Honey has been used as a folk remedy throughout history and features a sort of health benefits and medical uses. It is even used in some hospitals as a treatment for injuries. Many of those health benefits are specific to raw or unpasteurized honey. Most of the honey you discover in grocery stores is pasteurized. The high heat kills unwanted yeasts, can improve color and texture, eliminates crystallization, and extends shelf life. Many beneficial nutrients are also destroyed during the process. If you’re curious about trying raw honey, pip out from a trusted local producer. Here are some health benefits that raw honey has to offer:
A good source of antioxidants
Raw honey contains a variety of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Some types of honey contain as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help protect your body from cellular damage from free radicals. Free radicals contribute to the aging process and can also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Research shows that the antioxidant compounds in honey called polyphenols can play a role in preventing heart disease.
Antibacterial and antifungal properties
Research has shown that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungi. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Its effectiveness as an antibacterial or antifungal agent varies depending on the honey, but it is clearly more than a folk remedy for this type of infection.
Manuka honey is used in medical settings to treat wounds, as it has proven to be an effective germ killer and also helps in tissue regeneration. Studies show that Manuka honey can increase healing time and reduce infection. Keep in mind that honey used in hospitals is medical grade, which means it is inspected and sterile. It is not a good idea to treat the cups with honey that you buy in a store.
Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from damage. For example, some repel insects or protect the plant from ultraviolet rays. The phytonutrients in honey are liable for its antioxidant properties, also as its antibacterial and antifungal power. It is also believed to be the reason why raw honey has shown immune and anti-cancer benefits. Intensive treatment destroys these precious nutrients.
Help with digestive problems
Honey is sometimes used to treat digestive problems such as diarrhea, although there isn’t much research to show that it works. However, it has been shown to be effective as a treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a common cause of stomach ulcers.
It is also a powerful prebiotic, which means it nourishes the good bacteria that live in the intestines, which are crucial not only for digestion but also for overall health.
Soothe a sore throat
To have a cold? Try a spoonful of honey. Honey is an old remedy for a sore throat. Add it to hot lemon tea when a cold virus hits you. It also acts as a cough suppressant. Research has suggested that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines. Take just one or two teaspoons, all right.
Are there any risks?
In addition to prebiotics and beneficial nutrients, raw honey can also carry harmful bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum. This is especially dangerous for babies. Raw honey should never be given to an infant under one year of age.
Symptoms of botulism poisoning in infants may include:
- slow breathing
- drooping eyelids
- no gagging
- loss of head control
- downward spreading paralysis
- Bad nutrition
- weak cry
Symptoms in adults may include a short initial period of diarrhea and vomiting, followed by constipation and more severe symptoms, such as blurred vision and muscle weakness. See a doctor if you experience any of those symptoms after eating raw honey.
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