Raw honey, as opposed to regular honey, is pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized. It’s also one of the best natural sweeteners you can use. Other honey is processed, heated and filtered, and therefore robbed of its nutritional value. Because of its nutritional profile, raw honey can treat everything from low energy to problems with sleep. Learn more about the health benefits of raw honey by reading below!
Here are 8 health benefits of raw honey:
1. Healthy Weight Management
Studies show that the health benefits of raw honey include aiding in weight loss. For example, San Diego State University conducted a study wherein they discovered that replacing sugar with honey can prevent weight gain as well as lower blood sugar. (1)
And the University of Wyoming conducted a study, as well. The study involved 14 healthy non-obese women, who ate breakfasts consisting either honey or sugar. Concerning the health benefits of raw honey, researchers found that it can potentially protect against obesity. (2)
2. Counters Pollen Allergies
Health benefits of raw honey also include providing allergy relief. When you consume local raw honey, you also consume a potentially offending pollen. This makes it likely that you will become less sensitive to that particular offender.
In fact, a 2013 study found that consuming raw honey at a high dose (one gram per kilogram of body weight of honey daily) can improve allergy symptoms over a period of eight weeks. (3)
For seasonal allergy relief, be sure to consume a raw honey with pollen in it.
3. Natural Energy Source
Due to the glycogen content, health benefits of raw honey include providing energy. It’s an excellent pre- and post-exercise source of energy. In fact, studies out of the University of Memphis Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory found that honey is one of the best choices of carbs to eat right before exercising. Other studies found it’s just as effective as glucose, the sugar used in many commercial energy gels. (4)
4. Antioxidant Powerhouse
Health benefits of raw honey include helping protect your body from various diseases. This is due to the antioxidants present in raw honey, which can boost the immune system and fight off free radicals. (5)
One study administered four tablespoons honey per day to 25 subjects for 29 days. At the end of the study, researchers drew blood samples. Not surprising, they found a definite correlation between high polyphenol honey consumption and an increased level of disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood. (6)
Another study shows that honey contains a compound called pinocembrin, which is a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant. Honey’s rich polyphenol content makes it “an ideal therapeutic agent.” (7)
5. Sleep Aid
Health benefits of raw honey also include treating insomnia. Honey, consumed before bedtime, restocks the liver’s glycogen supply and prevents the brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can wake you up. It also promotes the release of melatonin by creating a small spike in insulin levels. This releases tryptophan in the brain, which converts first to serotonin, and then converts at last to melatonin. (8)
6. Wound and Ulcer Healer
Due to the antibacterial components in raw honey, health benefits of raw honey extend to healing wounds. A study out of New Zealand found that honey has powerful wound-healing abilities. It also reacts with the body’s fluids to make hydrogen peroxide, which makes for an inhospitable environment for bacteria. In fact, Mumbai has used a combination of ghee and honey to dress infected wounds since 1991. (9)
Furthermore, honey can treat various types of ulcers, as well. It may reduce the size, pain, and odor of problematic skin ulcers.
7. Diabetes Aid
Health benefits of raw honey continue with the ability to lower blood sugar. In particular, the combination of raw honey and cinnamon is effective in helping to manage diabetes. It’s also useful for treating gingivitis as well as acne. Some suggest, perhaps, that the insulin-boosting power of cinnamon can counteract the glucose elevation in honey. (10)
You may consider adding this cinnamon-honey mixture to your diabetic diet. To start, consume a small amount of the mixture to see how your blood sugar reacts to it.
8. Natural Cough Syrup
This sticky, sweet substance also serves well as a cough suppressant. In fact, one study shows that honey is just as effective as some common over-the-counter cough medications. (11)
To treat a cough, take a half teaspoon to two teaspoons of honey at bedtime. This is the recommended dose for anyone over the age of one. You can check out our homemade cough drop recipes, too.