Raw unfiltered honey is the nectar of the gods! Well, actually it's the nectar of flowers mixed with the saliva of bees. Sounds delicious, No?
It is hands down the preferred sweetener over white table sugar, as it is unprocessed and contains a wealth of nutrients that can do everything from taming allergies to healing wounds. A high quality, raw unfiltered honey contains potent anti-microbial and and antioxidant properties as well as beneficial probiotic bacteria. It also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and a handful of the B vitamins.
The "empty" calories of refined cane sugar don't stand a chance next to this gift from nature. Did you know that it takes the worker bees thousands of hours to collect pollen from over two million different flowers to make one pound of honey? And to think that it's still an affordable food source is incredible!
The antioxidants found in raw unfiltered honey protect your body's cells from the free radical damage that provoke disease. Its anti-microbial properties also kills bacteria and germs in the body's system and help to fight off illness. It is also known to tame inflammation and promote healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. Honey's soothing ability will also help tame a cough and coat a sore throat. During flu season, I'd recommend giving this Homemade Elderberry Cough Syrup a shot.
Humans have treated a variety of ailments with honey throughout history. Some wound gels, which contain antibacterial raw honey have regulatory approval and are now available to help treat drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Manuka honey, in particular has been found to be incredibly effective at treating wounds, cuts, scrapes and even acne, as it has very powerfully enhanced anti-bacterial capabilities. As a result of honey's unique composition and chemical properties, it is great for long-term shelf storage, and is easily absorbed even after long preservation.
Raw honey is often sought after by allergy sufferers as the pollen impurities are thought to lessen the sensitivity to hay fever. If you suffer from allergies in the spring or summer months when the flowers begin to bloom, I would really consider giving this a try! Adding a teaspoon to your nightly mug of tea can show real benefit.
Why Raw & Unfiltered?
The typical honey that is sold in most grocery stores is clarified or filtered. The heat used during the refinement process can destroy all the wonderful naturally-occurring enzymes and nutrients and all the good stuff is filtered out. Raw unfiltered honey, on the other hand, is obtained by extraction, settling or straining. Some heat is used to liquify the honey and it typically contains a bit of honeycomb and some pollen which is considered an amazing superfood in itself because of its high amino acid and antioxidant content.
Now, some honey may be labeled as "raw" when in reality it has still been somewhat processed. Look for the visual signs of color and clarity. When the honey is perfectly clear and syrup-like, it has most likely been processed. When it is quite dense and more opaque with bits and pieces floating in it, you know it's the real deal.
(Note: Because of the natural presence of botulinum endospores, children under one year of age should not be given honey.)
Buy Local Honey
Local honey is always the best bet when purchasing honey. This supports your local community. So when you find an affordable raw, unfiltered, local source, don't be afraid to stock up. Local honey will be cheaper too! There is nothing worse than paying $20 for a jar of honey!