20 Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Honey (#5 is Surprising)
One of nature’s biggest blessings for mankind is the food she provides. The nutritious vegetables, delicious fruits and the blissful honey are the best. Especially raw honey which is unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed has humongous benefits.
Raw honey retains all the natural, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients raw honey acts as a miracle maker. Despite of being a sweet tooth or not, the taste of Honey is loved by all. Whether it’s a simple cough or a complex ulcer, honey can heal them all.
A History of Raw Honey:
The earliest evidence of honey dates as far back as 8000 years ago, seen on ancient rock paintings. In the Bible, Israel has been referred to as the land of milk and honey, and historically honey has been viewed as a sacred food.
The easily digested carbohydrates in honey were necessary for survival for traditional hunter-gatherer societies. Around 4000 BC the Egyptians first started creating beehives using pots of mud. This was later modified by the Greeks who redesigned the baking of mud into stronger terra cotta. They named the honey “nectar from the gods”. There are many variants of this terra cotta design including woven cylinders, skeps, and rectangular wood boxes. The basic premise is the same, with a small entrance hole at one end and a door on the other.
Honey in Today’s World
Honey is as old as history itself and has always been a staple for consumption when it was available. Today, honey is much more easily attained than having to battle bees for their precious golden honey. It can easily be purchased in supermarkets, and there are a number of different types and varieties.
It is important to get pure, raw, organic, raw honey if possible. While it may be a little more expensive it is worth its weight in gold and does last for quite a long time.
One advantage of honey is that it does not spoil, unlike other sweeteners such as jam or marmalade which have a shelf life of around 3 weeks once opened. It is important to be aware that many of the honey products on the shelves of supermarkets have been highly processed and stripped of much of their nutritional value. Look for the words organic, raw and natural as much as possible. There should at least be signs of pollen in the jars. Processing the honey is such a fashion strips all antibacterial properties from the honey.
The Hardworking Honeybee
The adaptability of the honey bee is astounding and it can survive the harshest environments. It is estimated that if the honey bee was to disappear from the earth, man would have around 5 years until hit by severe food shortages. The honey bee is absolutely crucial to the ecosystem as they perform such a diverse array of activities. They pollinate a variety of fruit, seeds, nuts and vegetables that we eat to survive. And a loss of these foods would have a knock-on effect on other foods.
The Honey Making Process – How does honey work?
Honey starts off as flower nectar which is collected by bees and broken down by them before being stored in honeycombs.
The honeycomb is designed such that the substance is broken down into what we know as honey when we buy it.
There are no real characteristics that make one brand of honey “better” than the other. Different hives from different bees from different bees in different locations will have different characteristics. Honey can be solid or liquid and varies in color and sweetness depending on the region and type of bee.
In the US alone there are over 300 different types of honey. The most important thing is that the raw honey is as natural and organic as possible with no fillers or additives inserted. There really is no need, as honey does not go off and is already quite sweet.
Don’t Feel Bad For the Bees
Bees actually make more honey than is needed by the hive itself, so there is no need to feel too sorry for the poor bees! Bees can produce over 70 pounds of surplus honey per hive. This is quite a lot of honey, given that a small jar can last over a month. The honey can be harvest by beekeepers by collecting the frames of the honeycomb and scraping off the cap on each cell. The frames are then placed in an extractor where the honey goes out to the sides and then down to the bottom to be collected.
After the raw honey has been extracted it now needs to be strained and bottled. Some beekeepers are known to heat the honey in order to make it easier to easier to strain. This does not alter the nutritional integrity or complexion of the honey in any way, at least not in the same sense that pasteurization of milk is said to kill all nutrients. After extraction and straining the honey, it is now time to bottle it. If the honey label says raw honey nothing else has gone into the bottle.
All about Bees
There are many different types of bees which produce many different types of honey. A race of bees actually refers to the geographical region unlike the case of many other animals. Four examples of bees are the Italian Bee, Caucasian Bee, Carniolan Bee and German Black Bee. The scientific term for each respective bee type is the Ligustica Spinola, Caucasica Gorbachev, Carnica Pollmann and Mellifera L. These terms refer to the race of the bee, while the species of all these bees is the Apis Mellifera, common to most Western countries.
There are many different species of bee, including the Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata, and Apis Florea. Obviously different bees have different characteristics. The Italian bees are easy to manage and are a popular breed among beekeepers. In contrast, the German black bees are a little more aggressive and bigger than others.
