Did you know that honey has been used as a natural remedy for hundreds of years?
I remember my Mom always putting a spoonful of honey in my tea when I complained about a sore throat coming on. But, did you know there’s a big difference between that cute little bear shaped jar on your shelf and real, raw honey?
And the raw stuff has so many more benefits than just soothing that sore throat!
You may not have even realized there’s a difference until now. And that’s okay. We’re here to clue you in on the very real health benefits raw honey can have.
So let’s take a look at all the reasons why raw honey is superior to its processed counterpart and our good ol’ frenemy sugar.
Then, we’ll show you 13 raw honey benefits that’ll transform your health.
You can click to scroll, We’re going to cover:
- What is Raw Honey?
- Raw Honey vs. Honey
- Honey vs Sugar
- Risks of Raw Honey
- 13 Raw Honey Benefits
- Full of Antioxidants
- An Antibacterial and Anti-fungal Super-food
- Filled with Phytonutrients
- Increase Gut Health
- More Effective Than Cough Syrup
- Appetite Suppressant
- Combats Seasonal Allergies
- A Natural Energy Booster
- Sleep Promoter
- Protect Your Memory
- Hangover Cure
- Put An End To Acne
- Soothe Your Scalp
- 13 Raw Honey Benefits Infographic
- Start Enjoying the Benefits of Raw Honey Today
What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is as close to the hive as you can get.
It’s made by extracting the honey from inside of the honeycombs in the hive. It’s then strained to separate the honey from impurities like beeswax and dead bees.
Honey in its natural form has a ton of health benefits and medical uses due to the nutrients and enzymes it contains.
But, you shouldn’t expect to reap these benefits from the honey you pick up at your local supermarket.
Raw Honey vs. Honey
You might be surprised to know that the honey you find in your typical grocery store isn’t natural at all.
Manufacturers actually heat the honey to make it more aesthetically appealing. This causes a change to the color and texture of it, while removing any crystallization. So you’re left with the smooth golden syrup you’re used to seeing.
But, doing this also means you’re destroying the beneficial antioxidants and bacteria in the process. This commercial honey is processed, pasteurized, and could have been chemically refined. All of this kills off the beneficial phytonutrients like pollen and enzyme rich propolis.
The vast health benefits of honey are completely destroyed through the heating process. Want to know what’s worse?
They’re being replaced with harmful additives.
Commercial honey is actually known to be sourced from bees who have been given antibiotics and a sugar syrup for nourishment in the winter.
The Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University tested 60 honey products from grocery stores. They found that 76% of these don’t even have a trace of bee pollen in them.
Ready to put that cute little bear back on the shelf yet?
No? Then listen to this:
This “honey” has been so filtered that it can’t even be considered real honey anymore. The FDA even admits that this “honey” could contain high fructose corn syrup.
Needless to say, you’re not getting any of the real health benefits of raw honey from this stuff. So it’s time to ditch that sugar-laden bear and look for some real raw honey. It’ll be opaque in color, so it should stick out on the shelf next to that golden syrup.
Honey vs Sugar
Every year, the average American consumes more than 150 pounds of refined sugar.
Let that sink in for a minute.
For some of us, that means we’re eating close to our body weight in sugar each year. On top of that, we’re throwing an extra 62 pounds of high fructose corn syrup into our bodies.
That’s 212 pounds of utter and complete crap going into our bodies each and every year. There are zero health benefits from those 212 pounds.
If that’s not enough for you to spit out that warm and fluffy cinnamon bun you’re putting in your mouth right now, I don’t know what is.
What’s worse is that we’re feeding ourselves this garbage instead of the good stuff. On the other end of the spectrum, the average American only consumes 1 pound of honey each year.
It’s a proven fact that decreasing your refined sugar intake while increasing your raw honey intake can offer amazing benefits to your health.
Risks of Raw Honey
We’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to the great health benefits of raw honey, but there are some risks you need to be aware of.
Raw honey can contain botulism, a harmful bacteria that’s especially dangerous for babies. That’s why we always see the warning label not to give raw honey to babies under a year old.
Botulism will cause symptoms similar to food poisoning like nausea, vomiting, fever, etc. So be sure to see your doctor ASAP if you experience any of these.
