Most commercial honey has been filtered and pasteurized. This removes the beeswax, pollen and other natural ingredients to give common honey that clear golden look. However, honey that’s been treated like this has lost its nutritional benefits, and has become little more than sugar.
Choose raw honey to get the good stuff. Organic raw honey is buttery, more opaque, and may have chunks of beeswax in it (called “cappings”). Buying local could be beneficial if you suffer from seasonal allergies, because raw honey contains tiny amounts of pollen from the plants it was made from. These small infusions of pollen can act like a vaccine, providing your body with the means to fight allergens.
Particularly nutrient-rich honey, like Manuka honey from New Zealand, are often used topically to treat burns and wounds. Its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities protect against infection, while the minerals (like copper, iron and magnesium) and vitamins (C, B6, B2, B3 and others) soothe inflammation and pain.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health warn that raw honey may be dangerous, as it could be a potential source of food poisoning (like all raw foods). However, ancient healers knew about the benefits of raw honey for thousands of years before modern medicine came along. They also understood that honey from different areas had different healing properties.
Purchasing local raw honey also supports beekeepers, who need all the help they can get to resist Colony Collapse Disorder. Consider working with bees or volunteering your time to help stop this mysterious illness that’s decimating hives all over the world, and threatening not only our honey supplies, but our food supplies as a whole. Working with beekeepers is an excellent green job choice that fosters humanity’s relationship with nature, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
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