The Health Benefits of Natural Honey



Bees are an intbackyard beehivesricate part of our homestead. Their ten hives pollinate our garden, meadow and orchard while they serve as a reminder to avoid all pesticides. We plant a succession of garden plants to add to the bees' diet and are grateful to take a portion of their honey in return. At first we were just glad to have them as pollinators and rejoiced when we also got honey. We next became aware of how efficient raw honey is for healing wounds. A couple years ago, I received a compilation of studies demonstrating the health benefits of ingested honey, and I've come to realize what a central part the bees are to the health of us and our farm.

These studies were compiled by Joyce Hammett who teaches holistic nutrition classes and has an apiary in Fleming, Ohio. Almost all of the studies come from other countries because there is little funding in the states for the benefits of small scale, local food.


The honey that these studies refer to is not what is found on the grocery shelf. Instead it is honey that is local to the region where people consume it. Besides being local, the honey has not been heated to keep it from crystallizing. It is therefore "raw honey." Ideally, it has not been strained so that the tiny pieces of wax and propolis (secretions from trees used by bees in their hives) further enhance the immune system. And although there are no standards for "organic" honey, this raw and unstrained honey ideally would be free of chemicals and genetically engineered crops. Many of these studies refer to this honey as "natural honey."

Here is a brief summary of some  of these studies:

Antioxidants in Honey: Antioxidants are substances that slow down the deterioration of our cells. So much is being written about antioxidants these days that a small dose of chemistry helps to understand how important they are to good health. "Free radicals" are unstable atoms that react readily with other molecules, causing chain reactions that can damage DNA and cell walls. Antioxidants can safely bind free radicals to protect tissue in all parts of our bodies.

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2/16/2014 12:49:43 PM

This article about honey is really very useful. I like it

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