I'm setting here having a hot cup of Stash's Lemon Ginger tea, drizzled with my favorite pure Arkansas honey when I turn on my laptop and read that the honey I'm having is most likely pasturized. Unless your honey says "raw," the word "pure" doesn't mean it's healthy. The National Honey Board says not all honey is created equal. The color and flavor of honey depends on the flowers that the honey bees have visited while producing it – and so do its medicinal properties. There are hundreds of different types of honey available in the U.S. alone. Unless you are lucky enough to know someone who keeps bees, you are probably buying at the grocery store. Here's some tips for buying honey for your health. With cold and flu season just around the corner, it's a great time to get the cupboard stocked with your favorite "under the weather" potions. Here's the lowdown on honey from Blisstree.com...
* Darker honeys generally have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys, according to the National Honey Board.
* Raw honey is generally considered to have more healing properties than pasteurized honey. Denser and more solid than pasteurized honey, raw honey contains all the things that nature put into the honey, such as bee pollen and propolis (which are said to have unique health benefits themselves). Most of the honey you see on grocery-store shelves is of the pasteurized variety. Many of these are labeled “pure” or “natural” honey, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re raw. If it’s raw, it will almost always say “raw.”
* Buckwheat honey is a dark, almost amber-colored honey that’s rich in iron and antioxidants. It’s been shown to help relieve coughing in children more effectively than cough syrup. Fair warning, though: Buckwheat honey has a very rich, distinctive taste that some people find unpleasant. So use sparingly; this isn’t heaping-spoonfuls-in-your-Cheerios kind of honey.
* Manuka honey is honey that comes from the flowers of New Zealand’s manuka bush (also known as a Tea Tree). This is kind of the gold standard of medicinal honey. All honeys have antibacterial properties, but some manuka honey contains high levels of additional, non-peroxide antibacterial elements that other honeys don’t. The antibacterial potency of manuka honey is measured by something called UMF. The label will generally state a manuka honey’s UMF factor; those with UMF 10-16+ are considered therapeutic.
When processed to a medical grade, manuka honey can be used topically to effectively treat chronic, infected wounds. It does this by helping prevent bacteria from attaching to the tissue, allowing the healing process to accelerate. It also has properties that may restore people’s sensitivity to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (such as the dreaded MRSA).
Like buckwheat honey, manuka honey has something of an unusual, medicinal taste.
* Clover honey is the most prevalent type of honey in the U.S. It’s generally light in color and has a sweet, mild taste.
And in case you’re still unconvinced, check out these reasons honey is a “miracle food” here.