Raw honey is one of many gifts from nature.
It is famous for its taste, aroma, and flavor, but most especially, its, “ Medicinal properties.”
Raw honey is honey gotten straight from a hive.
I.e. After a beekeeper filter produced honey by hand.Howdy, Chukwuka Emmanuel
And is produced by honeybees using, “ Nectar,” from certain plants with flowers.
Raw honey is available in different colors, aromas, flavors, and types.
According to the findings of this research. “ Manuka honey is probably the best.”
This is because it has, “ Greater antibacterial qualities.”
Raw honey contains;
• Sugars, I.e. Glucose, fructose
• Vitamins and minerals,
Thus, offers a range of health benefits.
Each of which would be properly discussed in this piece.
But, before that let’s quickly take a look at the different substances present in, “ Raw honey.”
NUTRITIONAL COMPONENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS PRESENT IN RAW HONEY
Nutrients present in Raw honey include:
1. Water: Honey contains about 15% to 25% of water.
2. Carbohydrates: I.e. Glucose and fructose.
3. Protein: This is very little in quantity.
4. Vitamins: Vitamins present in honey are;
• Vitamin B1: This promotes cell growth and development.
• Vitamin B2: This is extremely important for the prevention of, “ Certain disorders and cancer.”
• Vitamin B3: This is important for the prevention of memory loss, skin rash, fatigue, depression, etc.
• Vitamin B5: This promotes healthy skin, well functioning digestive system, nervous system, amongst others.
• Vitamin B6: Research suggest this is important for, preventing depression( 1 , 2 ), cancer( 3 , 4), memory loss( 5 , 6 ), etc.
• Vitamin K: This plays a role in ensuring healthy bones and heart.
• Vitamin H, amongst others.
5. Minerals: Such as;
• Calcium: This helps maintain strong bones and teeth.
And also helps regulate blood pressure.
• Iron: This fosters better cognitive functioning, and strengthens the body and immune system.
• Magnesium: This helps foster healthy bones and teeth, amongst others.
• Phosphorus: This majorly helps in the building and maintenance of strong bones and teeth.
• Fluorine, amongst others.
TABLE EXTRACTED FROM:https://www.eufic.org/en/healthy-living/article/the-health-benefits-of-honey-and-its-nutritional-value.
Antioxidants present in Raw honey include;
1. Polyphenol: This antioxidant helps prevents cellular damage and memory loss.
2. Catalyse: Due to its ability to prevent, “ Free radicals.”
The body remains healthy.
3. Amino acids: This helps carry out body detoxification.
As well as, promoting brain health.
4. Carotenoid derivatives:
This plays a role in promoting eye and heart health, preventing cancer, etc.
5. Asorbic Acid: This helps to battle bacteria infections and in the formation of tissue collagen.
6. Phenolic acid: This is very effective for protecting the skin from different skin conditions.
E.g. psoriasis and shingles.
7. Glucose oxidase, amongst others.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY
1. Treatment and prevention of illnesses and Injuries
This is probably the most popular health benefit of raw honey.
Raw honey has been used throughout history to prevent and treat various illnesses and injuries.
A few of these illnesses and injuries are discussed below.
For children( not below 12 months)
Research has shown that honey is effective in repressing cough.
This review also suggests that honey may be more effective than a drug for cough, sneezing, and running nose, amongst others(I.e. Diphenhydramine.)
• Research also suggests that honey may help prevent stomach ulcers.
This is because of its potential ability to prevent the bacteria, “ Helicobacter pylori.”
H. Pylori is a common cause of stomach ulcers.
• According to the findings of these researches( 7, 8 ).
Honey may also have the ability to treat, “ psoriasis and herpes lesions.”
Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by, “ Skin itchiness.”
• A study carried out in 2016 suggests that honey might help ease, “ Sore throat.”
This is due to its, anti Inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• A scientific review has also shown that honey is effective for treating infected wounds after surgery.
The same review also shows that honey would also be effective in treating, “ Second degree burns.”
