When our children were small, we developed allergies to many thing because of exposure to mold. I began reading that local honey would help with allergies. That was the beginning of our interest in honey and bees.
As an RN and researcher, I learned that true raw honey was worth its weight in gold for many medicinal purposes. There’s a simple principle that’s explained in countless books on folk medicine.
Honeybees will deposit small amounts of the offending pollen in all that honey they produce. If that honey is made using flower nectar from the allergy sufferer’s locale, chances are pretty good that the pollen in the honey is the same type that’s causing your problem.
Eating honey over time (usually a short time) just might help desensitize the body’s immune system to the offending pollen. It has proven to be VERY effective for us through the years. This holds true only if the honey is produced locally and never heated (raw).
One teaspoon of raw unfiltered honey only has 4-5 grams of sugars in it. With the suspended pollen (the reason for not filtering), you are acquiring proteins, enzymes that inhibit bacteria, genetic markers for local allergens which reduce environmental allergies, improving endurance and vitality, extending longevity, aiding recovery from chronic illness, regulating the intestines, production of new blood cells and preventing infectious diseases such as the cold and flu (it has antibiotic type properties).
We know now that store-bought pasteurized “honey” is not much better than white sugar. The heat from pasteurization kills the beneficial enzymes and complex nutrients rendering them useless to the body.
Many of the “honey” found on grocer’s shelves are devoid of pollen, has added High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) made from GMO corn, and the beekeepers we know will tell you that much of it is imported from China and possibly tainted!
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Raw Honey Is Spooned, Not Poured
(You will need to know that raw honey is more dense and will likely need to be spooned, especially in the cool months. The heating process which makes off-the-shelf honey squeeze out of a little hole also kills the enzymes and other properties, so you will have to think about using your honey slightly differently. I wrote a post about our hives and how to gently soften your raw honey for use.)
Seven Sweet Raw Honey Uses:
As I researched honey I was surprised to find so many benefits beyond sweetening. Here are 7 things I found beneficial to my family, but there are many more.
1. Soothing a Sore Throat
Honey is an excellent natural alternative to cough medicine as it can reduce cough and sooth that sore throat. See my recipe.
2. Preventing Allergies
Taking 1 teaspoon of local, raw honey per day before and during allergy season can prevent your allergy symptoms. This works on the basis of “like cures like” and is the reason that your honey should be local. Local honey has a higher likelihood to contain triggers for your allergy symptoms. My son still takes a teaspoon of raw honey on the spoon before going out to rake or bale hay.
3. Acne, Sunburn, and Wound Healing
If you get sunburn, you can apply a thin layer of honey to help the skin heal. Cover and leave on as long as you can, then wash or shower and pat dry. A spot treatment overnight for acne works quickly. Place a little piece of tissue over it to keep it from getting on your pillowcase.
Raw honey is antiseptic which means it prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. Used topically on wounds and burns, it reduces pain and lessens scarring.
“The data show that the wound healing properties of honey include stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation. These effects are ascribed to honey’s acidity, hydrogen peroxide content, osmotic effect, nutritional and antioxidant contents, stimulation of immunity, and to unidentified compounds.” ~ScientificWorldJournal. 2011 Apr 5;11:766-87.
4. Fight Indigestion
Take a teaspoon to help fight indigestion. An upset tummy will often settle right down.
5. Vitamin and Mineral Benefits
Honey not only naturally contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C, but also important minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and phosphorous. Honey contains minerals and amino acids that are good for the reproductive system and stimulate the ovary’s function.
When mixed with apple cider vinegar raw honey can help relieve constipation naturally.
7. Honey will keep forever without spoiling if stored properly. We think a certain quantity of raw honey is a great thing to have on your list of preparedness items for food and medicine.
This little honeybee was slumped over on the concrete and just about out of energy on a chilly day this spring. I brought out a spoon with a dab of raw honey and placed it gently under its antennae. Within seconds, it snapped to an alert position and began feeding. It was there for over 30 minutes before it flew away, so I suppose this is another benefit of having raw honey on hand 🙂
I hope now maybe you will consider keeping bees, too!
“And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ~Deuteronomy 26: 8-9
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Thanks for reading!