Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Honey (Raw, Pure, Natural) + Turmeric Golden Honey Recipe

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Evidence Based Health Benefits of Honey (Raw, Pure, Natural)

Raw honey is an excellent ingredient to add to your diet. The health benefits of consuming pure raw honey include strengthening your immunity, improving digestive health, and preventing heart disease. Honey can also benefit your health if you regularly drink honey water.


The healing power of honey can also be applied to your skin. The antimicrobial properties of pure honey help wounds and burns to heal quicker. You can also use honey as a natural healing remedy in a moisturizing healing face mask.

Studies about honey have shown it has antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor properties. (1)

Another reason to consume pure natural honey is that it is a healthy and natural sweetener. Consuming honey in drinks or food benefits your health because it gives you energy while reducing your consumption of processed sugar.

In this article, you will learn about all the reasons why raw and unfiltered honey is good for you. You will also find out how many calories are in a teaspoon of honey and if honey is fattening.

At the end of the article you’ll find a recipe for turmeric golden honey which has a powerful healing potential.

What is Raw Honey?

Raw honey is a thick, sticky substance made by bees. Raw honey is a type of honey that has not been filtered, pasteurized, or processed in any way.

The International Journal of Food Properties says that raw honey is collected from beehives and is strained to remove impurities. (1)

For example, the Utah State Legislature states that raw honey has to be the type of honey that exists in the beehive. This is obtained by straining, settling, or extracting the sweet substance produced by honey bees. (2)

Honey in its “raw” state contains minerals, proteins, vitamins, and organic acids that have a multitude of health benefits.

Raw honey vs. processed honey

The reason why raw honey is good for you is that minimal processing retains all of its beneficial properties.

Commercially produced honey is usually heated and filtered which destroys many of the natural properties in honey. Researchers say that thermal processing in commercial honey results in a poorer quality of honey. (1)

Honey is being filtered and processed in order to please the average shopper who wants his or her honey to look clean and clear. But, what looks prettier and more appealing is not necessarily better for you.

Raw honey can be filtered to remove bits of dead bees, wings, beeswax and other impurities. When raw honey is strained, the mesh must allow the pollen, minerals, and enzymes to get through. (2)

When using honey for its health benefits, you should always choose raw, and unprocessed honey. If possible, look for organic honey because then you can be sure raw honey doesn’t contain any pesticides.

Studies into the benefits of raw, natural honey say it has high nutritional value and immense health benefits.

Honey Nutrition

Pure honey is a highly nutritious food that is packed with goodness that can strengthen your body’s immune system.

Studies into the nutritional value of raw honey show that it contains fructose, small amounts of amino acids, enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals, aroma compounds and antioxidants (polyphenols). Depending on the type of flora that the bees have pollinated, there may be variations in the nutritional value of pure honey. (3)

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One tablespoon of raw honey, or 21 grams, contains 64 calories which account for 3% of your recommended daily intake. The main types of carbohydrates in honey are fructose and glucose. (4)

Although it’s a high carbohydrate food, the glycemic index of honey is between 32 and 85. (4)

The greatest nutritional benefits of raw honey come from its plant compounds, polyphenols and flavonoids that give honey its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

The Health Benefits of Raw Honey

Let’s look in more detail at the many benefits of raw honey and see why honey is good for you.

Raw Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants

Honey can boost your health because of its high levels of antioxidants.

Scientific research into the properties of unprocessed honey has found that it contains potent antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of honey could to be a result of the combined activity of a wide range of compounds including phenolics (aromatic compounds), peptides (proteins), organic acids, and enzymes. (5)

One study on the effect of drinking honey water found that regular consumption increased antioxidant levels. Volunteers consumed 1.2g/kg body weight of good quality honey in 250 ml water. Scientists found that after 2 weeks, there was a marked increase in antioxidant agents, improved blood indices, and liver enzymes. (6)

Another study showed that buckwheat honey in water has antioxidant-related health benefits. (7)

Research showed a correlation between color and antioxidant capacity. Darker honeys provide higher levels of antioxidants than light colored honey. (34)

Raw Honey has Antibacterial Properties

One reason why raw, unfiltered honey is good for you is that honey has strong antibacterial activity.

A review of the benefits of using honey to treat bacterial infections found that it has wide medicinal uses. Honey has an antimicrobial effect that promotes wound healing when used topically. Also, honey has an antibacterial effect on strains of bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enterica, and Staphylococcus aureus. (8)

A traditional drink for cold or flu is hot water with honey, lemon, cinnamon and ginger. It is recommended to drink it every two hours. See my recipe for cleansing ginger lemon tea. Find more natural ways to stay free from cold and flu here.

Manuka honey can help treat H. Pylori bacteria and other infections

Manuka honey is one of the best types of honey with medicinal properties. A study from 2017 found that that Manuka honey has unique antibacterial properties when compared to other types of honey. Manuka honey with 20 UMF was the most effective at helping to eliminate various types of bacterial infections. (9)

Taking natural Manuka honey can help treat the H. pylori strain of bacteria.

The majority of peptic ulcers are caused by this bacteria.

