Honey has been widely known to have an extensive range of surprising health benefits, especially in its raw form. This has long been valued as a natural sweetener, long before sugar became available widely in the 16th century.
In today's time, the average American consumes only one pound of honey each year, while they consume more than 150 pounds of refined sugar along with another 62 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year. However, research shows that reducing or eliminating refined sugars and making use of a moderate amount of pure, raw unprocessed honey, has a great benefits to the health and general well being, along with the wonderful beauty benefits. Read below and know about the health benefits of raw unprocessed honey.
13 Health Benefits of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
Naturally honey contains nutrients and enzymes that have lots of health benefits and medicinal uses. Though it has been used as a traditional remedy throughout history, it is still a popular food and is also used in some hospitals as a treatment for wounds. The raw unprocessed honey are known to be extremely beneficial and if you are trying to find it then purchase it from a trusted local producer where the honey is in its natural form and not processed. This is because when you buy the processed honey from the grocery stores or super market, many of the beneficial antioxidants and bacteria are removed or destroyed in the process. Here are some of the health benefits of raw unprocessed honey:
Raw Unprocessed Honey is Beneficial in Alleviating Allergies:
Raw unprocessed honey is very much effective in alleviating allergies. Local honey is recommended here, as the pollens that are most common in a particular area, are present in honey when purchased locally. Taking such honey helps one build up immunity to what's encountered in that local environment.
A recent study finds that patients who had been diagnosed with birch pollen allergy, were able to reduce about 60% of their symptoms of allergy by consuming the raw unprocessed local made honey during the birch pollen season.
Honey actually acts as a natural vaccine. It contains trace amounts of pollen, which, if the body is exposed in small amounts, can trigger an immune response that produces antibodies to the pollen. With repeated exposure, one should build up these antibodies and the body should get accustomed to their presence, so that less histamine is released, resulting in reduced allergic response.
Antioxidant Properties of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
Raw unprocessed honey is a good source of antioxidants and contains antioxidants known as phenolic compounds. These antioxidants help in protecting your body from cell damage because of free radicals.
Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, etc. Studies have shown that polyphenols present in honey may play a potential role in preventing heart disease.
Antibacterial and Anti-Fungal Properties Of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
Raw and unprocessed honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. There is a natural presence of hydrogen peroxide, that is an antiseptic in raw unprocessed honey. The effectiveness of honey as an antibacterial or an antifungal depends on its type.
Brain Health Benefits Of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
It is also found that raw unprocessed honey has some real benefits towards the brain health. Women, in particular, can sometimes suffer from hormone-related intellectual decline, especially during the post-menopause. However, pure and raw unprocessed honey is loaded with antioxidants, and may thus help in preventing cellular damage and loss within the brain.
A study, published during the year 2011 in Menopause, revealed that just one spoonful of Malaysian honey every day could enhance the memory of post menopausal women. After 4 months of a regular dose of 20 grams of honey, the women were found to be more likely to have a better short-term memory as compared to those who took simply hormone pills.
One more study from the University of Babylon, College of Medicine, Iraq, found that the potent antioxidant and therapeutic compounds of honey were able to prevent cognitive decline and dementia, and also enhance the cholinergic system and circulation of the brain.
aw Unprocessed Honey Enhances Energy:
It is known that honey in its raw and unprocessed form is a great natural energy booster. Honey, being composed of a unique carbohydrate composition of natural sugars and trace amounts of enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins along with amino acids, is a smart and energy filled food. In fact since many ears, sports dietitians have recommended that athletes must include pure honey in to their pre-exercise snack or meal for it helps in enhancing their energy.
You can add one tablespoon of honey to 8 ounces of water, making a great energy drink to be taken for instant energy.
Beneficial In Treating Cough And Sore Throat:
Honey is often taken as a natural cure-all for a cough and cold. You can simply take couple of teaspoons of honey each day and find the relief from cough, sore throat and cold.
As per a study published in the journal Pediatrics, during 2012, it was found that when children aged, above 5 years who were suffering from a night-time coughs because of a cold, were given two teaspoons of raw unprocessed honey, 30 minutes before bed, they coughed less frequently.
Experts believe that the thick consistency of the honey helps to coat the throat, combined with the sweet flavor, working together to trigger nerve endings, which can protect the throat from a severe cough. In fact, as per the experts, it is believed that honey is so effective, that it works just as well as the common cough suppressant ingredients known as dextromethorphan.
You can prepare your natural cough syrup by using raw unprocessed local honey, by adding ¼ cup fresh ginger root, ¼ cup marshmallow root, one tablespoon of cinnamon and a quart of filtered water to a pot and bringing the mixture to a boil till only half of the mixture is left. Then after, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the herbs. Once the liquid is out from heat yet is still warm, add in one cup of raw honey, a tablespoon of lemon juice and stir it well. You need to store this syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Benefits of Raw Unprocessed Honey in Treating Wounds and Burns:
As honey has natural antimicrobial properties, it can also be used in treating wounds and burns. In fact this has been used as a remedy for wound and burn since thousands of years. Raw, unprocessed honey is a natural antibiotic, internally as well as externally.
As per a study published in the British Journal of Surgery, it was shown that when honey was topically applied, all but one of the patients who were suffering from wounds and leg ulcers, exhibited remarkable improvement. Researchers stated that about 59 patients with wounds and ulcers who had failed to heal with conventional treatments, were treated with the unprocessed honey. Then, out of those 59, around 58 of them experienced a dramatic healing result.
