By Cindy A. Lugo
Nature’s nectar–honey– packs a powerful punch in the fight against ailments, and has been used for centuries for its healing properties.
When you eat locally harvested, raw honey, you receive the added benefit of consuming a superfood that contains immune stimulating properties needed for your body. It is believed that eating a tablespoon of honey each day can relieve the symptoms of pollen-related allergies. The premise is that bees in your area are collecting nectar from the plants and flowers that cause you to experience itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other similar allergic symptoms. Raw honey contains bee pollen; therefore, when you eat local raw honey, you are consuming that same offending local pollen. By ingesting minute amounts of the very allergen that is affecting you, your body builds up immunity to the fauna triggering the allergic reaction.
This major benefit is only one of many to consider as you add a steady dose of raw local honey to your diet. A key element to remember is that the power-packed properties exist in raw honey, which is a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers. When you buy from local independent farmers, beekeepers, and farmer’s markets, you are generally getting the best quality raw honey. Any honey not labeled raw, unheated, and unfiltered has most likely been processed for a long shelf life, robbing it of its incredible nutritional value and health powers. Expect raw honey to be opaque rather than the golden color which is achieved through heating. Fresh, raw honey is tastier and as a healing remedy, it can boast the following:
- Boosts energy
- Relieves morning sickness
- Soothes sore throats
- Aids in weight loss, especially when replacing processed sugar as a daily sweetener
- Raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body
- Promotes restorative sleep
- Aids in the treatment of burns and wounds when infused bandages are applied
- Effective in treating coughs
- When mixed with cinnamon, provides relief from bladder infections, arthritis, upset stomach, and bad breath
Sure, it’ll sweeten your tea, but did you know that honey can also function as a natural antibiotic? Just dab a little onto a wound, blemish, etc., to help encourage healing, prevent bacterial growth, and minimize scarring. Remember when shopping: the darker the honey, the stronger its antibacterial properties.
Know Your Beekeeper!
This is the number one step in finding the healthiest local honey possible; check your local farmer’s market and beekeeping association to research beekeepers in your area who use no chemicals, use wooden frames and natural wax foundation, don’t heat their honey, and don’t feed or move their bees.
*Those with bee allergies, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid consumption of honey.