Honey is a functional food that contains enzymes, antioxidants, minerals including potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium, vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Raw Honey is obtained as secretion from flowers and is generally unheated, pure, unprocessed and unpasteurized. Possessing all these important essence, this alkaline forming final product encompasses enzymes, natural vitamins, phytonutrients and other natural products.
It generally subsists in beehive or is obtained by elicitation, settling and straining process. Raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Being a powerful antioxidant, it boosts body and digestive health, eradicates allergies, strengthens immune system and is an superlative therapy for skin wounds and other types of infections. It also maintains normal blood pressure, mitigates pain, balance sugar levels, calm nerves and is also used to treat ulcers.
Characteristics of Raw Honey
- Raw honey can be either liquid or solid and have the characteristic to crystallize or solidify over the period of time.
- Color varies from white to various shades of yellow and even brown.
- The features and color of the raw honey depends on the type of flower from where the nectar is obtained from.
Health Benefits of Raw Honey
Honey, basically in its raw form offers unique health benefits that you might be unaware of.
Following are its major health benefits:
Makes Excellent Cough Medicine:
According to WHO, honey act as a demulcent, a substance that alleviate soreness in mouth or throat by forming a protective film. It also acts as a dextromethorphan, an ingredient that relievs cough and sleep related difficulties caused due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.
Can Treat Wounds:
Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant activities that make it optimal to heel damages. Due to its acidic nature and enzymically produced hydrogen peroxide, its antibacterial properties can treat allergies by boosting strong immune systems. Constant use of honey strengthens WBCs to fight bacterial and viral diseases.
Helps in Scalp Improvement:
Honey when diluted with a bit of warm water significantly showed in recovery of seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp disorder that causes dandruff and itching.
Act as Energy Booster:
Carbohydrates in the form of glucose and fructose administer energy to body and mind, thus boosting strength and reducing muscle fatigue. However, honey can provide 17 grams of carbohydrate per tablespoon.
Supports Good bacteria:
Honey supports Bifidobacteria, i.e. present in the gastrointestinal tract. This bacterium is essential for efficient digestion and good health. Pre/Pro biotics present in honey helps the growth and activity of this bacterium owing to its alkaline forming food. It doesn’t agitate in the stomach and can be used to neutralize indigestion.
Excellent Source of Antioxidants:
Honey not only comprise wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but also contains flavonoid, pinocembrim, which is unique to honey. Pinostrobin supports and improve healthy enzymatic activities.
Slows Aging Process:
Aging process is partly co-related to the slow reduction of enzymes in the body. Raw honey has the tendency to slow down the deficiency of enzymes through the amylase ingestion process. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates. It can restore damaged skin to give a softer and supple look.
Varieties of Honey and its Health Benefits
It has strong antibacterial properties and can be used to cure sore throats, cold, stomach ulcers, indigestion and acne.
It cleanses liver, minimizes inflammation in respiratory tract and encourages intestinal health.
This honey contains increased level of proteins and has several medicinal properties.
This dark color honey has strong antioxidant properties.
It can be used to prevent cold and headaches.
It is used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, skin conditions, allergies, periodontal infections, and throat infections.
This honey is known for its sedative and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, cold, bronchitis and cough.
Risks of Consuming Raw Honey
- Avoid consuming raw honey to prevent food poisoning, especially if you are immunocompromised.
- Feeding raw honey to infants can cause infant botulism that can be life threatening and a serious gastrointestinal sickness caused due to exposure to bacterial spores.
Raw Honey – Drawbacks
- Honey provides extra calories. 1 tablespoon of honey generally yields 60 calories. Thus, if you are willing to lose weight, you need to be careful in its consumption.
- Honey is about 40% fructose and 30% glucose with maltose, sucrose and other complex carbohydrates. Its high utilization can cause various disproportions.
- As honey is very low in water content and high in sugar content, it makes it displeasing for microbial growth.