Raw Honey Health Benefits - Why You Should Be Eating and Applying Raw Honey

Raw honey health benefits are multiple, wide ranging, and very on trend with the movement of intentional eating, homeopathic remedies, and natural, healthy living.

This tasty superfood performs numerous roles in promoting wellness
On a broad level, raw honey is: 

  • a sweet and much more nutritious substitute for sugar
  • a remedy for colds and sort throats
  • a topical anti-inflammatory agent with numerous potential applications
  • a daily dose of antioxidants that promote general wellness

We're going to get into ALL the specifics about raw honey health benefits. But first, let’s clarify a few things. . . 

What is Raw Honey

The best way to define what raw honey IS might be to define what raw honey ISN'T.

  • Raw honey is not modified in any way, but, rather, taken directly from the hive, not filtered, processed, pasteurized, treated, or enhanced at all.
  • When we talk about honey being good for us, we're talking about the interrelated properties of raw honey and how they contribute to raw honey health benefits.
  • Other words used to describe honey, such as "natural," "pure," and "real" honey, either written on the label or otherwise, are not necessarily raw honey.

  • Raw honey often comes from local farms or beekeepers, and, because it doesn’t go through the “beautifying” process of pasteurization and filtering, it looks, well, raw . . not as appealing as processed brands. One identifying characteristic of raw honey is that it crystalizes or turns "grainy" over time. 
  • Raw honey is one of the very few foods that doesn't spoil. But the nutritional value of honey diminishes once it reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius. The recommended temperature for honey storage is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 and 21 degrees Celsius.

Heating raw honey over 95 degrees Fahrenheit destroys its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. So only mix raw honey into warm, room temperature, or cold food and drinks.

Generally speaking, raw honey health benefits apply to all varieties of honey. However, the exact quality, flavor, texture, color, and percentages of vitamins, minerals, acids, and enzymes will differ among varieties and even from batch to batch, depending on the flower from which the bees gather nectar, the soil conditions, weather and climate, specific bee traits, and beekeeper practices.

Now that you have a better idea of what raw honey is and isn't, let's get into what it can do for you. This article focuses on the health and beauty benefits of honey. Click Honey Uses for the specifics on how to incorporate raw honey into your healthier lifestyle.

Raw Honey Health Benefits and the Battle of Honey vs...

Heart Disease, Cholesterol, and High Blood Pressure
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of raw honey carry over to heart health by increasing your body’s natural ability to protect the delicate endothelial lining of the arteries and reducing the plaque build-up which leads to high blood pressure and heart dysfunction. Honey can improve blood flow and lower bad cholesterol, LDL, while raising good cholesterol, HDL. Dr. Stephen Sinatra of the HeartMD Institute states that no other organ burns as much energy in a day as the heart. If your heart is strong, the rest of your body will be as well.

Pink Eye
Honey mixed with warm (not hot!) water or milk and salt can be dropped into the eye to treat conjunctivitis naturally. The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antihistaminic properties of raw honey act to reduce redness as well as ease swelling, pain, and itchiness.

Sinus Infection Symptoms
If your sinus infection is bacterial, honey can fight the actual infection. Bacteria hate honey, which is great news for us. If your sinus infection is viral, more common and less severe than a bacterial sinus infection, honey, as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antihistamine, can ease typical sinus infection symptoms such as painful pressure, swelling, and congestion.

Sore Throats
Raw honey to soothe a sore, scratchy throat is probably the most well-known of all the raw honey health benefits. The anti-inflammatory traits of honey work to reduce swelling, redness, and pain, while its antibacterial and antiviral powers concentrate on defeating the infection.

This is another of the commonly recognized benefits of raw honey that’s been passed down from generation to generation. For a more scientific look, this Mayo Clinic article cites a study that found honey to be as effective as dextromethorphan, a frequently-used cough suppressant.  

Honey contains one of the nine essential amino acids, tryptophan, which promotes a rise in serotonin, which, in turn, triggers the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for regulating wake and sleep cycles and restful, regenerating sleep.

