Raw honey benefits are surprisingly many and have been enjoyed for thousands of years. What is the secret of the unique properties of raw honey?
Recent research revealed that raw honey contains strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria. Researchers in Lund University, Sweden published findings that wild and fresh honey contains billions of friendly bacteria from 13 different types. Why is this important?
Raw honey benefits
Good bacteria in honey seem to preserve it fresh longer to feed the bee colony. The bacteria also protect the bees against bad bacteria, yeasts and fungi, effectively killing harmful microorganisms.
The bacteria in raw honey produce a number of active substances that protect against infections. Raw honey contains enzymes, proteins, fatty and organic acids, volatiles, and hydrogen peroxide. The broad spectrum of bacteria types and active compounds all contribute to the unique properties.
How to use raw honey:
- Raw honey mixed with water applied to wounds and burns promotes healing and lessens inflammation.
- It can counteract antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing infections.
- It kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria tested in the laboratory.
- It heals horses suffering from persistent wounds.
- It helps with sore throats and colds.
Does it matter which honey?
Yes, it does.
Most commercial honey is heavily processed or even outright fake.
1. Standard commercial honey
For maximum health benefits, standard commercial honey is a bad choice. In many cases, it’s a total waste of money.
- More than 75% of the honey on American supermarket shelves is useless fake honey, according to some studies.
Fake honey is a mixture of sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery, barley malt sweetener, or other additives. Nearly all fake honey is made in China. Much is also tainted with illegal antibiotics.
A report by Food Safety News states that more than 75 percent of the honey on American supermarket shelves is ultra-processed to the point that all beneficial properties are completely gone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) states that “any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen is not honey.”
In one investigation, Food Safety News discovered the following:
- 76% of honey samples bought at grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.) were absent of pollen
- 100% of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen
- 77% of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
The good news is that all of the samples from farmers markets, co-ops, and natural stores like Trader Joe’s had the full, proper compliment of pollen, as did organic brands from common grocery stores.
2. Raw honey
Raw honey is unheated, pure, unpasteurized, and unprocessed. Among the various standard forms of honey, raw honey is a good choice because of the higher nutritional value. However, the amount of good bacteria present in raw honey might depend on factors like…
- bees suffer stress,
- are fed synthetic food,
- if bees are given antibiotics,
- or fly in fields sprayed with pesticides.
Go for organic raw honey that contains…
- enzymes supporting good digestion
- minerals and vitamins
- 15-18 amino acids
- healthy bacteria
To preserve the bacteria and active compounds, it is best to consume raw honey without heating it. A teaspoon now and then is enough. Raw honey can also be used for face masks and body scrubs.
3. Manuka honey
This is “extra virgin” honey. Manuka honey from New Zealand is also raw honey but with unique properties. It’s is used in some hospitals for skin ulcers, wounds, burns, boils, cracked skin, cuts and grazes.
Manuka honey is able to eradicate more than 250 strains of bacteria, including antibiotic resistant varieties. Some use Manuka honey for acne, pimples, and wrinkles.
What makes Manuka honey superior?
Manuka contains methylglyoxal, witch has strong antimicrobial qualities. In addition, it is possible that the lacto-acid producing bacteria present in the honey produce other antibacterial compounds.
Manuka honey with an MGO grade 100 or higher can reach a medical effect. The higher the grade the better, but also more expensive. This is an amazing natural product! Some Manuka producers use UMF grades; 10 or higher is considered best.
Raw honey benefits are many. However, best not too overdose because of the high sugar content. Some say about one teaspoon per day is enough to promote the gut.