Second-degree burns are burns that affect only the “ Epidermis and Hypodermis.”
They are caused by heat, radiation, chemicals, etc.
• Raw honey is also effective for treating foot ulcers caused by diabetes.
According to the findings of this research.
• Another scientific review also suggests that raw honey may be capable of improving respiratory infections.
(I.e. bronchitis, epiglottis, laryngitis, sinusitis.)
• Concerning Cancer.
This scientific review suggests that honey may help with,” Cancer treatment.”
According to that review, honey has, “ Anticancer properties.”
• Finally, honey contains an antioxidant called, “ Polyphenol.”
Which has, “Anti-inflammatory properties.”
According to the findings of this research.
Polyphenols may be effective in preventing health conditions caused by, “ Oxidative stress.”
2. Brain Health
Consuming raw honey has enormous benefits for the brain.
One of which is the improvement In memory functioning:
• According to research conducted in 2011 using, “ Tualang honey.” I.e. honey produced by an Asian bee called, “ Apis dorsata.”
Results from that research suggest that the consumption of raw honey can improve, “ Short term memory ability.”
• Honey also contains, “Polyphenols,” which is a powerful antioxidants.
This research suggests that this antioxidant may be able to prevent brain inflammation.
Especially, at the hippocampus(The part of the brain majorly responsible for memory.)
Other honey brain benefit includes:
• Helps protect the brain, especially from lead exposure.
This is based on the findings of this study carried out using animals.
• Finally, Honey can help prevent, “ Brain cell damage.
According to this clinical review.
3. Heart Health
Asides from taking care of your brain. Honey also takes care of your heart.
Although no research shows, rightly how honey helps the heart.
But, finding from different researchers suggests honey can help prevent heart disease and protect the heart.
• Triglycerides are the aftermath of unwanted body calories.
And having a high amount of this substance in your blood: increases the risk of heart disease.
This research has shown that using honey rather than sugar can, “ reduce Triglycerides levels by 19%.”
• This scientific review suggests that honey may have the ability to: Regulate heart palpitations, lower blood pressure, and protects the cells of the heart.
• This research has also shown that switching sugar for honey may help reduce the likelihood of suffering from a health disease.
• Finally, an animal study suggests that honey consumption can help protect the heart.
4. Sexual Health
In different cultures, Honey is seen as a remedy for increasing, “ Male and female Fertility.”
For men who find it hard:
• Getting and maintaining a penile election.”
• Sexually satisfying their partners.
• Low testosterone levels and
• Low sperm count.
Honey might just be the perfect solution to that problem.
This research was conducted on rats who have been exposed to, “ Cigarette fumes.”
Results show the daily oral consumption of honey resulted in;
• Enhanced ability to get and maintain a penile erection.
• Improved sexual performance.
• Boosted testosterone level.
5. Skin Health
Raw honey is also beneficial to the skin in various ways.
No wonder it is an add-in to most skincare and cosmetic products.
Concerning the skin, raw honey;
• May help prevent an acne breakout, since it has high anti-inflammatory properties.
This scientific review attests to the anti-inflammatory content of raw honey.
Aside from the aforementioned.
Honey may also help clear acne breakouts.
Although, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Raw honey contains, “ Vitamin B, antioxidants, fatty acids and other acids,” which Soothe acne and reduce its redness.
• May help decrease the appearance of aging signs.
According to the findings of this research.
6. Regulation Of Blood Sugar Level
A person with a high blood sugar content is at high risk for;
• Heart disease and possible heart attack.
• Damage to the kidney or eyes.
• Possible stroke.
Although honey contains sugar and can raise blood sugar levels.
It is a slightly better alternative to, “ Regular sugar.”
Research has shown that honey has the potential ability to, “ Increase Adiponectin Levels.”
Adiponectin is a hormone capable of increasing the body’s ability to regulate sugar levels.
7. Improve Digestion
Raw honey can also help improve and treat issues relating to digestion.
Although this has not been thoroughly studied.
Raw honey contains, “ Prebiotics.”
