Raw Honey Health
Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value. Raw honey doesn't ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it relieves nausea and supplies energy. Honey contains invert sugar that has the quality of providing instant energy when consumed. Honey also contains a powerful antioxidant with antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Some studies suggest that the topical use of honey may reduce odors, swelling, and scarring when used to treat wounds; it may also prevent the dressing from sticking to the healing wound. (1) Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and coughs, and according to recent research, may in fact be as effective as many common cough medicines. (2) In cosmetology, honey is used for skin conditioning using a moisturizing mask and can reduce facial redness and acne. It is also used for conditioning of hair. It is often mixed with olive oil for both purposes. (3)
Honey as an Antibacterial Agent. Waikato Honey Research Unit. November 16, 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2007.
Randerson, James (December 4, 2007). “Honey ‘Beats Cough Medicine‘”. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 February 2010.
“Health Benefits of Honey“. Bees-Online:An Educational web site about Honey Bees and Beekeping. Retrieved 30 January 2011
Raw Honey History
Honey use and production has a long and varied history. Honey collection is an ancient activity. Humans apparently began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago, as evidenced by a cave painting in Valencia, Spain. (1) In ancient Egypt, honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, and was used in many other dishes. In the absence of sugar, honey was an integral sweetening ingredient in Roman recipes, and references to its use in food can be found in the work of many Roman authors. The art of beekeeping in ancient China has existed since time immemorial and appears to be untraceable to its origin. Honey was also cultivated in ancient Mesoamerica. The Maya used honey for culinary purposes, and also regarded the bee as sacred. Some cultures believed honey had many practical health uses. It was used as an ointment for rashes and burns, to help soothe sore throats when no other practices were available, from gastric disturbances to ulcers, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. As an antimicrobial agent honey is useful in treating a variety of ailments. Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and, according to recent research, may be an effective soothing agent for coughs. (2)
Eva Crane The Archaeology of Beekeeping, Cornell University Press (1983)
The Guardian Society 04/12/2007 Randerson, James (4 December 2007). “Honey Beats Cough Medicine“. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010.
Raw Honey Preservation
Because of its unique composition and chemical properties, honey is suitable for long-term storage. Honey, and objects immersed in honey, have been preserved for decades and even centuries. (1) Honey should be protected from oxidation and temperature degradation. It generally should not be preserved in metal containers because the acids in the honey may promote oxidation of the vessel. Traditionally, honey was stored in ceramic or wooden containers; however, glass is now the favored material. Excessive heat can have detrimental effects on the nutritional value of honey. (2), (3) Heating up to 37 °C (98.6 °F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, some of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 40 °C (104 °F) destroys invertase, an important enzyme. (4) Regardless of preservation, honey may crystallize over time. Crystallization does not affect the flavor, quality or nutritional content of the honey, though it does affect color and texture.
1894. The Mummy: A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archeology. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Reprinted New York: Dover Publications, 1989)
An Interview Hryhoriy Deputat, Head of the Brotherhood of Beekeepers of Ukraine in Rivenska Oblast, N. 373, 21 August 2006.
Melnyk, Maria Vasylivn. Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise of Bee Honey in the Contemporary Ecological Conditions of Ukraine. PhD Thesis (2002). National Agrarian University of Ukraine.
Vasyl Solomka. My Tender Sweet Honey. "Halytski Kontrakty" Ukrainian Business Weekly Magazine.
Raw Honey Production
Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. Characterized by fine textured crystals, raw honey looks milkier and contains particles and flecks made of bee pollen and honeycomb bits. Raw and unfiltered honey will usually granulate and crystallize.