Raw honey is one of the earth's most magical offerings. Not only is it delicious, but for thousands of years, we've been using it in medicine and healthcare, in every place from the battlefield to the birth house. Modern science is just beginning to come to an understanding of the myriad of benefits of raw honey, but the verdicts rolling in: it's seriously good for you, both inside and out. Here are 10 of our favourite ways that honey loves us back.
1. Raw honey is an anti-inflammatory.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of a wide host of illnesses, but raw honey helps to calm and soothe your immune system while keeping you balanced.
2. Evidence supports that honey may help with allergies.
Consuming raw honey increases exposure to pollens that trigger an immune response, and helps build up antibodies, resulting in less histamine release.
3. Raw honey is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial.
Honey fights bacteria in many ways - utilizing polyphenols, naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, and the process of osmosis to destroy bacteria and prevent the formation of bacterial communities and networks.
4. Raw honey is good for your skin.
Honey is deeply moisturizing, and packed with vitamins and enzymes, all of which calm and soothe red, itchy or irritated skin.
5. Raw honey can boost your energy.
Honey scores below sugar on the glycemic index, and is excellent for maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time in athletes.
6. Raw honey can be used as a cough suppressant.
Honey relieves irritated nerve endings in the throat and supports your immune system to fight off coughs and colds.
7. Raw honey helps with heartburn.
The texture of honey helps to coat the esophagus and heal inflamed tissue, keeping acids from rising.
8. Raw honey is a probiotic.
Research suggests that raw honey helps nurture good bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy digestive tract and preventing illness.
9. Raw honey is good for your brain.
Honey is rich in pinocembrin, an antioxidant that works to improve the healthy functioning of the brain.
10. Raw honey lowers cholesterol.
Honey is abundant in antioxidants that prevent bad cholesterol from entering the bloodstream.
Note: while raw honey is incredibly nutritious for those of us with developed digestive and immune systems, the World Health Organization recommends against giving any variety of honey to infants under one year of age.