Honey has been around for thousands of years. An 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain depicts the gathering of honey while traces of the substance were found in vessels from Georgia dating back some 4,500 to 5,000 years. Throughout history, it has been used as a sweetener and a folk remedy as well as for embalming the dead.
Today, the sticky liquid remains a popular sweetener throughout the world, used for cooking, baking, and even skin care. There are so many types of honey available with varying flavors, depending on their source. While choosing a specific flavor is a matter of preference, choosing between honey and raw honey is a matter of health. Read on to find out more about natural raw honey and why you should make the switch.
Difference Between Honey and Raw Honey
Honey and raw honey both begin the same way. Bees collect nectar then store them in honeycombs in their beehive. This is then extracted from the honeycombs and strained through a mesh or nylon cloth to clear it of impurities. The resulting substance is bottled and sold as raw honey.
Honey undergoes a few other processes like pasteurization (which destroys yeast), filtration (to remove other impurities), and ultrafiltration. Sometimes, manufacturers add sugar to honey to increase yield and cut down on costs (similar to extenders being added to some meat). All these processes make honey cheaper and clearer than raw honey and extends its shelf life. But it also means that many of raw honey’s nutrients are lost along the way.
The Power of Raw Honey
Because raw honey is nutrient rich, it comes with a host of potential health benefits. The following are some of the benefits of raw honey:
Alleviates cough and sore throat. The viscous liquid can coat the throat and may calm it down to keep you from coughing. Studies, including one published the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that honey is even more effective at alleviating coughs than dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine. If you have a cough, try taking a teaspoon of honey.
May help you sleep better. Tryptophan helps you feel sleepier and honey may help transmit it to your brain faster. Having a glass of tryptophan-rich milk with some honey can facilitate better sleep. (Bonus: If you have a cough, the honey keeps you from waking up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit.)
Soothes burns. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey seems to help soothe burns and speed up healing. According to a study published in Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters concluded that “present evidence supports the finding that honey, thanks to its various modes of action, is useful in superficial and partial-thickness burns.”
May help heal wounds. Also because of its antibacterial properties, honey may help speed up skin healing. You can apply it directly to the wound with a cotton swab or soak dressing in honey and place on the wound. Take note though that this is only for minor cuts and wounds that you would use an ointment for. Bigger, deeper cuts require medical attention.
May improve your skin. Honey’s antibacterial properties give it a third benefit: It can be used to treat acne. Have a honey facial by slathering it on your face and leaving it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
May be good for your heart. A review published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines demonstrated that antioxidant-rich honey has polyphenols that “have a promising pharmacological role in preventing cardiovascular diseases.”
While honey is filled with good stuff, it does come with risks. Honey can cause botulism (a rare and potentially fatal disease marked by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation) in infants. This is why children under the age of one should never be given honey. While there have been no conclusive studies about the side effects of honey on pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is best for them to avoid it. As honey comes from flowers and may contain pollen, those with pollen allergies might likewise want to skip honey as it may trigger an allergic reaction.
Raw Honey in the Philippines
Honey is delicious so it’s easy to go overboard. It’s good for your health but make sure not to go over 6 teaspoons per day (and keep an eye on other added sugars in your diet). Also take note that organic honey doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s raw honey—it only means it was produced without chemical means. You can get your raw honey from trusted local producers or head to Healthy Options, which carries a wide array of natural and organic health products in the Philippines.
Products You Might Be Interested In
Cadia Organic Wild Flower Honey
Cadia Honey Wildflower Organic Honey is sustainably gathered in the pristine highlands, pasturelands and forests for an exceptionally robust taste. It contains no artificial flavors and preservatives.
Wholesome Organic Raw Unfiltered Honey
Healthy bees make the best organic honey. When bees are not exposed to harsh agro-chemicals, they produce a decadent multi-floral honey with a delightful butterscotch essence. It's perfect on warm biscuits, hard cheeses or Greek yogurt. A great natural sweetener for your morning coffee or afternoon tea as well.