Raw organic honey is very different from normal processed honey that is commonly found in supermarkets around the world. The big difference this that processed honey is cooked, cooking saves time and money during the production process, but it also destroys the natural enzymes and minerals that are found in raw organic honey.
Organic honey can be warmed gently, as when mixed in with tea and hot beverages, but never heated to high temperatures.
Honey is determined to be organic by a complex and rigid certification process. The two main factors in the certification process are the origins of the bees and the apiaries. Apiaries is a Latin word that describes the location of bee hives and their surroundings.
For wild honey to be certified organic, the apiaries must be located on land that is certified organic or uncultivated for a minimum radius of 4 miles. Also within the 4-mile radius, their must no other means of contamination for the honey, such as motorways, industrial zones, rubbish dumps, urban areas and waste incinerators.
Four miles is the distance set out by The National Pollen Research Institute, this is the maximum distance that bees will travel away from the hive when collecting nectar.
As such, unfortunately, these strict guidelines mean that it is almost impossible for any honey producer in the UK to be certified as organic. Most raw organic honey is imported into the UK from Europe and further a field.
There are many health benefits from eating raw organic honey, these were first discovered by the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates was responsible for many of the major discoveries about bees, and the medical benefits of honey, you can read about these in a previous post.
Here are a few of the better known benefits, both as a nutritional supplement and direct health benefits.
In raw honey there are no bacteria present, this fact was first documented by Hippocrates; the bees add an enzyme which make a 'natural hydrogen peroxide', which sterilises the honey. This same enzyme ensures no fungal spores or properties can be present.
Organic unprocessed honey contains flavonoids and antioxidants, this help boost the immune system by reducing the levels of 'free radicals' in the body. Allowing the immune system to focus on repairing damaged cells rather than cleaning the body.
Organic honey has been proven to reduce the presence of ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis.
Noted in Ayurveda medicine since ancient times as a way of curing coughs, throat infections, mild respiratory disorders and allergies. In more recent scientific experiments on 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was deemed just as make ineffective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal coughing.
A surprising one this one, although organic honey does contain simple and complex sugars, these are not the same as processed white sugar or artificial sweeteners. The make up of fructose and glucose within honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels naturally. Honey has a lower glycemic index which puts less strain on the pancreas and doesn't produce a large 'sugar rush' as occurs with processed white sugars.
It is a mild antiseptic that can sterilise cuts and burns when applied. The honey also absorbs moisture from around wounds which impedes the growth of mould and bacteria. Its antibacterial properties can also provide mild pain relief as well as sterilisation, making it perfect for minor cuts and grazes.
Being humectant it naturally provides moisturisation to the skin and hair. Humectants are the main active ingredient in most high quality skin & hair care products.
The naturally occurring flavonoids and antioxidants that are found in raw organic honey provide the human immune system a boost. These antioxidants help the body reduce the levels of 'free radicals', which in turn helps the immune system get on with what it should be doing, repairing cells which allows the better flow of oxygen around the body.
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