What You Should Know About Raw Honey (Dangers & Benefits)

Raw Honey
Honey lifestyle Raw Honey

Honey is a sweet food made by bees foraging nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by most beekeepers and consumed by people.

Honey is also produced by bumblebees, stingless bees, and other hymenopteran insects such as honey wasps, though the quantity is generally lower and they have slightly different properties compared to honey from the genus Apis.

Honey bees convert nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation: they store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive.

Risk for Infant Botulism

Botulism spores are in air, soil, water and plants. In the absence of oxygen, the spores germinate and produce toxins. The process of boiling destroys the bacterial spores and toxins. Raw honey is a potential source of the Clostridium botulinum spores.

The Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Honey Board recommend that you not give honey to infants under the age of 12 months. Infant botulism is a rare disease caused by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.

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The disease causes varying degrees of paralysis. Children over age 1 and healthy adults have the mature digestive systems necessary to prevent botulism spores from thriving.

Wound Healing

Honey contains trace amount of compounds implicated in preliminary studies to have wound healing properties, such as hydrogen peroxideand methylglyoxal.

There is some evidence that honey may help healing in skin wounds after surgery and mild (partial thickness) burns when used in a dressing, but in general the evidence for the use of honey in wound treatment is of such low quality that firm conclusions cannot be drawn

Raw honey as a wound-healing remedy dates to ancient Egypt and Greece. Modern medicine is rediscovering its healing properties. Adam Voiland writes that researchers believe honey has the ability to kill microbes. In his article, “The Healing Power of Honey,” featured online at U.S. News & World Report Health, Voiland, a writer with the magazine, reports the acidity in honey and its ability to dehydrate bacteria may be the reason for its therapeutic power in healing wounds. Honey dressings promoted healing, caused less tissue damage and reduce pain associated with dressing changes.

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Sweetener

It can be used as a substitute for sugar in many food and drinks. It contains about 69% glucose and fructose, enabling it to be used as a sweetener that is better for your overall health than normal white sugar.

Weight Loss

Though it has more calories than sugar when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey with lemon juice or cinnamon help in reducing weight.