5 Healthy Uses for (Raw) Honey
I’ve been up to my ears in honey over the last few years ever since my boyfriend, Ian, became a beekeeper. I’ve reaped the sweet, sweet rewards from his hobby and as a result, I’ve learned a lot about honey along the way.
To be clear, when I say ‘honey’ I mean raw, unprocessed, unpasteurized honey - basically straight from the hive. Common honey brands like Billy Bee and similar types found at the grocery store have been pasteurized, meaning they’ve been heated, which destroys the health benefits that naturally exist. Common honey brands have also been found to be adulterated with things like high fructose corn syrup and other cheaper additives. If that's not a reason in itself to switch to raw honey, here are five more:
5 Healthy Uses for (Raw) Honey:
1.Wound Healing: Honey has natural antioxidant and antimicrobial (antibiotic) properties. Applied to minor burns and wounds, it may help prevent infection and promote healing. This is especially true of Manuka honey, which has been studied extensively. Interestingly, it’s very common practice in remote parts of Africa to use honey as wound care, since it’s free, effective and easily available.
2. Salad Dressing: For an easy DIY salad dressing, mix equal parts olive oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
3. Gut Health: Honey is considered a prebiotic, meaning it’s a healthy food source for our residential gut bacteria. Bifidobacterium in particular, is one species that has shown beneficial growth following honey ingestion.
4. Benefits Immune System: Honey has demonstrated anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity, which ultimately influences our immune system. This has implications for a variety of conditions, such as allergies, the common cold, Herpes Simplex Virus, etc.
5. Skin Mask: As you recall, Heather recently wrote about DIY face masks. Honey was one of the ingredients in the oily-prone skin mask. Check it out here.
Where to find Raw Honey:
Health food stores.
Healthy/organic section of common grocery stores.
Your friendly local beekeeper.
IMPORTANT: Raw, unpasteurized honey is not recommended for children under 1 year of age.
*Note: This is not medical advice, please consult your healthcare provider in order to address your individual needs.*
Schneider A. Tests show most store honey isn’t honey. Food Safety News. 2011 Nov 7.
Boateng J, Diunase KN. Comparing the Antibacterial and Functional Properties of Cameroonian and Manuka Honeys for Potential Wound Healing—Have We Come Full Cycle in Dealing with Antibiotic Resistance?. Molecules. 2015 Sep 2;20(9):16068-84.
Eteraf-Oskouei T, Najafi M. Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: a review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 2013 Jun;16(6):731.