The Benefits of Raw Honey
In honor of A. A. Milne's birthday (author of Winnie-the-Pooh) we are discussing the many health benefits of honey!
Whenever possible you want to choose raw honey from a local source. Raw honey has not been pasteurized, which means it has not been heated and all of the beneficial enzymes and bacteria are still present. The properties of honey can change drastically depending on where the bees gathered the nectar (source). Buckwheat, clover, Manuka and melon blossom honey are all readily available. Avoid purchasing honey syrups or replacements which contain refined sugar, artificial flavours and are far from being a health promoting food!
Seasonal AllergiesConsuming raw honey from a local source is similar to taking a homeopathic remedy. Small traces of flower pollen in the honey may decrease symptoms in seasonal allergy sufferers. The anti-inflammatory properties of honey may also ease symptoms like congestion and puffy eyes.
Colds & FluHoney actually has an acidic pH which inhibits pathogenic bacteria from thriving (source). Thanks to the antibacterial properties of honey, it can help to fight off bacteria that makes us sick. Manuka honey in particular is recognized worldwide for its therapeutic benefits and has even been recommended by some doctors for treating bacterial infections.
Healthier Hair & SkinThere are many honey-based recipes for boosting the shine and softness of both hair and skin. More specifically, honey has been studied for it's application in cases of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. The results showed that applying honey diluted in warm water to the affected areas relieved itching and stopped scaling from occurring. The study "concluded that crude honey could markedly improve seborrheic dermatitis and associated hair loss and prevent relapse when applied weekly (source)".
Burns & CutsThe antimicrobial properties of honey make it a safe and natural choice for topic application in healing burns and cuts. Its high viscosity also makes for a great protective barrier to infection.
A Better Workout
Honey eaten on its own can make a great workout energizer as it can be easily mixed with water "as a substitute for glucose in oral dehydration" (source). Honey can also be combined with nut butter to create a fantastic post-workout snack!
We look forward to new findings on the health benefits of honey and how it may some day find a place in the medical model. Remember to keep in mind that honey is sweeter than table sugar and contains more calories per tablespoon. A little bit can go a very long way when used to sweeten food and beverages.