I love sweets. Until recently, when a sugar craving hit, I reached for chocolate, candy, or dessert. As much as I enjoy these sugary treats, there’s a bitter aftertaste — an internal voice chiding me for bad judgment and lack of willpower — but not any more. Raw honey is my new sweet reward. It satisfies two cravings: it tastes good; and it has health benefits. Let me share some of them.
Honey has unique benefits when we consume it. Rather than circulating in our blood like sugar or artificial sweeteners, raw honey is quickly absorbed into our cells and used for fuel. It supplies the liver with glycogen for a boost of ready energy when we need it. I'm not qualified to describe the biochemistry of why that's an amazing feature, but I can tell you the impact of it. Rather than tilting our bodies to an undesirable acidic state as sugar does, 45 minutes after eating raw honey, blood tests show more alkalinity — a healthier state of being. In addition, honey is a powerful immune strengthener, with cancer-fighting characteristics.
And if that’s not enough to tempt you to try it, here are but a few tried and true remedies for specific ailments:
SORE THROAT? Honey’s antimicrobial properties help soothe a sore throat and can also kill certain bacteria that cause the infection.
BAD COUGH? Mayo Clinic studies show the anti-inflammatory agents in honey are as effective in treating respiratory conditions as over-the-counter remedies.
CAN’T SLEEP? Drink a mixture of honey with warm milk or chamomile tea.
CONSTIPATED? Add honey to diary products such as sour milk and yogurt to improve digestion and bowel movements.
READY TO DETOX? Mix a vinegar and honey cocktail.
TUMMY PROBLEMS? Combine honey and cinnamon.
Is all this sounding too good to be true? There’s more.
We can benefit from raw honey when we use it topically. For thousands of years, honey has been recognized as a home remedy to treat a wide range of complaints including: yeast infections; athlete’s foot; and arthritis pain.
Raw honey has antiseptic properties that inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and help keep external wounds clean and free from infection. As a result, it has been used as a natural cure in first aid treatment for wounds, burns, and cuts, because it absorbs moisture from the air and promotes healing. Its antibacterial properties prevent infection. And honey functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing swelling, pain, and even scarring.
I hope you've noticed that I'm specifically referring to RAW honey. Most golden honey you see in grocery departments is far from the health-promoting powerhouse of its raw, unpasteurized counterpart. Filtering and pasteurizing honey removes the vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes that deliver these healing benefits. It's not difficult to find raw honey. I'm happy to share my source. My friend Ray DuBois sells raw honey from his own naturally kept hives right here in Greenwich: BeeLove Apiaries Raw Honey. You won't find better-tasting chemical-free raw honey anywhere!
Raw honey is my new sweet reward. It satisfies my cravings by tasting good and having so many health benefits.
Wishing you a sweet reward!
IMPORTANT: Don't use honey for children under 1 year of age. It may contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby's immature digestive system and cause infant botulism. Once kids have been out in the world for a year, their guts are full of 'good' bacteria that can handle it.
SOURCES: Permaculturenews.org, TruthTheory.com, well-beingsecrets.com, mayoclinic.org, The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia.