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Bees make honey in the most extraordinary way, and it is considered by many people to be the most amazing survival food. It also has outstanding medicinal value and is known to be a broad-spectrum healing agent. But instead of keeping it the way it was made, man has found ways to filter honey and heat it to temperatures that destroy much of its goodness.
Raw Organic Honey
Raw organic honey is packed with antioxidants and probiotics, as well as vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Widely considered to be a “superfood,” it is commonly used to support and boost the immune system and keep it healthy, particularly for those suffering from high cholesterol and diabetes because it doesn’t “spike” blood sugar levels the way refined cane or corn sugar does. It can be fed as a home remedy for colds and flu, and even used to treat wounds and infection.
Manuka honey from New Zealand is considered to have even more potent antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is added to some skincare products to help improve cell renewal and heal damaged skin. While the antimicrobial activity in other types of honey is due to enzymes producing hydrogen peroxide, manuka honey is different and does not produce peroxide.
In a research paper titled Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (APJTB) and online by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), authors Manisha Deb Mandal and Shyamapada Mandal noted that honey has generally been utilized as a “last-resort medication.” However, they found that it is a “promising topical antimicrobial agent” that can be used to treat chronic wound infections (including burns) that don’t respond to antibiotics. They also found that it isn’t only manuka honey that has antibacterial activity, and that other types of so-called medical grade honey seem to improve and speed up recovery from gastric infections when taken orally.
In another research paper, Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences (IJBMS) and by the NIH, Tahereh Eteraf-Oskouei and Moslem Najafi noted that in addition to the importance of honey in traditional medicines, modern-day scientists recognize that natural honey is “a new effective medicine for many kinds of diseases.” In the paper they list the importance of natural honey in modern medicine, citing more than 120 references, including other studies. These include:
- Its antioxidant activity, antimicrobial properties and anti-inflammatory effects
- Its ability to heal wounds – even ulcerations following particularly radical surgery for varicose veins and breast cancer, hysterectomies and caesarian sections
- Its use as a source of carbohydrate especially for athletes doing endurance exercise and resistance training
- Its use to lower the glycemic index of those suffering from diabetes
- Treatment of diarrhea and gastrointestinal tract diseases
- Treatment of fungal infections
- Treatment of certain viruses
- Treatment of a number of ophthalmological conditions as well as injuries of the cornea and both thermal and chemical burns to the eyes
They also noted that natural honey has huge benefits for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases, and that it has been found to be an effective anti-carcinogenic agent.
But not all honey is raw, natural or indeed as healthy as we might imagine.