The health benefits of raw honey

Health benefits of raw honey

“‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Pooh Bear, I think the word you are looking for is “anticipation.” And, oh, do I know the sweet feeling well. That moment before I plunge my spoon into the jar of honey… I can barely contain myself now thinking about it!

OK back to the point.

Honey. It’s amazing. Delicious and nutritious all wrapped into one. But not all honey is created equal. In fact, not all “honey” is real honey.

The mystery product sold as “honey”

Honey is one of the most commonly mislabeled foods. Last year, Food Safety News found that 75% of store-bought honey was ultra-filtered and did not contain pollen. Without pollen, it is impossible to identify the honey’s source. Furthermore, the US FDA states that any “honey” that no longer contains pollen cannot technically be considered honey.

Even more concerning, a third or more of all “honey” in the US was found to have been smuggled in from China or India, and tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  According to Food Safety News, millions of pounds of honey deemed unsafe and banned from dozens of foreign countries is being imported and sold in the US.

Additionally, a number of ingredients are added to “honey”, and even sometimes constitute the main ingredient. These include sucrose syrup, sugar syrup, partial invert cane syrup, corn syrup, glucose syrup, beet sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial sweeteners. Any “honey” that contains these ingredients is therefore not real honey, but a blend. Furthermore, some of these ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, pose a particular threat to the health of consumers. On my trip to the grocery store, I picked up this little honey bear whose main ingredient was high fructose corn syrup. It was the cheapest honey available, and though I hate to waste, I threw this little guy in the trash after photographing him (I see right past that cute little face of yours, honey bear…).

The health benefits of raw honey

Raw honey comes straight from the honeycomb, and is honey in its purest form. It is unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized, processes which can destroy the natural vitamins (high in vitamin C and B vitamins), minerals and enzymes found in honey. The health benefits of raw honey are seemingly endless:

  • Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
  • Contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant
  • Helps ward off allergies
  • Soothes sore throats and is a natural expectorant (i.e. is great to eat when you have a cold)
  • Stabilizes blood pressure and balances blood sugar levels
  • Boosts immune function
  • Helps heal skin conditions and wounds when applied topically
  • Promotes digestive health
  • As an alkaline-forming food, helps combat chronic illness

Nutrition aside, raw honey differs from processed honey in a few significant ways: it is typically opaque, it is typically thicker than processed honey, and it crystalizes more readily as it has not been heated (producers heat honey to prevent crystallization). It can come in a variety of different colors. For example, I have raw alfalfa honey pictured above, and it is very light in color. But buckwheat or blueberry honey is very dark in color.

When looking to buy raw honey, look for a product from a local producer, preferably one you know or know of. Local honey offers particularly great protection from seasonal allergies.


Please note that pediatricians caution against feeding honey to children under one year old due to concern that it may contain botulism spores.

Sources: Food Safety NewsMercola, LiveStrong

raw honey health benefits

nadia-washlick-body-unburdened-circle-210 signature

Standard FTC disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only support and endorse products that I use personally and feel would benefit readers. Thank you for supporting Body Unburdened and the work I do to help readers live non-toxic, healthy lives!

Disclaimer: The content of Body Unburdened either through this website, social media pages, or any other materials distributed by Body Unburdened is intended to provide helpful and informative material. I am not a doctor or a “registered dietitian,” and I do not provide medical advice or treat diseases.

Share Your Thoughts

  1. […] ← Previous […]

    June 8, 2013 • 12:44 pm •
  2. You can’t really tell raw honey from fake easily. Good raw honey comes in so many shades and opacities. Buckwheat honey looks almost like molasses, some other varieties are so light they are almost clear. Different varieties crystalize at different rates as well. If you buy honey from a store, look for a brand that has a little variety in color from bottle to bottle, instead of all the same color.
    Big producers often buy from several keepers and blend it together.
    The number one best way to make sure you are getting honey is to buy it straight from the beekeeper. Ask the keeper how they tend their bees..some use chemicals, some don’t. Some feed sugar syrup, some dont… If you aren’t sure where they are, search for a beekeeping club in your area. They can usually direct you to who sells their honey.
    Try the different varieties! I love buckwheat honey (higher in antioxidants) for things that require a strong honey flavor..or drizzle it over home made vanilla ice cream!
    The lighter honeys can be very subtle in flavor, and the citrus blossom honeys carry notes of the fruit the flower made and are great on their own or in tea. You learn to discern the tastes in honey over time, and the fake stuff doesn’t taste anything close!