A study published in 2016 found that natural Manuka honey helps to inhibit H. pylori infections. (11)

Check out my other article to learn about the medicinal properties of Manuka honey.

Raw Honey Consumption Can Improve Digestion

Consumption of raw honey can also do wonders for your digestion because it can improve your gut microflora.

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Research has found that honey contains over 180 beneficial compounds, some of which improve gastrointestinal health. For example, honey helps to stimulate colonic probiotic bacteria and can help eliminate toxins in the gut. Consuming honey or drinking honey water can also help to prevent chronic diseases related to poor diet. (10)

Apart from drinking honey mixed with water, there are other ways to improve your digestion. You can also learn how to use apple cider vinegar and honey for a healthy digestive system.

Raw Honey Can Help you Lose Weight

Taking raw unfiltered honey in your diet can help lose weight and it’s also a great natural alternative to unhealthy sweeteners.

Honey can help you lose weight because enzymes in honey act as an appetite suppressant. Researchers found that honey can inhibit the “hunger” hormone ghrelin. The study suggested that honey has an “obesity protective” effect. (12)

Even though honey is a type of sugar, the beneficial compounds in pure honey have many benefits for your health. One study found that by just substituting natural honey for sugar, people experienced mild weight loss. At the same time, there was a significant reduction in blood fat and cholesterol levels. (13)

Please read my article to find out about 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.

Related: Delicious Honey & Cinnamon Weight Loss Drink

Raw Honey Can Boost Brain Health

Taking honey regularly can help boost your cognitive power and benefit brain health.

Research into the antioxidants in raw honey has found that they have a neurological protective effect. In one study, scientists found that honey limits the effect of oxidative stress in the brain. (14)

Other benefits to your mental health of consuming honey include improving memory, protecting against tissue damage, and helping to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. (14)

Raw Honey May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Taking a spoon or two a day of pure, natural honey can help to improve the health of your cardiovascular system and prevent heart disease.

A review of many studies on the effect of honey in preventing cardiovascular disease found that its natural antioxidants have a heart-protective effect. Researchers reported that compounds in honey help to prevent bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and helps blood flow better. (15)

Studies have shown that the beneficial effect of raw honey on the cardiovascular system helps protect against stroke, heart attacks, and blood clots.

Did you know that you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by just doing these 5 easy things?

Raw Honey Can Lower Cholesterol in Some People

Regularly taking honey in your diet can also help lower your cholesterol and levels of lipids (a type of fat in blood).

The way to use honey to lower cholesterol levels is to substitute sugar for raw honey. The journal Nutrition & Metabolism reported that processed sugar raises cholesterol levels. Trials have shown that substituting honey for refined carbohydrates can result in lower levels of cholesterol. (16)

Raw Honey Is a Natural Cough Syrup

1 teaspoon of honey contains about 21 calories and can help to soothe an irritating cough.

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Research suggests that 2 teaspoons of honey are better at suppressing a cough than medicated cough syrup. In one trial, buckwheat honey was compared to dextromethorphan, a popular over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrup with sedative properties. It was found that honey was more effective at reducing nighttime coughing in children. (17)

In 2018 the National Health Service in the United Kingdom reported on research showing that a spoon of honey is more effective than treating an acute cough than antibiotics. Doctors recommend drinking honey and warm water to help treat symptoms of a cough. Adding 2 teaspoons of natural honey to a glass of warm water with some lemon juice can have a similar effect as many OTC cough medicines. (29)

Please read my article to find out how honey and lemon drinks can revolutionize your health.

Raw Honey is Beneficial for The Skin

There are a number of reasons to use honey on your skin to moisturize and reduce the appearance of skin blemishes.

Natural honey protects your skin

Free radicals are associated with signs of premature aging, and honey acts to protect skin cells from DNA damage. A review of studies published on the use of honey in skin care in 2016 found that the antioxidant effect of honey has a therapeutic effect on the skin. Honey has been associated with treating psoriasis, cold blisters, dermatitis, and fungal skin infections. (18)

Apply a drop of natural honey on the pimples before going to sleep. Also honey dries wounds and prevents skin irritation and inflammation.

Raw honey acts as an antiseptic

Many studies have also shown that there is plenty of scientific evidence that honey has antimicrobial properties when applied topically. Honey can help to destroy various bacterial pathogens and treat various skin disorders. (19)

Pure honey has moisturizing properties for your skin

The benefits of putting pure honey on your skin are more than just using it as an antiseptic. A review of the traditional medicinal uses of honey says that it is a natural moisturizer for your skin. Using raw or natural honey in face masks helps to soften your skin and prevent the signs of premature aging. (20)

Honey is an excellent ingredient to use in the bath thanks to its healing and softening properties. You can apply it directly on rough skin, or dissolve the honey in the water and add the mixture to the bath water.

Apply a little honey on dry or chapped lips, and leave it for a few minutes to soften them.

You can learn how to create your own honey face masks for beautiful skin in my other article.

Honey anti aging mask

Mix 2-3 tablespoons of honey with 7 drops of evening primrose oil (helps reconstruct the skin cells). Add 1 drop each of lavender essential oil (which has soothing and antiseptic properties) and sandalwood essential oil (maintains healthy skin, soothing and highly effective for mature and dry skin). Apply the mask on clean face and wait for half an hour. Then rinse with warm water.