Which are fibers backed up with the responsibility of, “ Feeding bacteria in our gut.”
Thus, aids in digestion.
SIDE EFFECTS OF RAW HONEY
Despite the enormous health benefits of raw honey.
It should be consumed, “ Moderately.”
As side effects may occur when raw honey, is excessively consumed.
These possible side effects are listed below:
• May cause stomach pain.
• Excessive consumption over time, might result in weight gain.
This is due to the accumulation of calories.
• Excessive consumption over time might result in a spike in blood sugar levels.
• May trigger allergic reactions.
Mono floral And Multi Floral Honey. Which is better?
Both types of honey are good.
But, the multi-floral honey is probably better.
This is because the multi-floral honey is the end product of bees feeding on different types of flowers.
Unlike the mono-floral honey produced after bees feed on the flowers of a single plant.
Different types of honey may be mono-floral or multi-floral.
But, the majority of them are, “ Multi floral.”
Raw Honey And Diabetes.
Although, research suggests that honey may help increase insulin levels.
Individuals suffering from diabetes should consume honey, “ Moderately.”
And should only consume surgical substances when their diabetes is,” Under Control.”
It is important to note that honey is sweeter than sugar.
Honey contains about 60 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. ( 9 )
Which is a little bit higher when compared to sugar.
Thus, honey should be used;
• And only after you’ve received a, “ Go ahead from your doctor.”
Honey Recipes For Different Purposes
There are different honey recipes believed to be very effective for skin and health-related challenges.
It is however important to note that, these recipes;
• Have not been scientifically tested and proven. ( To the best of my knowledge.)
• Should be used with, “ Caution.”
A few of these honey recipes are listed and discussed below;
1. Honey Mask
This recipe is believed to be effective for treating, “ Acne.”
To make and use this honey mask, simply;
• Combine in a bowl: A teaspoon of honey and yogurt, and 3 drops of coconut oil.
• Apply a cream-like substance on the face.
• Allow resting for a maximum of 12 minutes.
• Wash off using mild soap and water.
2. Honey and Lemon Drink
This honey recipe is believed to be effective for, “ Weight Loss.”
To make and use this recipe, simply;
• Combine in a mug: A teaspoon of raw honey, and juice from a lemon, and fill up with water.
• This should be taken during the daybreak, before breakfast.
• Remember to rinse your mouth after each cup.
3. Honey-Cider Drink
This recipe is believed to be effective for, “ Sinusitis.”
To make and use this recipe, simply;
• Boil up a cup of water and 4 teaspoons of Apple cider vinegar.
• Allow to cool and then stir in a tablespoon of raw honey.
• Consume this two times, daily.
4. Honey Castor Mix
This recipe is believed to be effective for stopping, “ Hiccups.”
For this recipe, simply;
• Mix in a bowl: A tablespoon of raw honey and 3 drops of castor oil.
• Dip your finger into Mix, and lick off the substance.
• Do this whenever you experience Hiccups.
5. Honey and Cinnamon Mix
This mixture is believed to be effective for treating, “ Eczema.”
To mix and use this mixture, simply:
• Mix in a bowl: A tablespoon of raw honey and Cinnamon powder.
• Apply the paste-like substance to the skin condition.
• Allow resting for 25 minutes, before washing off.
• Do this only 3 times, weekly.
6. Honey-Garlic Mix
This Mix is believed to be effective for, “ Cold symptoms.”
For this recipe, simply:
• Combine 3 garlic cloves and honey to cover it up.
This should be done in a Glass jar.
• Set mixture aside until the honey has a strong garlic taste.
• Take a teaspoon, whenever necessary.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS(FAQ) ABOUT RAW HONEY
What’s The Best Method For Storing Raw Honey?
Storing raw honey properly increases its shelf life.
Although there is no, “ Best,” method for storing honey.
The following should be noted;
• Raw honey should not be stored in the refrigerator.
As this would increase the tendency for, “ Crystallization.”
Thus, honey is best stored at room temperature.
• Honey should be stored in an air-tight glass container.