There are 3 types of bee, the Queen, the worker, and the drone. A drone is a male bee whose purpose is to mate with the Queen bee to produce offspring. Each type of bee develops at different stages. All bees go from eggs to larva to pupa. After around 2 days the eggs hatches into a larva. It then takes around 6 days to develop into a pupa and about 13 days to become a full bee. The time/days vary depending on whether it is a queen, worker or drone bee.
Drones take 24 days to develop on average, while queens take 16 and workers 21. When the larva moves to the pupa stage of the development cycle, a type of brown wax is placed on the cell and metamorphosis takes place, much like a caterpillar into a butterfly as the bees eat through the wax cap.
The Working Fashion
It is the job of the female worker bee to nurse the unborn bees, drones, and queens, as well as guard the colony, build the honeycomb, carry out the dead bees and clean the hive. They also have to forage for pollen and nectar, the most dangerous task as they could be eaten by other birds and other insects. The average lifespan of a worker bee is around 6 weeks.
Why is Honey Good for You?
So, what are the benefits of raw honey? Honey is one of the safest foods around as there is no real need for manufacturers to add anything into it, given that it does not go off and is already sweet. There is less need to ensure that the product is safe and fit for consumption as it is already such a perfect and wholesome food.
Raw Honey has many properties which make it the ideal superfood. It has no fat or cholesterol and provides an enormous amount of energy per spoonful. It has a wealth of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, magnesium, and iron. It can help to reduce the growth of bacteria as well as neutralize free radicals. Below is a comprehensive list of some of the many benefits of honey.
Raw honey is completely pure, unrefined, unpasteurized honey. It is made by bees from the nectar of flowers and collected, extracted and bottled without any extra being added in. If you are able to switch from normal sugar towards unrefined honey it can represent a huge step on the road to health and wellbeing. This is despite the fact that honey is actually 80% sugar in itself, with around 18% water and the rest consisting of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
Honey is known to help with cholesterol levels. While some cholesterol is necessary the problem for most is that their levels are too high. Cholesterol leads to blocked arteries which can lead to heart disease and a host of other ailments. Raw Honey is an effective way to naturally lower cholesterol levels without having to resort to statins, which artificially lower cholesterol but can have unintended side effects.
Honey can help with skin problems such as eczema. What happens with eczema is that the outer layer of skin becomes inflamed. This can be an embarrassing and painful condition for many. Honey mixed with a slice of lime and warm water is an effective way to battle such skin conditions. It is even better if you apply the honey directly onto the affected areas. Raw Honey has a long history of being used to treat wounds and skin conditions.
#3.Gum Disease Eradication
Some might be surprised to realize that honey can help with gum disease, given its high sugar content. This is due to its antimicrobial properties. There is an enzyme contained in honey which leads to the creation of hydrogen peroxide. This hydrogen peroxide destroys plaque bacteria and reduces the amount of acid found in the mouth (despite the fact that honey is an acidic substance overall).
Honey can actually be used as a form of toothpaste to brush your teeth with. It can be a brilliant substitute to standard toothpaste which can often contain harmful ingredients and synthetic additives. Manuka honey, in particular, has been identified as a type of honey that is extremely effective in battling gum disease, due to superior antimicrobial properties compared to other types of honey.
#4.Battles Yeast Infections
Yeast infection is a common problem for women. When an area of the body gets too acidic it can often result in yeast infections. Though raw honey is quite acidic when taken orally, if applied topically to the area it can help with the yeast infection due to its antimicrobial properties. It battles Candida albicans, which leads to the yeast infection. The flavonoids in honey are the main agents in reducing yeast infections.
#5.Can Reduce Allergies
Inflammation has been hailed as one of the most significant health issues of the modern era. It has even been touted that all diseases are a result of inflammation. Raw Honey is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and can help with allergies. Honey is itself a natural vaccine for those who are allergic to pollen, as it contains minuscule amounts of the substance.
The way vaccines work is that after a foreign substance has been introduced. The body will produce antibodies in defense against the invaders. You then build up immunity to the invaders. As with most food types, it is always better to eat locally. But particularly when dealing with allergies, as it will contain pollen from the local flowers. The immunity does take a certain amount of time to build up but it is definitely more effective than having to deal with watery eyes and runny noses with pills, sprays, and chemicals. Your body will appreciate it more.
#6.Increases Energy Levels
One of the main benefits of honey is that it delivers quite a lot of easy energy that is quick to metabolize. The reason that people get so tired after eating a heavy meal is that it takes so much energy for the body to digest a number of different, heavy food types at one. The food has to be broken down and assimilated and this takes a lot of energy to do at once, more than you have as you doze off after dinner.
