Today we’re going to talk all about honey, specifically raw honey. Just what is it that makes raw honey superior to pasteurized honey? Raw honey is vastly different than its pasteurized counterpart. Honey that has never been heated to more than 117 degrees has numerous benefits over refined sweeteners.
“Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar. ” – Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar. Learn more: Source
The Many Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw honey is a rich source of enzymes, called amylase, that help digest carbohydrates. Amylase comes from the pollen of flowers. Did you know that as soon as you apply honey to bread (or other starchy items) it immediately starts to predigest it for you, which means less work for your body to digest the food? This makes unpasteurized honey an ideal sweetener to use on breads, in your oatmeal for breakfast or with any other starchy food you’d like to sweeten.
Raw honey is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and helps to strengthen the immune system. Raw honey is also known to eliminate allergies and act as an expectorant for treating conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. When using raw honey for allergies it is best to find a local source that will contain the pollen from the area where you live.
Using Raw Honey for Home Remedies
- Treat Seasonal Allergies– To use honey as a treatment for seasonal allergies start by taking a teaspoonful of raw, local honey each day for several weeks leading up to allergy season.
- Facial Mask– Honey is supposed to be soothing to the skin, fight blemishes, promote smoothness, fight wrinkles, and help your skin tone. To use it as a facial mask, apply a teaspoon of raw honey to your face and allow it to set for 10-30 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
- Ease Sore Throats– Raw honey can be taken as a way to help ease sore throats and works well in combination with fresh lemon juice.
- Raw Honey for Storage– Raw honey has an indefinite shelf life, due to the natural enzymes it contains. This makes it an ideal candidate for long term storage to keep on hand in case of emergency. If the honey starts to crystallize, simply put the jar in a bath of warm water and the honey will return to a liquid state.
- Treat Cuts, Burns and Scrapes– Due to its natural anti-bacterial components, raw honey makes a perfect, natural treatment for small cuts, scrapes, and burns and it may also help to decrease scarring. Simply apply a small amount of honey to the wound and cover with a sterile bandage. Change the wound dressing at least daily.
Different Types of Honey
There are different types of honey that are made according to the bee’s primary nectar source at the time they made that honeycomb. This will affect the color, aroma and flavor of the honey. The color of honey may range from a dark brown to nearly clear and it can vary from having a very mild taste to a very distinct taste. Did you know that there are over 300 kinds of honey available in the USA?
As a rule of thumb, the lighter the color of the honey, the milder the flavor and conversely, the darker the color the bolder the flavor. Let’s talk about a few of the most popular varieties of honey available.
- Tupelo– Tupelo honey is produced in the southern part of the United States from the nectar of Tupelo trees. It is an extra light amber honey with a pleasant, mild flavor. This honey will not granulate.
- Buckwheat- Buckwheat grows wild and is a gluten free plant the is used for breakfast porridge and flour, Buckwheat honey is dark brown with a very strong flavor. It is perfect for barbecue sauce and baked goods.
- Clover– Clover is probably the most commonly recognized type of honey. Depending on the type of clover it may vary anywhere from an almost white color to a very pale amber. It has a mild flavor and is the most common “table honey.”
- Alfalfa– Honey that is mild and light in color produced from the purple blossoms of the alfalfa plant. It is very common in the USA.
- Wildflower– This term is usually used to describe honey where the source of the nectar is unknown.
- Avocado– Avocado honey is made from avocado blossoms and comes primarily from California. It is a very rich honey with an almost buttery taste.
Note: Raw honey should never be given to infants under the age of 12 months. They lack the stomach acid to deactivate spores in the honey.