Upper Respiratory Infections
As reported by the NHS National Health Service, three randomized controlled trials found honey among the natural-remedy alternatives to antibiotics in treating the symptoms of upper respiratory infections or, more specifically, acute coughing. 

A teaspoon of honey alone or mixed in a warm (not hot!), drink can relieve congestion. Livestrong reports on a study of children ages 2 to 18, where honey relieved symptoms of congestion better than dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter cold medicine.

Diabetes and Liver Dysfunction
The consumption of honey, alone or in combination with other diabetes treatments, can render the disease more manageable, according to Medical News Today and the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, reporting that adding honey to diabetes therapy leads to better glycemic control, improvement in metabolic disorders, and counteraction of oxidative stress-linked diabetic complications. On a more general level, raw honey as a detoxifier acts to protect the liver against toxins and disease.

Depression and Mood Disorders
Honey contains flavonoids, plant chemicals that are also found in most fruits and vegetables. The raw honey health benefits provided by these antioxidants include the promotion of cognitive activity, among many others. As reported by this Today article, Dr. Ramsey points out that some depression is caused by chronic inflammation which the natural anti-inflammatory traits of honey can treat effectively.

Gum Disease and Gingivitis
For those of us with a sweet tooth, this seems like the perfect solution. Although it sounds counterintuitive, researchers and dental professionals affirm that raw honey can be effective against plaque build-up, bleeding and receding gums, cavity formation, and gingivitis. In some cases, honey worked better than other common medications.

Fatigue/Low Energy
If you're lagging due to lack of sleep or strenuous exercise, a tablespoon of honey can give you the pick-me-up you need. Unlike a sugar rush, which provides a spike and then crash in energy, raw honey is absorbed into the blood in a way that keeps your blood-sugar level so you stay energized longer. Read more about sugar vs honey here.

Immune Disorders
Routine consumption of raw honey boosts the immune system through its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory processes.

Skin Conditions
The various health-promoting properties of raw honey have multiple applications in skin care and the treatment of skin disorders. Eating raw honey provides the antioxidants and nutrients that promote a clear, radiant complexion. When directly applied to the skin, raw honey is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic emollient. While it moisturizes dry skin and lips, it cleans the skin and deters and fights bacteria at the same time. Raw honey is also anti-inflammatory so it calms redness, blotchiness, swelling, and pain caused by acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, hives, or sunburn.

See Beauty Benefits of Honey to learn more about what applying raw honey does for your skin and hair.

Injuries and Wounds
The raw honey health benefits related to wound, injury, and burn care have been researched extensively and yielded very promising outcomes. The ointment-like texture of raw honey combined with its many healing properties makes it an ideal choice, often above more traditional medical approaches. Certified medicinal manuka honey wound treatment is an especially prevalent and relevant topic today. 

Slow Metabolism and Weight Gain
Raw honey is prebiotic, so it lowers your risk for obesity and weight gain. The amino acids in raw honey act to increase your metabolism, control your appetite, and burn fat. This Honey and Weight Loss article discusses honey diets and honey combinations with other healthy foods. 

Dandruff and Thinning Hair
As a natural emollient, honey moisturizes the scalp, and, as a natural antimicrobial and antiseptic substance, it cleans out follicles, both of which contribute to healthy hair growth. See Beauty Benefits of Honey to learn more about what applying raw honey does for your skin and hair.

Raw honey increases the absorption of calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones.

Kidney Stones
The antioxidant action of the phenols in honey influence healthy kidney function.

Liver Dysfunction
All of the good anti-qualities of honey make it an effective detox agent for the liver.

Fungal Infections
Honey is anti-fungal so it combats fungal infections such as ringworm, athletes' foot, dandruff, and yeast infections.

The Many Uses of Honey article offers ideas of how to incorporate raw honey health benefits into your healthier lifestyle. 

HoneyShifts is a brand-new website. While we’re passionate about the world of honey, we are still learning. Websites referenced for information include:

  1. HoneyShifts Home
  2.  >
  3. Raw Honey Health Benefits