Honey is very easy to digest and will give you a natural, instant boost with no downsides, unlike coffee or other artificial stimulants. The sugar it gives you is unprocessed and natural. However, it is still advised that this is not to be your main energy source, more for a quick boost of you are feeling tired. Too much honey will lead to too much sugar which can lead to complications in the long run.
Honey contains antioxidants. Antioxidants have a host of benefits and are said to hold the secret to anti-aging. We age because we cannot neutralize free radicals. Oxidants lead to inflammation which leads to disease of all kinds. But the antioxidants contained in honey are also held to aid people with their memory.
One study concluded that a teaspoon of honey a day was sufficient to increase the memory of postmenopausal women significantly. It is still not fully understood exactly how it works, other than the fact that it definitely helps. It can also help deal with dementia down the road, by giving you brain the essential nutrients that it requires.
#8.Coughs and Colds
Honey can help to treat coughs and colds. Honey is one of the oldest known cold remedies alive. A cup of warm water and honey can help with a variety of common illnesses. The honey is soothing on the throat which suppresses coughs and the vitamins and minerals do much to get to the heart of colds. It warms the body from the inside out leaving the bacteria no chance to survive. Many have contended that honey is just as effective as cough suppressants with none of the synthetic side effects.
Honey treats inflammation of the throat which is the main reason why it alleviates coughs, providing a soothing film over the inside of the throat. Mixing honey with cinnamon is a good way to get the best of the two compounds. The health benefits of honey and cinnamon are not to be ignored when taken together.
#9.Helps with Sleeping
It might seem a little counterintuitive that honey actually helps people get to rest, given that it contains so much sugar and is an energy booster. Yet many have reported that it definitely helps them drift off to sleep easily. And not only that but if you want to have incredible dreams or learn to lucid dream it is one of the most effective food substances available. It can be taken 10 to 15 minutes before sleep. Because it is so easily absorbed into the body it digests quickly. This is in contrast to other foods that can help with sleep, such as bread or bananas, which take hours to digest and this may lead to an unrestful sleep and a poorly functioning digestive system.
Honey can help with sleeping because its sweetness will cause insulin levels to rise, which releases serotonin. Serotonin is converted into melatonin, which is a key ingredient in a relaxing slumber. Anyone who has taken a melatonin tablet can attest to this, as it is quite powerful. As well as serotonin, honey also contains amino acids which help in forming tryptophan, another key component in obtaining high-quality sleep. Honey can be combined with chamomile tea for a double whammy of natural sleeping aids.
#10.Helps Defeat Dandruff
Honey can be quite effective in treating dandruff or an itchy scalp. Studies have shown that honey mixed with warm water can help to deal with these types of issues. But it is not just dandruff or scalp issues that honey can help. Practically any and all types of cut, abrasions, lesions, redness or soreness can be treated. Because of its antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it is perfect for a variety of skin problems as well as internal issues. In fact, you do not even have to have a problem at all, you can just apply to the skin for healthy, moisture laden skin. It can also be used on hair or as a body wash.
#11.Scrapes and Burns
Honey can act as a natural disinfectant because of its antibiotic properties. It was the most commonly used treatment for wounds of all kinds until penicillin came on the scene. But for those looking to get back to more natural remedies honey is still the best for cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Many are ashamed and embarrassed when it comes to getting treatment for Herpes from a pharmacy. On top of this sometimes the typical over the counter remedies just do not work, not to mention the fact that they may have unwanted side effects.
You can avoid all of the toxic chemicals often found in over the counter treatments by using honey instead of the more expensive chemical counterparts. It works because honey contains an enzyme known as glucose oxidase which releases a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide, which can help to clean the wound. At the very least it is advisable to see if honey works before going to the more expensive and riskier alternative over the counter.
The most important element in healthy skin is the level of moisture. Skin cannot look vibrant, healthy and youthful without having the ability to retain water. Honey is excellent at moisturizing the skin, and it can also be used as a shampoo and a form of body wash. There are a number of recipes you can use in order to create moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners out of honey.
As a moisturizer, simply combine 5 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of rose oil and 2 cups of almond oil. Shake and you have an excellent moisturizer for your skin that is all natural and full of vitamins, minerals, and moisturizing agents.
#14.Soothes Acid Reflux
Much research indicates that honey significantly reduces acid reflux and heals the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal reflux(GERD) is a serious problem which is being increasingly reported by many people, often due to a bad acidic diet high in meat, alcohol and bread as opposed to fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Honey helps reduce GERD symptoms in multiple ways as it is good for digestion, lining the esophagus and containing friendly bacteria and useful enzymes which ultimately restore the digestive system to full health if taken on a regular basis. The method of application is the same, simply mix in 2 teaspoons of honey with chamomile tea or some other tea, or just hot water. This can also be done in the morning, with a couple of teaspoons of honey with a slice of lime and glass of lukewarm water to alkalize the body and help the digestive system.
