Honey naturally contains nutrients and enzymes that have a variety of health benefits and medical uses. Perhaps that’s why it has been used as a folk remedy throughout history. Today, honey is still a favorite food and is even used in some hospitals as a medical treatment for wounds. However, these health benefits are specific to unpasteurized honey.
Manufacturers process most of the honey you find in grocery stores. Heating the honey helps improve the color and texture, and removes any unwanted crystallization. Many of the beneficial antioxidants and bacteria are also removed or destroyed in the process.
If you’re interested in trying raw honey, buy it from a trusted local producer. In the meantime, check out some of the health benefits raw honey has to offer:
1. A Good Source of Antioxidants
Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals.
Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Studies show that polyphenols in honey may play a role in preventing heart disease.
“I have an exciting story to share to you. Once upon a time when I was ten years old, my mom starts to introduce to me the raw honey and how thus raw honey can give a great benefit to my skin. I am not interested in it during that stage because I am still very young and all I want is to play with my friends and have fun.
However, this doesn’t stop my mom to encourage me every day, As the saying says, “Mother always knew what is best for her daughter” so, Mom started to put this thing on my face and became my daily skin care regimen, until I am grown up as a lady.
One day I received an unexpected call from nowhere, I didn’t realize at all after I recognized the voice in the other line. She was my best friend! Inviting me to meet her. I was 45 year’s old that time. It was such a long time that I haven’t met her. We sat in a cafe shop and talked about our school days. We have so much fun talking, and sharing our moments until she was wondering how do I kept my skin still look young, smooth and fresh. I look and smiled at her, and then share how the raw honey makes my skin even radiant at 45.” – Tanya, 45
2. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
Raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Several hospitals in Europe have used Manuka honey to fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacterial infection that’s become resistant to antibiotics. The effectiveness of honey as an antibacterial or antifungal depends on the kind of honey.
Did You Know?
The exact ingredients of honey depend on which plants bees get their nectar from.
3. Heal Wounds
Manuka honey is also used in medical settings to treat wounds because it’s an effective germ killer. Researchers believe this is because it has additional antibacterial properties besides the natural hydrogen peroxide.
Studies show that Manuka honey can boost healing time and reduce infections in wounds. However, the honey used in hospital settings is medical grade, meaning it’s safe and sterile. You shouldn’t expect to treat injuries with the honey you buy from a grocery store.
4. Filled with Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from harm. For example, some may keep insects away or shield the plant from harsh UV radiation.
Phytonutrients provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help you maintain good health. Because honey is made from plants, it also has phytonutrients. These valuable nutrients are unique to raw honey and disappear when honey is heavily processed.
5. Help for Digestive Issues
Honey is sometimes used to treat digestive issues such as diarrhea, though there isn’t much research to show that it works. However, it’s proven to be useful as a treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a common cause of peptic ulcers. (Peptic ulcers occur in the stomach or digestive system.) Taking 1-2 teaspoons on an empty stomach is said to soothe pain and help with the healing process.
6. Soothe a Sore Throat
Have a cold? Try a spoonful of honey. Honey is an old sore throat remedy. Try adding it to hot tea with lemon. It also works as a cough suppressant.
Research shows that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, a common over-the-counter cough medicine ingredient, in treating cough. Just eat one or two teaspoons straight.
Final Thought about Raw Honey
Remember that the quality of honey is a function of the plants and environment from which pollen, saps, nectars, and resins were gathered. Other substances found in the environment—including traces of heavy metals, pesticides, and antibiotics—have been shown to appear in honey. The amount varies greatly.
Do not feed honey-containing products or use honey as a flavoring for infants under one year of age; honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores and toxins that can cause infant botulism, a life-threatening paralytic disease.
If you have some experience how raw honey helps your skin beautiful, feel free to share it below 🙂
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