5 Ways Raw Honey Can Boost Your Health
The honey that you buy at the grocery store in those teddy bear-shaped bottles isn’t raw honey. Raw honey is the original sweet liquid that honey bees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. It’s completely unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed.
The main differences between raw honey and the mass produced kind are their temperatures and textures. The kind you’ll find in your regular grocery store is usually stripped of its nutritional value since it’s been heated and filtered. If you’re looking for raw honey in the store, it’s usually in a clear jar and very opaque. The texture of the raw honey is solid, gritty and pasty. It’s basically ground up honeycomb, which could include everything that comes out of a beehive.
Raw food lovers look to raw honey for its nutritional value and with good reason. Here are five health benefits from the raw stuff.
1. Antifungal Properties
Raw honey is packed with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which make it a powerful antiseptic that won’t spoil. Raw honey can discourage the growth of a wide range of bacterial and fungal species. According to a study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, medical-grade honey (also called Mānuka honey) is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world because it can destroy drug-resistant bacteria.
2. Heals Wounds
Since raw honey, especially Mānuka, is known for having antibacterial properties, it makes sense that it would be helpful with healing wounds. The honey reacts with the body’s fluids to make hydrogen peroxide, creating an unwelcoming environment for bacteria. When it comes to treating burns and wounds, honey gets applied directly to the area. It acts as a barrier in between your skin and the bandage. Raw honey can also be used to treat sunburns.
3. Soothes A Sore Throat
Consuming one to two tablespoons of raw honey, either directly or by mixing it into juice, tea or water, can help relieve a sore throat. Raw honey contains B-complex vitamins, A, C, D, E, K and minerals — so basically everything you could hope for when it comes to a nutritional supplement.
Make your own sore throat remedy with a tablespoon or two of honey, grated fresh ginger, a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. Pour a cup of boiling water over the grated ginger and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the ginger tea over the honey, lemon juice and cayenne mixture. Give it a stir to let it all dissolve and drink up.
4. Boosts Energy Levels
Runner’s World reports that honey’s natural, unrefined sugars, which are easily absorbed by the body, make it the perfect running fuel. Studies from the University of Memphis Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory found raw honey (not the overly processed stuff) to be one of the most effective carbohydrates to eat just before you exercise.
Honey can also be a helpful hangover cure. New York City-based dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot told Men’s Fitness, “Honey is made up of mostly fructose, and research has shown that the digestion of fructose competes with that of alcohol, forcing your body to rid itself of the remaining alcohol faster.”
So next time you need a boost before a workout or a hangover remedy, you know where to look.
5. Scalp and Dandruff Relief
Dandruff is one of those things that sneaks up on you. It’s uncomfortable in every way. Those white, oily-looking flakes are caused by too much oil on your scalp, and they can be the result of simple things like not shampooing enough or using too much hair dye. Regardless of the reason, raw honey may be your answer.
A study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found that patients using raw honey scalp treatments once a week for four weeks had less itching and scaling, and none of them relapsed afterward. All you need to do is dilute raw honey (about 90 percent honey and 10 percent water) and massage the mixture into your scalp for two to three minutes. Let it sit for three hours before rinsing.
You clearly have nothing to lose when it comes to using raw honey, so see what works for you.
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