Honey contains compounds that are known to fight tumors and prevent cancer. While cancer does feed on sugar, honey is not sugar and it does not operate in the same way. Honey contains flavonoids and phenolic elements giving it anti-metastatic properties. This is a fancy way of saying that it fights cancer. There is a growing body of literature which indicates that honey is effective at preventing cancer. It could be a simple and easy way to stave off the biggest disease of our time.
#16.Helps with Hangovers
There have been countless ways and methods which are purported to fight against the effects of hangovers. Again, honey is one of the oldest methods which has stood the test of time against all the new and radical ideas. Honey aids the liver, which is the key organ helping to detoxify the body of the copious amounts of alcohol that you chose to imbibe.
A major part of what actually causes your hangover is that your liver is working overtime to detoxify the toxin known as alcohol from your body. Help your liver and you help your energy levels. A headache is actually (more often than not) the result of the inability of the liver to process all of the toxins. Honey helps with this. While honey, helps water is still essential to get rid of a hangover.
#17.Strengthens the Immune System
The immune system is probably the most important system in the body. The immune system is responsible for staving off all diseases, pathogens, bacteria, viruses etc. If your immune system is compromised, then you are more susceptible to diseases of all kinds. You will also have less energy, as a weak immune system takes more energy to get up and running. Because of the antimicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant properties of honey, your immune system will be given a huge boost.
The fact that it cleans and aids the digestive system will also help to strengthen the immune system. It ultimately comes down to energy, if you have a compromised immune system or a poorly functioning digestive system, then energy needs to be diverted from useful areas to make them work better.
Useful areas in this context may include your brain for focus and memory. The fact that honey is so easily assimilated into the body means that it gives even more energy. Digesting food actually takes a large amount of energy.
Related to skin health, honey is perfect for treating acne as opposed to many of the more expensive over the counter remedies or overpriced moisturizers. It taken orally honey might help with acne, but for best results apply directly onto the area. Simply leave the honey on for 10 or 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. You could also mix honey in with a couple of essential oils to boost the effect. There are many online remedies to get you started.
Honey, being a natural aphrodisiac, increases sex drive in both men and women. So, if you are going on a date if may be a good idea to pop open a jar of Manuka honey for you and your partner to enjoy. It helps men produce more testosterone and it helps women produce more estrogen, according to many research analysts.
The Greeks, the Chinese and the Vikings were all strong advocates of taking honey as a means to increase sex drive. A jar of honey was a traditional wedding gift in many societies and this tradition can still be seen today.
#20.Resolves Sinus Problems
Over 30 million people have issues with their sinuses. This is said to be an infuriating issue for many that can be very difficult to troubleshoot quickly and effectively. Again, honey can come to the rescue. Simply make eating honey a daily practice and over time the sinus issues will disappear. Due to its antibacterial properties, the sinus issues will be gone in no time at all.
The benefits of organic honey and the benefits of local honey are not to be underestimated. There are many raw honey uses. There are many sour honey health benefits and pure honey benefits, as well as clover honey health benefits. Is clover honey good for you? Is raw honey good for you? Both certainly are. Eating raw honey is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It is best to take honey before bed.
A Sweet Conclusion
To sum up, honey is one of the best superfoods around, used in all ancient cultures, mentioned in the bible and much historical literature and cures everything from yeast infections to itchy scalps to cuts and abrasions. It tastes awesome and helps the digestive and immune system as well as aids memory and assists in falling asleep. It has no fat or cholesterol and contains many nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It has antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a host of antioxidants which help slow down the aging process and prevent cancer. It has been called the nectar of the gods for a good reason.
There are a number of health benefits associated with honey that could not be listed in the article due to constraints. For example, it helps significantly with weight loss according to multiple studies. It can also lower blood sugar, despite the fact that honey is, for all intents and purposes, sugar with lots of vitamins and minerals packed in. Compared to sugar, studies suggest that honey can lower triglyceride levels, as well as activate hormones that suppress the appetite. It is also held to be an aid towards diabetes.
When choosing, your honey take note of whether or not it is pasteurized or filtered in any way, as these may contain additives. In general, there is no need to add or take away anything from honey. It should go straight from the hive into a jar.
While it is the perfect food in many ways it is to be used with caution. How much honey a day should you take? One teaspoon contains 4 grams of fructose, so it is best not to have more than two teaspoons a day. If you stick to this amount you should have much more energy and a much happier lifestyle.