Raw Honey: What Is It?

Honey has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years [1] and is proven to have a lot of health benefits. There are many types of honey and as many types of bees that make them.

You’ve probably heard someone mention raw honey, but you’ve never been interested in figuring out what it is, until now.

Well, it’s your lucky day, cause this article is all about that sweet, and raw honey! 

So, sit back, relax, and let’s get started with answering some questions about raw honey.

Key Takeaways

  • Natural, raw honey does not contain any added sugars.
  • Raw honey is a great, natural source of antioxidants.
  • Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Raw Honey

As we all probably know, bees (specifically honey bees) are the ones responsible for making honey. Bees produce honey by using floral nectar [2]. 

Now, that we got the basics out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about what raw honey is. 

Raw honey is often described as honey in its natural form, without the addition of other substances or ingredients. This honey is much easier to make because there is essentially only one thing that needs to be done before it’s ready for consumption.

When honey is extracted from honeycombs, pure raw honey is strained over a cloth in order to get rid of impurities (such as dead bees and beeswax). Why? Because, I guess, no one wants to eat dead bees (or am I wrong?). 

This honey comes with all the health benefits and substances that can only be found in honey “as it exists in nature” (this means no added flavours, sweeteners or anything else that manufacturers of honey are using to cut costs). 

Raw honey is extremely beneficial when it comes to the overall health and wellness of your body. Don’t believe me, then try it for yourself!  

Regular Honey

Making regular honey is quite different from making raw honey, as it involves a number of steps to prepare it properly.

There is pasteurization, which is done by applying heat to honey. During the process of pasteurization, the yeast in honey is destroyed, which in turn increases the shelf life of the product as well as its smoothness.

This type of honey often goes through the process of filtration that removes any (and all) impurities. The downside of this process is that (in some cases) filtration also removes healthy substances that honey contains (like amino acids and antioxidants).

Some manufacturers like to add artificial sweeteners and other chemicals, which additionally decreases the health benefits of natural honey.

Health Benefits Of Raw Honey

As mentioned above, pasteurization (a process that regular honey goes through) can reduce the levels of antioxidants in honey (or completely destroy the substances responsible for antioxidant properties). 

There hasn’t been enough research done on honey, but it’s proven that pasteurization destroys antioxidants in other products (like milk) [3]. 

So, to get the most benefits from honey, you want your product to be as raw as possible, without any added ingredients (like artificial sweeteners and others). So, what are the health benefits of raw honey?

Well, first of all, raw honey contains bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly, and (as mentioned above) a bunch of antioxidants. 

Antioxidant Properties

Eating products that contain antioxidants may reduce the risk of a number of different diseases (including heart diseases, cancer and strokes) [4]. 

Raw honey is filled with antioxidants making it a great source for all of your antioxidant needs. 

If you’d like to get your hands on some great natural and local honey, make sure to visit the HoneyJoy shop and check out some of our products. 

Lowers Blood Pressure

The antioxidants in raw honey can reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attacks. 

Wound Dressing Properties

As far as Ancient Egypt, people have been using honey for its wound healing and anti-bacterial properties [5].

For thousands of years, honey has been used for wound dressing (now, less so, but that still doesn’t undermine the benefits of honey when it comes to wound dressing). 

Lowers Triglycerides

High levels of triglycerides are a risk factor when it comes to heart disease. Honey lowers triglycerides and is a great and “sweet” way to improve your overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Raw Honey VS Regular Honey

We’ve talked a little bit about raw and regular honey, but now it’s time to put them against each other. It’s time for the ultimate face-off! Are you ready? 

Antioxidants are one of the main sources of numerous health benefits (some of them I’ve mentioned above) of honey.

So, it goes without saying that you’d want your honey to have as many antioxidants as possible. 

Raw honey has you covered in that department as it does not go through the process of pasteurization (which lowers or completely destroys the substances with antioxidant properties).

Regular honey has fewer antioxidants (when compared to raw honey) making it less healthy in the eyes of many health and wellness professionals (and regular people like me). 

I guess round one goes to raw honey (that was anticlimactic). But now it’s time for round two!

Regular honey can sometimes contain artificial sweeteners (not always, but sometimes, as it’s a great way for manufacturers to cut costs). Raw honey has none of it. It’s 100% natural honey, made by bees! 

Round three!

Raw honey contains bee pollen which some people are allergic to. You can find regular honey without bee pollen making it safe for people who are allergic to it. 

So, if you are allergic to bee pollen you should definitely avoid raw honey. Round three goes to regular honey, but only because some people are allergic to bee pollen. 

If the world was a perfect place raw honey would win 3-0, but it’s not, which makes the final score 2-1 (not bad raw honey, not bad).

FAQ

Is Raw Honey Safe To Eat?

Short answer, yes, absolutely, 100%, unless of course, you are allergic to bee pollen. It’s not only safe, but it has a lot more antioxidants and minerals, than regular honey. It is also free from added sugars and any other types of sweeteners.

Some studies have also shown that honey may help with different types of cancer [6]. 

Raw honey is highly recommended as an anti-inflammatory agent by many physicians and other health professionals

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a special (and expensive) type of honey. Manuka honey is made by the bees that pollinate the manuka plant (a plant that is native to Australia and New Zealand). 

What makes Manuka honey special when compared to pure honey and/or organic honey is its exceptional anti-bacterial features. 

What Is Organic Honey?

Well, simply put, organic honey is made without the use of pesticides. Or, to be more precise, the plants the bees use to make honey are not being sprayed by any nasty chemicals. 

What Is Pure Honey?

Pure honey means that the jar of honey you bought only contains honey and absolutely nothing else (like artificial sweeteners, chemicals or industrial honey). 

The Bottom Line

We’ve talked a little about raw and regular honey. We’ve also mentioned a plethora of benefits to your health that come with eating raw honey.  

Raw honey may also have a positive effect on people when it comes to lowering blood pressure and preventing risks of heart disease.

Honey may also be a great substitute for sugar (if you are suffering from diabetes). 

If you are keen on getting some natural honey for you and your family (and getting all the benefits that come with it, as well as satisfying your “sweet tooth”) HoneyJoy is the place to visit. 

Sources
  1. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/humans-the-honey-hunters-9760262/
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00425-017-2748-y
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021712/&sa=
  4. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/antioxidants
  5. https://www.planetbee.org/planet-bee-blog//the-sacred-bee-bees-in-ancient-egypt
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/410406/
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Catherine Day
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Author

Catherine is a writer passionate about sustainability and bees. She loves to grow her food, cook, eat raw honey and write about her experiences. At the weekend, you will find Catherine exploring farmer's markets and enjoying the outdoors.

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