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The Buzzworthy Benefits of Raw Honey

    The Buzzworthy Benefits of Raw Honey

    People have long since acknowledged the medicinal benefits of raw honey. Olden Egyptians, for instance, put honey in almost all of their medicines. They also include it in salves to heal infected wounds. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, a renowned physician, prescribed honey to treat pain, thirst, and acute fevers [1].

    Now, with more advanced studies, we now have a better understanding of how beneficial raw honey truly is for human health. But first, let’s talk about what raw honey is.

    Raw Honey Comes Straight From the Honeycomb

    benefits of raw honey

    Some of the benefits of raw honey are due to the fact that it comes straight from the hive.

    You see, some types of honey you see in the market are already pasteurized, meaning they have been processed to kill yeast cells, improve their quality, and prolong shelf life. At times, they even come with a tinge of other syrups or sweeteners, like corn syrup.

    Raw honey is different in the sense that beekeepers only filter them to remove debris, including parts of dead bees, beeswax, and pollen. But of course, the process is not perfect, so raw honey may still look cloudy and opaque.

    The good news is, some of the contents of honey that pasteurization removes or reduces, prove to be beneficial.

    The Benefits of Raw Honey

    Do you want to know how honey can heal and help improve your health? Below are the science-backed benefits of raw honey:

    It Promotes Wound Healing

    Honey naturally has antibacterial and antifungal properties. But more than that, it also contains bee pollen, which has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving actions as well as vitamin C [2]. All these contribute to raw honey’s ability to heal wounds, particularly burns.

    Still, please keep in mind that to harness the wound healing benefits of raw honey, you must be cautious. Using contaminated honey may lead to infection. For this reason, should doctors decide to honey for wound treatment, they use medical-grade honey dressings.

    It Contains Bee Propolis

    Propolis is the sticky substance that bees use to build their hives and hold them together. Some studies show that bee propolis has numerous applications in treating several diseases because it has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, and even anticancer properties [3].

    It’s a Natural Cough Remedy

    The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics endorse honey as a natural cough remedy.

    In one study comparing dextromethorphan, honey, and no treatment, parents favored honey the most in relieving their child’s nighttime cough and sleep troubles due to upper respiratory tract infections [4].

    It Has Antioxidants

    One of the benefits of raw honey is that it’s usually rich in antioxidants that fight oxidative stress, which is linked to various chronic diseases.

    However, please note that the antioxidant content of honey depends on the plant the bees pollinate.

    Adding Honey to Your Diet: How To Do It Safely

    With all its potential benefits, you must be wondering: how can I safely add raw honey to my diet?

    According to experts, while honey is more beneficial than refined white sugar, it still contains sugar, and consuming too much can negatively impact your health.

    The American Heart Association says women shouldn’t have more than 6 teaspoons of honey and men shouldn’t have more than 9. However, these limits include your total daily sugar consumption.

    Additionally, remember that not all kinds of honey are created equal: raw honey seems to be the better choice. The clearer the honey is, the more processed it is, which means it might have fewer nutrients than its raw counterpart.

    Also, the word “organic” doesn’t necessarily indicate that the brand is the healthier option. For one, bees might fly past their pesticide-free habitat. Secondly, even organic brands sometimes undergo ultra-pasteurization.

    Finally, if you plan on utilizing honey for your medical needs, don’t forget to consult your doctor first.

    Learn more about building a nutritious daily diet here.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

     1) Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    2) Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic Application, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377380/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    3) Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549483/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    4) Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18056558/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    5) Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    6) The Benefits of Honey + How to Incorporate It Into Your Diet, 

    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-benefits-of-honey-how-to-incorporate-it-into-your-diet/, Accessed September 29, 2021

    7) Honey, https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-honey/art-20363819, Accessed September 29, 2021a

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Mar 08
    Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen
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