    June 10, 2013 • 3:59 pm •
  3. How and where do you store honey? I live in Texas, and do not have air conditioning, so it gets pretty hot in the cabinets sometimes.. I get it from a reliable local beekeeper, but it often crystalizes in the cabinet long before I use it up. ONce that happens, does it retain it’s beneficial aspects?

    June 10, 2013 • 7:00 pm •
  4. I always by local honey or certified raw honey. There is a taste difference – to me – between the fake stuff and the real!!

    June 10, 2013 • 10:14 pm •
  5. […] 1/3 cup raw honey […]

    June 20, 2013 • 6:55 pm •
  6. […] tablespoons of raw honey (Click here to purchase. Click here to read about the health benefits of raw […]

    August 11, 2013 • 10:33 am •
  7. […] simply because of its deliciousness. Raw honey has depth; it has purpose. Many purposes, in fact. The health benefits of raw honey are vast, one of which is the fact that it is a wonderful antibacterial agent and helps heal skin […]

    August 18, 2013 • 1:05 pm •
  8. […] 3 tablespoons of raw honey: click here to learn the health benefits of raw honey […]

    August 24, 2013 • 7:52 pm •
  9. […] tablespoons raw honey for sweetness: the health benefits of raw honey are vast and include antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant […]

    September 2, 2013 • 10:45 pm •
  10. […] tablespoons of raw honey (Click here to read about the health benefits of raw […]

    September 24, 2013 • 2:10 pm •
  11. […] Raw honey is one of my favorite natural skin remedies and sweet treat, and also works wonders during cold season. It is a natural antibiotic and antiviral. Local raw honey is said to help prevent and mitigate seasonal allergies, so look for a local producer. (Read more about the health benefits of raw honey.) […]

    September 29, 2013 • 10:46 pm •
  12. […] tablespoons of raw honey (Click here to read about the health benefits of raw […]

    October 21, 2013 • 5:08 pm •
  13. […] In addition to powdered cacao (raw cocoa), they include just coconut oil, coconut butter, and raw honey, all of which are extremely nutritious. I actually think of these more as a delicious little […]

    November 27, 2013 • 10:59 am •
  14. […] preference): Raw honey is just the best thing in the world (at least in my book). Read about the health benefits of raw honey (there are too many to try to repeat […]

    March 8, 2014 • 8:08 pm •
  15. Did not know Raw honey is available for regular use ans has so many benefits.This site also has some good info on honey and all its benefits.

    May 14, 2014 • 11:11 am •
  16. […] Raw honey (read about the many health benefits of raw honey) […]

    May 22, 2014 • 8:46 pm •
  17. Kitty

    Its also a great facial. Its anti bacterial properties heal almost over night. We’ve raised bees for a couple years now. Plain, wild, honey tastes like none other AND it tastes different from season to season. “Winter” honey, the first rob of spring, is so dark and densely flavored. Summer honey, much smoother and sometimes lighter in color. Most bee keepers have to feed sugar water to the bees due to the drought conditions which have lowered availability of flowers in the wild. The honey is all mixed up in the bee’s digestion system anyway, and doesn’t affect the honey’s quality. It keeps the bees alive!

    May 25, 2014 • 12:09 pm •
  18. […] you know, I’m in LOVE with raw honey — it’s a sweet treat that has a ton of health and skin benefits. Well manuka honey is basically raw honey on ‘roids. It is used in both traditional and […]

    October 27, 2014 • 12:00 am •
  19. James

    I was wondering if it taste as sweet as store bought honey. and i’m sure it cost more but would be worth it for the health benefit’s.