And should be kept far away from a heat source.
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
This is due to the tendency for glucose to, “ Solidify.”
Honey contains fructose and glucose.
Which are types of, “ Sugar.”
When glucose solidifies, naturally. It separates from the other contents of the honey.
This separation, results in, “ Crystallization.”
What Should I Do When My Raw Honey Crystallizes?
Crystallization is a natural process.
Thus, you should not worry when that occurs.
And do not be tempted to discard the product.
As crystallized raw honey is still safe to eat.
Whenever you plan to make use of it, simply;
• Transfer a little quantity to a glass jar/any heat-proof container.
• Boil up a pot of water, and switch off the burner. And then place the container into the pot of hot water.
The container should be left open.
• Do not microwave crystallized honey.
As this would change its taste, flavor, and aroma and kill beneficial nutrients.
Can Raw Honey Cause An Allergic Reaction?
Yes, raw honey can cause an allergic reaction.
But, this allergic reaction is due to, “ Pollen contamination by bees or plants.”
Thus, if you happen to be allergic to pollen( I.e. fine powdery substance found on plants). Allergic reactions may occur when you either;
• Ingest raw honey.
• When raw honey gets in contact with your skin.
In most cases, allergic reaction to raw honey is due to the pollens it contains.
And when an allergic reaction occurs, you may experience;
• Skin bumps or rash.
• Nausea and Vomiting, amongst others.
Immediately seek medical help, if you experience more unusual pollen allergic symptoms like;
• Fainting and heart palpitations.
Are All Types Of Raw Honey Completely Pure and Unpasteurized?
The answer is, “ No.”
Thus, you must ensure you make proper findings. And purchase only from, “ Verified dealers.”
Certain packaged raw honey brands are;
• Overheated and processed.
• Mixed with different substances. This is to enhance its flavor, taste, and aroma.
And to even prevent, “ Crystallization.”
Good examples of such substances include;
• Sugar or corn syrup.
• Artificial flavors, amongst others.
Raw Honey Gotten Directly From A Bee Farm. Is It Completely Pure?
To a large extent, “ Yes it is.”
But the degree of its purity is thebased on;
• The personal hygiene of the apiarist( Bee keeper).
• How clean and serene the isBee Farm.
But, it is important to note that certain farms feed bees, “ Excessive Sugar,” for survival.
Especially, in situations where flowers are unavailable due to weather or climate.
In such a situation, the raw honey becomes,” Adulterated.”
Can Children Consume Raw Honey?
No, raw honey is not suitable for children( I.e. 12 months and below.)
This is because raw honey may contain harmful bacteria found, majorly in, “ Dust, Dirt or Open wound.”
Which can harm little children.
This is because the body systems of these children are not fully developed. Especially, the system for protecting the body and digesting food.
This harmful bacteria is called, “ Clostridium.”
When this bacteria is ingested via raw honey consumption.
It would result in a condition known as, “ Botulism.”
Botulism is a serious illness that affects infants, “ Majorly.”
Symptoms of this illness include;
• Infants may eat less or may find it hard to swallow food.
• Infant may experience constipation.
• Infant may move around less.
• On rare occasions, the Infant may have problems breathing.
Luckily, Botulism can is treated. But, this should be done, as quickly as possible.
Does Raw Honey Get Spoilt or Expire?
No, raw honey should remain safe for consumption if:
• It is stored in a Glass container that is, “Airtight.”
• It is kept far away from a heat source.
• It is stored in a cool dry place.
But it may become darker in color, change taste, or become, “ Crystalized.”
When this occurs, do not be tempted to throw it away.
As the honey is still safe to consume.
But, just in case you purchased a store-bought honey with a, “ Best before date.”
As long as the conditions above are met. Such honey should remain safe to consume even after the expiration date.
But, should the taste of your honey become, “ Unbearable or too noticeable.”
Then it would be wise to purchase another.
Does Honey Contain Lots Of Calories?
No, but this depends on the amount of raw honey consumed.
