Benefits of Raw Honey

Benefits of Raw Honey

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Raw honey is a powerhouse food that has a myriad of health benefits. Adding a beehive or two to your homestead to produce your own honey isn’t hard to do! Or, simply purchase it from a local farmer to reap the many benefits of raw honey.

Benefits of Raw Honey

Raw honey versus store-bought honey

If you’ve never tried raw honey before, you may wonder why it’s so different from store-bought honey.

Most honey that you purchase at the grocery store goes through a pasteurization process. This kills unwanted yeast and extends the shelf life. Unfortunately, it also destroys many helpful nutrients that honey contains in its raw form.

Raw, unprocessed honey is packed full of many essential vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. Raw honey comes straight from the comb. While it is strained to remove dirt and debris, it’s not pasteurized. Honey that has been through the pasteurization process has lost many of its powerful health benefits.

Experience the benefits of raw honey by buying local

When looking to purchase honey, it’s important to find honey that is truly raw and unpasteurized. Labels such as “pure”, “organic”, or “natural” don’t necessarily indicate that the honey is raw.

In addition, it’s best to purchase your honey from a local farmer, health food store, or market. This is because some of the benefits of raw honey are only experienced in a product that’s local to you. Keep reading to find out why!

Producing raw honey on the homestead

Adding one or two beehives to your homestead isn’t difficult. It only takes a few supplies and a little time.

Additionally, even one successful hive can provide you with gallons of golden honey in the first year. Certainly, there’s care and labor involved in beekeeping. Still, bees don’t need to be fed or watered daily. As another bonus, you don’t have to ask anyone to care for them while you’re on vacation!

Some tasks for keeping a beehive include:

  • Maintaining your hive(s)
  • Adding boxes when necessary
  • Occasionally feeding your bees (if necessary)
  • Harvesting honey

Read about a few more of the easiest animals for starting your homestead here!

Benefits of raw honey

There are dozens of amazing benefits of raw honey. Here are just a few!

Powerful antioxidant

Raw honey is full of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals that protect your body. These antioxidants assist in cleaning out free radicals from your body, which can lead to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

Improves allergies

Consuming raw, local honey may often improve allergies due to immunotherapy. This is because the bees in your area collect pollen from the plants which are contributing to an allergic reaction. Therefore, when you consume the honey made from local plants, you’re also consuming a small amount of the pollen that’s causing your reaction. This helps to desensitize your body from the reaction.

The key to reaping the effects of this benefit, however, is consuming raw, local honey. Pasteurized honey does not contain pollen, which is necessary for minimizing allergic reactions. In addition, honey that is not local may not be made from the same plants that affect your allergies. You can often find local honey straight from nearby farmers or from a farmers market.

Aids in wound healing

Because of its antibacterial properties, honey is an incredible aid for healing wounds and burns. Honey has an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide. This creates a bacteria-killing environment and promotes regeneration of the body’s tissues. It’s often applied topically to facilitate quick and thorough wound healing.

Healing for coughs and sore throats

Honey is one of the oldest remedies for soothing a cough or a sore throat. In fact, taking one half to two teaspoons of honey before bed may be as effective as over-the-counter cough medications. A teaspoon of raw honey in a warm drink can also do wonders!

How to take raw honey

Though raw honey has many amazing benefits, it does still contain sugar. Therefore, it’s best to limit your consumption by using your honey in place of sugar and other sweeteners, rather than adding extra sugar to your diet.

You can use honey anywhere you’d use a regular sugar, molasses, or sweetener.

  • Drip it into teas and coffees
  • Drizzle over oatmeal or toast
  • Sweeten plain yogurt or smoothies
  • Add to baked goods, such as cookies or homemade granola

Because of the risk of botulism, experts advise against feeding honey to babies under 1 year old.

What you need to know about using raw honey

There are a few things you’ll need to be aware of when storing and using raw honey.

Because honey skips the pasteurization process, it can crystallize, especially when sitting in colder temperatures. Crystallized honey is lighter in color and thicker – or more grainy – than when it’s in its more liquid form. To liquify, simply place your jar of honey in a pot of warm water. Don’t boil the water, however, as high temperatures can destroy the healthy properties of the raw honey.

Raw honey has quite a long shelf life, so expiration generally isn’t a concern. Keep honey sealed and in a dark area to extend its life as long as possible. Avoid extreme temperatures. If your honey looks or smells funny, it’s more likely that it was contaminated than that it’s expired.

Enjoy the benefits of raw honey!

What is your favorite way to use raw honey? We’d love to know!

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