    September 7, 2015 • 6:59 pm •
  20. Nadia

    Yes, it does!

    September 8, 2015 • 9:08 am •
  21. Treating digestion issues with honey has been done for centuries. Specifically, raw honey may be helpful with treating acid reflux. Honey may also help lower the specific bacteria associated with peptic ulcers, H. pylori.

    February 1, 2016 • 4:21 am •
  22. Vito

    Thank you very much Nadia the article answered the questions I had on raw honey. I’m very interested in health nutrition my wife beat cancer by Detoxing and changing her diet to plant based organic clean and pure. Our country is sickly and fat with phenomenon like type 2 Diabeties being diagnosed in 7-8 year olds type 2 normally takes 40 years to manifest it’s a poor lifestyle disease! 7 year olds aren’t supposed to have the disease. The only one that can save our country is the American mother! She’s the shot caller the decision maker the cook,medic, counselor she is truly the glue that keeps it all working (there’s always exceptions to the rule) but for 98% of American families Mommy is truly our gift from God! With that said
    I would like to ask a question to the American mother. How could you carry your child for 9 mos go through the pain of labor and child birth and then quickly form an eternal bond of love with your baby so strong that if god forbid your baby was put in a very dangerous situation you would give your life to protect that child! Without hesitation without doubt and without fear! But I don’t understand how you could then turn around and feed your children the toxic slop you do? Whether it’s GMO’s High fructose corn sugar the bovine growth hormone and massive amounts of antibiotics given to the animals to control the infection and inflammation the growth hormone causes! The American mother is the smartest most educated mother on earth. As Americans we innately believe we are good guys and deeply trust those we elect and we love our children and believe that everyone has our childrens best interest at heart because we dont hurt children in America! It’s that trust and belief that is causing our children to be the fattest and sickest children on earth!! It’s that trust that allows you all to stay in the dark! Sure you’ve heard of GMO’S but 9-10 of you picked at random cannot give an accurate definition of them and that’s scary!! They will spend 10s of millions of dollars to keep from having to label a GMO why the big deal? Because they know how smart you are and if given the of 2 product totally equal but one is GMO and the other non GMO you all would intuitively pick the non GMO. That decision would come from your vague negative feelings something you saw on TV or briefly read about the gmo controversy even though totally in the dark you would pick non GMO the problem is they know that!! And to keep you from being given the choice they’ll keep getting the laws in their favor no matter what it costs! Russia recently banned GMO the premier stated [If Americans want to eat GMO let them we don’t need to we have the resources to grow and consume organic] The Russian was mistaken he thought we want to eat the GMO foods he didn’t understand its not that we want to eat GMO it’s we don’t know what is and what isn’t we’re in the Dark! The world looks at us as fools. What does Russia India Australia Hungry and almost 80 other countries know that we dont? The Bovine growth hormone turns a cow into and SUV with udders that have been enlarged all to generate more milk the bovine growth hormone that many of you have no clue of what it really is happens to be banned in almost every nation on earth but ours? I know the moms that read articles like this aren’t the ones that need to hear this, but why can’t you all collectively spread the word?? America is doomed unless mother’s wake up read and understand that they have been unknowingly complicit in the slow deaths of their treasured offspring by over trusting. There will be millions of pissed off mom’s out there and though they can force us to do many things, they’ll never be able to control where you choose to spend your money! And the companies that knowingly sold you garbage unfit for human consumption days are numbered when the truth comes out I guarantee you will stop spending on anything they produce! In the mean time you can be assured of this the greedy Big shots and the ones they love HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER CONSUME the very same garbage that makes them Billions by forsaking the health of your babys! All for (Profit) Thankfully Right now there are companies that voluntarily joined the non Gmo project I’m sure you’ve seen their labels their concern for their customer will be recognized and rewarded in the future

    April 19, 2016 • 10:46 pm •
  23. Nice article about health benefits of raw honey. I am glad to visit here..Because I got great information from here..thanks to you for sharing this article. Its very useful for all. Especially for me.

    August 2, 2016 • 4:29 am •