Raw honey is anti-everything. (in a good way!)
When someone asks about the benefits of raw honey, that's how I usually begin. Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, antiseptic...you get the gist. It has so many benefits but I wanted to focus on just a few in this post given the crazy cold and flu season that we are having.
First off, the difference between raw honey and conventional honey that you find in your grocery store is preservation of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Since raw honey hasn't been heated, processed or pasteurized, all of the goodness is preserved. Unless your honey says that it is raw, it will not not have the benefits I'm going to describe.
Try to buy your raw honey from a local source if you can because then it is produced by bees who are in or near the environment that you live. Consuming local foods is beneficial because they contain immune-boosting properties. About a year ago, I discovered Nude Bee Honey Co. in Toronto. I was amazed to find out that it comes from a rooftop in downtown Toronto only 6km (3.5 miles) from my house!
[WARNING: Honey should NOT be given to children under 12 months of age due to the risk of botulism.]
Raw honey hit the big leagues when a Penn State study asked parents to give children honey, honey-flavoured dextromethorphan (an OTC children's cough syrup ingredient) or nothing. It was proven that the children who received a dose of honey 30 minutes before bedtime improved the cough's frequency and severity.
- Mix 1 tbsp of raw honey with 1/2 tsp of organic cinnamon and take daily at the onset of of cough. It tastes delicious and is easy to give to children.
Raw honey is a wonderful way to help treat the common cold. Given that it is anti-viral, it can help to speed up healing time. It is very soothing on a sore throat as well.
- Mix 1-2 tbsp of honey, the juice of 1/2 lemon and a small piece of grated ginger in some hot water and drink. The water will hydrate you (flushing out toxins), the lemon will give you a boost of vitamin C and the honey and ginger will go to work on the virus.
Raw honey has so many other benefits so definitely check it out if you suffer from allergies, digestive issues, fatigue, insomnia or diabetes.