short-term memory than the other study participants who were given hormone pills. Nature wins!
This is just a short list of some of honey’s incredible nutritional and medicinal properties. To add a daily boost of honey’s nutritional and medicinal benefits to your diet, try stirring 1-2 tablespoons of raw, organic honey into warm water or a cup of tea.
The products I use myself:
- Organic and Raw Active 15+ Manuka Honey
- Hand harvested in New Zealand from pristine nature preserves
- Supports your body’s health immune response
- Provides soothing comfort for throats, tummies, and even topically for skin
- Scientifically verified to have all of its beneficial active 15+ Manuka factor
- Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Organic Raw Honey
- 100% USDA certified organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered
- Special Premium US Grade A
PLEASE NOTE: Spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria (which are found in dirt and dust) can contaminate honey, so medical professionals recommend waiting until infants are at least 12 months old before giving them honey. The bacteria can cause infant botulism. They also create a toxin inside the body that could cause muscle weakness and issues with breathing. After they are 12 months or older, babies’ immune systems are mature enough to safely handle any spores.