Raw, natural honey helps wounds heal faster

The antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties of raw honey can help wounds heal quicker.

A review of medical studies into the wound-healing potential of honey has found it to be a good therapeutic burn treatment. Researchers have discovered that honey moisturizes the wound, provides a protective barrier, kills off microbes, and has a low pH. All these properties combine to make natural bee’s honey a good natural treatment for burns and wounds. (21)

In fact, one review of over 100 patients who suffered burns found that a natural honey wound dressing was more effective at wound healing than silver sulfadiazine. On average, wounds healed 2 weeks quicker by applying a pure honey dressing on the wound. (22)

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Raw Honey Can Ease Allergy Symptoms (Hay Fever Symptoms / Allergic Rhinitis)

The power of raw honey to boost your immune system can help to ease symptoms of allergic reactions.

On trial found that consuming around one tablespoon of raw honey 3 to 4 times a day helped to improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). After 4 weeks of the honey therapy, there was a marked improvement in the signs of hay fever. In fact, honey was just as effective as using a pharmaceutical antihistamine. (23)

However, some people should avoid taking honey because they could be allergic to some of its components. Researchers have found that honey allergies could be due to the pollen, botanical source, or traces of bee venom in the honey. (24)

Raw Honey Can Benefit Diabetic Patients

Even though honey is high in carbohydrates it has a moderate glycemic index and is healthier for diabetics than sugar.

A study of the benefits for diabetic patients drinking honey water found that, when compared with dextrose or sucrose, honey was a healthier alternative. In diabetics, honey caused a lower increase in plasma glucose levels. (25)

Other studies have shown that consuming raw honey can have a beneficial effect on the blood lipids of diabetics. In an 8-week randomized clinical trial, diabetics who consume honey had lower cholesterol levels and reduced body weight. (26)

However, Dr. Regina Castro from the Mayo Clinic says that honey can still affect your blood sugar level, but as honey is sweeter than sugar, you can use less off it. It is still important to count total carbohydrate consumption. (27)

You can find out other healthy foods that can help manage diabetes.

The Health Benefits of Honey Water

One of the best ways to strengthen your immune system and get all the amazing benefits from honey is to drink honey water daily.

Daily consumption of honey in warm water is an easy habit to get into. To use honey and warm water to really boost your general health, this is what you should do:

  1. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, natural honey in a glass of warm water.
  2. Add some lemon juice to boost the antioxidant power of the honey water.
  3. Drink the warm honey water drink on an empty stomach first thing each morning for best results.

You can also find out how to make honey water with cinnamon for even more health benefits.

Turmeric Golden Honey Against Infections

The blend of raw honey and turmeric has a very powerful healing potential. It can be used for bacterial and viral infections, as an anti-inflammatory remedy that eases seasonal allergies, and as a general immune booster.

This natural mix promotes beneficial gut flora, and can improve digestion.

I’ve already mentioned in this article the anti-bacterial properties of honey.

Turmeric has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. Several studies showed curcumin’s potential to kill bacteria and viruses. (30, 3132, 33)

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of black pepper (to optimize turmeric absorption and bio-availability – see more details here)

For some extra kick and additional health benefits you can also add:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

Add the turmeric powder and the black pepper to the honey and mix well until smooth. If you’re also using lemon zest and apple cider vinegar, add them as well. Put the mixture in a (preferably) glass, air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks (don’t consume it if it develops a metallic taste).

Instructions for use:

The amount you take depends on your needs and health problems.

  • For general immune support and seasonal allergies, take 1 tablespoon daily.
  • If you’re getting over a cold or flu, take half a teaspoon every hour on the first day of your treatment. On the second day, take half a teaspoon every 2 hours. On the third day, take half a teaspoon three times a day. You can find more natural ways to stay free from cold & flu here.
  • If you’re treating a respiratory condition (asthma, bronchitis, lung problems), consume half a teaspoon three times a day.

You should keep Golden Honey in your mouth until it’s completely dissolved.

Tips:

The blend can also be used as a toast topping. Spread a generous amount of Golden Honey over your whole grain toast and enjoy for breakfast.

Or, add it to your green smoothie.

You can also use the mixture to make tea (or a warm tonic). The brew will be very tasty if you also add lemon. Just mix one tablespoon of Golden Honey with a cup of hot water and enjoy during the day or in the evening.

Cautions:

Turmeric should not be taken by people who suffer from gallbladder problems. The spice causes contraction of the gallbladder muscles. It also lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

This is generally seen as a positive effect, but if you already have low blood pressure or you have issues with your blood sugar levels, consult your doctor first. See more groups that should avoid or limit turmeric consumption in my article turmeric should be avoided by these people.

Side Effects and Precautions of Raw Honey

Honey is a natural food that people have been taking as a medicine for thousands of years. Most adults and children can consume 2 or 3 tablespoons raw honey every day without any adverse side effects.

Honey is not recommended for children under 12 months of age. You should also avoid taking honey if you have a pollen allergy. (28)

Using honey, and not just for eating, is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

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