Raw Unprocessed Honey Helps In Getting You Good Night Sleep:
There is also one more health benefit of raw unprocessed honey. It can help one in getting a better good night's sleep. Just like sugar, honey causes an increase in insulin and triggers serotonin hormone, that is known to improve one's mood. The body then converts serotonin hormone in to melatonin, or the chemical compound that is responsible for regulating the quality and length of sleep.
Honey can also work to help sleep, as it contains tryptophan amino acid that is associated with turkey, known for making an individual sleepy after a large Thanksgiving meal. The increase in insulin level caused by consuming honey, results in the tryptophan present in honey to enter the brain, where it is converted in to serotonin and then melatonin.
Raw Unprocessed Honey Can Help Cure Hangover:
Honey in its raw and unprocessed form can also be used to treat hangover. It in fact is one of the simplest hangover cure. It is acclaimed by scientists for its ability to aid the body break down all of the alcohol one consumed and are probably regretting big time when the head is pounding next morning.
This is because of the potential antioxidant properties of honey that it is said to neutralize the toxins that are created once you drink alcohol.
It is also said that taking honey before you drink can help you prevent headaches all together, because its fructose content competes with the metabolism of alcohol.
Raw Unprocessed Honey with Cinnamon Can Help In Treating Diabetes:
There is also one more health benefit of consuming raw unprocessed honey. It is known to be helpful in treating diabetes. Taking honey can actually reduce your chance of developing diabetes and also may help aid medication used for treating diabetes. The combination of raw unprocessed honey and cinnamon can be especially very beneficial to healthy management of blood sugar in the body and also many other health concerns such as acne and gingivitis.
As per as study out of Dubai, honey has been noted to cause a lower elevation of plasma glucose levels in diabetes patients compared to dextrose and sucrose. Some suggest that the insulin-boosting ability of cinnamon can counteract this glucose elevation in honey, which would thus make the mixture of honey and cinnamon, a low glycemic index food combination.
It must be mentioned that raw unprocessed honey increases level of insulin and reduces hyperglycemia. Try consuming a little bit of honey at a time and see how your blood sugar reacts to it, and also make sure you add honey along with cinnamon to your diabetic diet plan for better results.
Digestive Health Benefits Of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
Honey is also sometimes used for treating digestive problems like diarrhea, though still research on it is required. It is however, proved that raw unprocessed honey is very effective in treating Helicobacter pylori, or a common cause of peptic ulcers or the ulcers that occurs in the stomach or the digestive system.
Taking one or two teaspoons of honey on an empty stomach is known to soothe pain and help with the healing procedure.
Skin Health benefits Of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
There are excellent skin health benefits of raw unprocessed honey. Using pure, raw and unprocessed honey on your face can aid clear your complexion when used as a face wash. It is well known for eradicating acne, pimple and relieving many other types of skin issues.
Use it to wash your face by diluting it with water and to clear stubborn acne, by dabbing a bit of honey on any pimple or acne you have on your face. Then after, put a bandaid on each one and allow it to sit at least for 30 minutes before removing the bandaid and rinsing.
Hair Health benefits Of Raw Unprocessed Honey:
There are also some great hair health benefits of raw unprocessed honey. It is known to be useful in scalp and dandruff treatment.
If you have dandruff or any other scalp problem, like seborrheic dermatitis, honey can provide you at least a temporary relief. As per a study published in the Journal of Medical Research, it was found that applying honey that is been diluted with 10% of warm water to the affected areas of the scalp and allowing it to be absorbed for about 3 hours before rinsing, was able to offer relief to that incessant itch and relieve scaling within seven days. Some patients using raw unprocessed honey, also found improvement in hair loss issue.
As per the experts, this is all because of the antifungal and antibacterial properties of the honey that acts in reducing dandruff caused because of an overgrowth of fungus.
How to Store Raw Unprocessed Honey?
You must be made aware about how to store the raw unprocessed honey. Honey, should be stored at room temperature, in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight or heat. You must be sure not to keep the honey in refrigerator as the cold temperature will harden it and make it difficult to scoop and mix. Moreover, cold temperature also fastens up the process of granulation.
Honey can be best stored in glass bottle or container so as to avoid any chemical reactions. Pure raw unprocessed honey has no expiry period and cannot be spoilt if it is stored in a proper manner.
How to Consume Raw Unprocessed Honey?
Generally most people consume honey as a replacement for sugar in drinks and food or even they dilute honey with water for preparing a honey drink. You can consume this unprocessed honey as a health tonic. Simply take one tablespoon of the raw unprocess honey, once in the morning and once in the night before going to bed. The honey will ooze down your throat and act as a wonderful cleansing agent against any bacteria or germs. It will help in reducing cough and you will also enjoy the other several health benefits of the honey. Make sure that you use a plastic or ceramic or porcelain spoon so as to avoid the metallic taste in case metal spoon is used.
You are now aware of the health benefits of raw unprocessed honey. It must be noted that only raw honey contains all the nutrients and antioxidants. So always try to get the raw unprocessed honey from someone you personally know and avoid buying the processed ones. It must also be mentioned that raw unprocessed honey may habor traces of botulism spores(a type of harmful bacteria which may lead to severe poisoning resulting in nausea, vomiting and even paralysis). This is the reason, honey in its pure raw unprocessed form must not be given to infants and children below two years of age.