As with anything, it’s best to have raw honey in moderation.
Just a teaspoon of honey has 4 grams of fructose in it which can make any pre-existing insulin resistance worse. Of course if you already have an insulin resistance, it’s probably best to avoid sweeteners as much as possible to begin with.
Now that we’ve gotten a grasp on what raw honey is, let’s dive into the the amazing health benefits you’ll reap from this sweet nectar.
13 Raw Honey Benefits
1. Full of Antioxidants
Studies show that consuming raw honey daily raises the level of antioxidants in the body.
In fact, some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruit and vegetables. (And may be more enjoyable for some of us to eat!)
These antioxidants help protect you from cell damage due to free radicals.
I don’t know about you, but I spend an awful lot on night creams. If raw honey can slow the aging process, sign me up!
These antioxidants are also going to boost your immune system which in return will help prevent future disease.
Will adding honey into your daily diet really make a noticeable difference in your health?
A study once gave 25 subjects 4 tablespoons of raw honey a day, in addition to their regular diets. This went on for 29 days. At the end of the study, blood samples were compared from before and after the experiment.
Researchers were able to see a direct correlation between honey consumption and increased levels of polyphenols in the blood.
So the answer is Yes, adding raw honey into your diet will bring real life health benefits – all in less than a month’s time.
2. An Antibacterial and Anti-fungal Super-food
Raw honey has the ability to kill unwanted bacteria and fungus.
And I mean real tough bacteria and fungus. Manuka honey has been used in several hospitals across Europe to fight a type of staph bacterial infection that’s become so strong, it’s resistant to antibiotics.
Yes, Manuka honey is expensive – but not nearly as expensive as health insurance and many prescription antibiotics.
Keep in mind that not all honey is made equal. So the effectiveness of your honey as an antibacterial or anti-fungal agent is determined by the kind of honey you choose.
3. Filled with Phytonutrients
We touched on phytonutrients earlier, the chemicals produced by plants, and the anti-inflammatory properties they have.
The USDA goes as far as to say that consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks.
A diet that keeps cancer at bay? I’m first in line!
4. Increase Gut Health
Raw honey has prebiotics which aid the development of healthy bacteria in your lower digestive system. The fact that honey does not ferment in your stomach makes it a great way to fight against nausea and indigestion.
Raw honey is also an effective treatment for H.pylori, a bacteria that commonly causes peptic ulcers in your stomach or digestive system.
You can use honey to soothe the pain associated with peptic ulcers and help move the healing process along. Simply take 1-2 tsps of raw honey on an empty stomach.
5. More Effective Than Cough Syrup
Perhaps the one benefit we’re all the most familiar with, honey is extremely soothing when you have a cold. But did you know that it works just as well, or better, than the stuff you’re picking up at your local pharmacy?
What’s more is that scientific evidence has shown us that just a single dose of honey can decrease mucus secretion and coughs. Its thick consistency will help coat your throat while the sweetness will trigger nerve endings to protect you from that harsh cough.
Mary Poppins famously sang, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” and while that’s catchy – let’s ditch the sugar and medicine altogether.
Instead, try 1-2 tsps of straight raw honey to treat your sore throats, coughs, and colds.
6. Appetite Suppressant
Research has been able to link honey consumption with real weight loss results.
One study found that replacing sugar with honey can lower your blood sugar and prevent you from packing on those extra pounds.
And another found that raw honey actually activates hormones which suppress your appetite. Their research showed that raw honey consumption really does have potential protective effects against obesity.
What a sweet solution to managing your weight!
Do you need any more of a reason to stop consuming those 150 pounds of sugar every year?
Because we actually have more coming for ya…
7. Combats Seasonal Allergies
Some people will say that a tablespoon of raw local honey is just like taking an allergy shot.
The honey contains pollen which is common to the area in which it’s made. By consuming raw honey that is made locally, you’ll become less sensitive and develop an immunity to that specific pollen. Over time, lessening your allergic reaction.
Of course you’ll need to look specifically for honey that’s made locally if this is your intended purpose.
8. A Natural Energy Booster
Ditch those pricey Gu packets and pre-workout drinks and turn to honey for some natural pre-workout energy!
Honey has been called “the perfect running fuel” and it’s no surprise why.