According to data from the USDA.
A tablespoon of honey( 21 grams) contains, “ 64 Kilocalories.”
If you consume within the recommended daily cons umption.(I.e. 10 tablespoons.)
And ensure to, “ Burn off,” an equal amount of calories.
Then, you have nothing to worry about.
Why is Honey Included In Skin Care Products and Cosmetics?
Honey has tons of health benefits for the skin.
But, asides from nourishing our skin.
Honey is included in most skin care products and Cosmetics because;
• Honey acts as a Humectant: Humectant is substances that reduce the rate of, “ Moisture loss in a product during use.”
• Honey also acts as a “ flavoring agent: As a flavoring agent, Honey helps to add a depth of flavors to either cosmetics or skin care products.
• Honey also acts as a conditioning agent: Conditioning agents help keep the skin smooth, and soft.
It also enhances its appearance and slows down the rate of water loss.
Why Does Honey Develop Bubbles?
Honey contains proteins which are made up of, “ Amino acids.”
These acids reduce the “ Surface tension of the honey.”
Surface tension simply refers to the likelihood that a liquid would imbibe air.
And when air is imbibed, “ it gets trapped in form of bubbles.”
The lower the Surface tension, “ the more likely air is imbibed and trapped in form of bubbles.”
Thus, bubbles appear on your honey, due to its, “ Low surface tension.”
Is Honey Better Than Sugar?
Yes, honey is better than sugar.
Although honey and sugar contain, “ Glucose and Fructose,” and serve as artificial sweeteners.
Unlike sugar, honey:
• Is medicinal.
• Contains lots of vitamins, minerals, Antioxidants, etc.
• Has anti bacteria, anti inflammatory, anti cancer properties.
But it is important to note that honey contains more calories than sugar.
Thus, should not be excessively consumed.
Despite the enormous health benefits of honey.
Consuming the wrong type of honey may be detrimental to health.
Thus, getting the right type of honey from the right source, cannot be over-emphasized.
It is also important to note that;
• Raw honey should be consumed, “ Moderately. “
• And should not be used for any form of treatment without a “ Doctor’s approval.”
Anderson, J. (2020). Can You Use Honey to Help Heal Acne? Healthline.
Etaraf-oskouei, T., Najafi, M. (2013). Traditional And Modern Use of Natural Honey In Human Diseases. NCIB.
Fletcher, J. (2020). Honey for skin: How to use and side effects. Medical news today.
Gold R., Clark C. (2022). 8 Raw Honey Benefits for health. Healthline.
Higuera, V. (2019). Honey and diabetes. Is it safe? Healthline.
Kotturu, K. (2021). Frequently Asked Questions about Honey. NoMixKart.
Mandal, M. D., Mandal S. (2011). Honey: Its medicinal property and anti-bacterial activity. NCBI.
Muhammad, S. S., Ruslee, S. S., Mokhtar, M. H. (2021). Protective Roles of Honey in Reproductive Health: A Review. NCBI.
Nall, R. (2019). How, When, and Why Honey Is Used for Wound Care. Healthline.
Rahman, M. M., Ganton, S. H., Khalil, I. M. (2014). Neurological Effects of Honey: Current and Future Prospects. NCIB.
Samarghandian, S., Farkhondeh, T., Samini, F. (2017). Honey and Health: A Review of recent clinical research.NCBI.
Shoemaker, S. (2021). 7 Unique Health Benefits of Honey. Healthline.
Shragg, G. (2022). Honey Vitamins And Minerals: Honey Nutritional Value Per 100 g. Beekeeping site.
Sinatra, S. T. (2017). Is Honey Healthy for Your Heart? HeartMdinstitute.
Streit, L. (2018). 9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). Healthline.
Tadimalla, T. Ravi. (2022). Honey Side Effects: 7 Ways It May Cause Harm. Stylecraze.
The health benefits of honey and Its nutritional value. (2020). EUFIC.
Waysway, Y. (2022). Miltiflora vs Monofloral. Differences and Benefits. Nature blends.