Raw Honey?

honey potWhat’s raw honey? Why isn’t all honey raw? Why should we eat it?

It’s probably not too difficult to remember well what “raw” means when you associate it with uncooked vegetables and meat whereby any form of heating is avoided so as to ensure all the natural vitamins and living enzymes and other nutritional elements are preserved.

Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Collected straight from the extractor; it is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline forming food,  this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it effectively relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw foodists loves honey for its exceptional nutritional value and its amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads

A lot of honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but “commercial” regular honey, some of which has been pasturised (heated at 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) for easy filtering and bottling so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package. Pasteurisation kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation, which is a concern for storing honey with high moisture content over a long period especially in warm weather. While fermentation does not pose a health danger , it does affect the taste of honey. Heating also slows down the speed of crystallization in liquid honey. On the downside, when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.

Usually raw, unfiltered raw honey can only be purchased directly from the bee farm. Characterised by fine textured crystals, it looks cloudier and contains particles and flecks made of bee pollen,  honeycomb bits, propolis ( I give Propolis as a supplement to my kids when they are poorly to boost their immune system) and even broken bee wing fragments. Raw and unfiltered honey and has a high antioxident level and will usually granulate and crystallize to a thick consistency after a few months.

One of the major benefits of raw honey is that it’s nature’s own multivitamin. Vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and even antioxident rich Vit C are found in raw honey. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate.

Raw honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it an excellent option to treat wounds with  and because of its immune-boosting antiviral properties, it traditionally has been used in the treatment of ulcers, diarrhea, bronchitis, and gastrointestinal issues.

When shopping for raw honey, I recommend buying organic; honeybees can sometimes carry herbicides and pesticides from the flowers back to the hive. If you do buy organic, you’re getting honey that is harvested with care in isolated, untouched areas filled with wildflowers. Also, keep in mind that children under one year of age should not consume honey as it may contain Clostridium botulinum spores and toxins that can cause infant botulism.