It’s composed of natural sugars, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
Studies have shown that honey performs on par with glucose (the sugar commonly used in energy gels) as workout fuel.
This makes it an ideal aid when you need some extra energy to get going on that workout regimen you committed to 3 weeks ago…
9. Sleep Promoter
Consuming raw honey can actually help you catch some better zzz’s, believe it or not.
It works in 2 different ways to get you that restorative sleep your body’s been begging for.
The first thing it does is fill up your liver with a supply of glycogen. By refueling your glycogen level before bed, your brain won’t wake your body up in a frantic search for fuel during the night.
Secondly, honey will cause a spike in your insulin levels. This will trigger a release of serotonin, the hormone responsible for improving your mood. Your body will then convert the serotonin into melatonin, the chemical compound that works to regulate the quality and length of sleep.
Poor sleep contributes to:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Attack
We all know sleep is important, yet we never make enough time for it. And even when we find the time, many of us end up tossing and turning all night
Stress and our never-ending to-do list often disrupt the sleep we so desperately need!
Try using honey as a natural sleep aid and help to lower your risk of these serious health issues.
10. Protect Your Memory
It’s not uncommon for women to experience a hormone-related intellectual decline after going through menopause.
Kind of a bummer, right? I always thought our oldest years were supposed our wisest ones…
And they still can be!
You may be able to prevent cellular damage and loss within the brain just from the antioxidants in raw honey.
A study revealed that just a spoonful of Malaysian honey each day can help improve the memory of post-menopausal women.
This study gave women 20 grams of honey on a daily basis for 4 months.
And can you guess the results at the end?
These women were more likely to have a better short term memory than ones who were put on hormone pills.
11. Hangover Cure
And want to know what’s even better?
Honey might even be able to help you prevent that nasty hangover.
The antioxidants in raw honey are so powerful that they’re said to neutralize the toxins from drinking alcohol.
The natural fructose in honey competes with the metabolism of alcohol. Basically, that fructose in the honey is helping your body break down the alcohol into acetic acid, which is naturally burned up by the body.
By consuming raw honey before drinking, the fructose will be in competition with the metabolism of alcohol. Without this competition, there’s a rapid change in alcohol levels in your body.
This is what causes you to wake up with that pounding headache.
So next time you’re planning on slammin’ back some Lemon Drop shots, pregame with a tasty snack of honey & crackers. (Also a great and complementary addition to any wine nights!)
12. Put An End To Acne
Stop wasting your money on acne clearing products. They’re a dime a dozen these days and they’re filled with harsh chemicals and perfumes.
Have you even tried one that really works yet?
Raw honey can cleanse and moisturize the skin while dealing with tough acne. Plus, those antioxidants are a great defense against common signs of aging.
As A Face Wash: Wet your face with warm water. Massage on half a teaspoon of honey. Rinse & pat dry
- Baking Soda
- Salt or Sugar
Mix ingredients together and massage onto face.
Sit for 2 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
13. Soothe Your Scalp
You probably don’t know that issues like dandruff are the consequence of a fungus overgrowth.
Kinda gross, right?
Well, it doesn’t have to be. A study has revealed that the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of honey gives it the ability to offer some relief in these situations.
Create a mixture of raw honey that’s been diluted with 10% warm water. Apply this to the affected areas, and let it sit for 3 hours before rinsing.
This should do the trick to cure any incessant itching and you’ll start to see a difference in your dandruff after about a week.
Start Enjoying the Benefits of Raw Honey Today
Raw Honey could be the very thing your body is craving – to help detoxify, cleanse, and soothe.
You can find raw honey at most grocery stores (and of course health food stores like Whole Foods will have bigger selections).
But before you pick up that Manuka Honey and say goodbye to being able to pay your rent, shop around for the right honey for you. Locally made honey can be more expensive than imported.
Stores like Costco even offer several options for buying in bulk. (Is there a better Christmas gift for your friends than raw honey??)
By the time you remove acne medication, pre-workout gels, dandruff shampoo, cold medicine, cough drops, and diet pills from your budget – that raw honey in your hand will be saving you a small fortune!
And the best part? Your body will thank you for years to come (and you’ll actually be able to remember why you feel so good)!
Have you tried real RAW honey yet? What are you waiting for?