Raw Honey: Just As Nature Intended
RAW Honey that has not undergone any thermal processing and is unpasteurized. Bees produce honey in this form. Taken straight out of the beehive, nothing is added to it; it is neither heated nor processed.
It is in the form that nature intended it to be, therefore (unsurprisingly) the healthiest of all forms. Just think of raw vegetables and fruits. It is the heating during the cooking process that destroys all the vitamins and minerals.
The same is true for honey. Heating and pasteurization take away all of honey’s goodness, namely the vitamins, minerals and enzymes. As a result of bees gathering pollen from different plants, many phytonutrients can be found in raw honey.
However, they are removed during the processing of honey, thus diminishing honey’s health benefits. Phytonutrients are the substances accredited with anti-cancer properties. Research has shown a connection between phytonutrients and colon cancer prevention. Eliminating them from honey is a great loss.
There is a significant difference between raw honey and pasteurized honey. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food, which is favored as it prevents the body from turning acidic and becoming a breeding place for all sorts of bacteria and ills.
Raw honey is a powerful antioxidant and source of important nutrients that pasteurized honey do not contain. Consuming pasteurized honey is actually just as harmful as eating table sugar. So be careful when purchasing your favorite sweet substance.
How to Recognize Honey?
Don’t be fooled by appearances. What looks prettier and more appealing is not necessarily better for you. Raw honey is perfect proof of that. Consumers are often attracted to processed commercial honey, which looks cleaner and clearer, but lacks all the benefits of raw honey.
If honey is clear, transparent and easy flowing, that is a sign it has been pasteurized. Raw honey is unfiltered, therefore it is cloudier and contains particles, such as honeycomb parts, bee pollen and propolis, which are a part of the bees’ hardworking honey-making process. This is the honey you want, as it is the form which will bring you honey’s promised benefits.
Raw honey crystallizes after a few months of storing, but can be easily turned liquid again by placing it in a bowl of hot water.
When shopping, look for 100% pure honey. Still, don’t rely just on the labeling. Look at the honey’s appearances too and then choose. If you can, buy directly from the beekeeper or visit a local farmers’ market.
The Benefits of Using Honey
Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It boosts the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant. The health benefits of honey written about on these pages, all apply to raw honey, some only to raw honey.
Honey will sooth your cold, improve your exercise performance, make you sleep better and heal cuts, burns and wounds. Due to raw honey being an alkaline-forming food, it counteracts acid indigestion and aids the digestive system.
Raw honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide when in contact with water. Hydrogen peroxide (at the right dose, as naturally occurring in honey) is a mild antiseptic, which explains why patients treated with honey don’t develop infections and generally have shorter hospital stays. This enzyme is of course destroyed if honey is heated.
Widely reported are also the cosmetic uses of raw honey. It can be used as a scrub to make your skin softer. Raw honey mixed with sweet almond oil and sugar can act as a perfect exfoliator.
Forget commercial hair conditioners. Apply raw honey to your hair and let it work its magic before washing it off. The hair will become shiny and soft without the use of unwanted chemicals.
If you want to smoothen the skin on your face and reduce wrinkles, do a honey facial. Simply massage some raw honey onto your face and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off. Your skin will be revived and the skin tone improved.
Finally, as raw honey contains a lot of healthy sugar and enzymes, which act as preservatives, it can be kept almost indefinitely. This makes it a perfect candidate for your emergency food store. Nobody said that a midnight sweet craving is not an emergency!