There’s a reason why bees are seen as an icon of diligence and a good work ethic. These little insects work hard — visiting two million flowers and traveling over 55,000 miles to make a pound of honey. All that work and each little bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon in her life! 
The raw honey these little insects make is chock-full of health benefits. Processed honey is heated and often filtered, destroying and filtering out beneficial properties. Raw honey, however, is not heated any higher than the natural temperature of a hive. This leaves all of the beneficial nutrients, pollen, and enzymes intact.
These reasons are why raw honey is a part of our recommended foods at The Wellness Way. We use it topically in our coffee face mask and in several recipes, like the honey apple chicken salad. It’s also one of our preferred sweeteners due to its many health benefits.
What are the Health Benefits of Raw Honey?
Honey is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, making this food something to buzz about. Here are 5 health benefits of raw honey:
1) SUPPORTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Honey supports the immune response. It’s been shown to increase critical components of the immune system, like T and B lymphocytes, antibodies, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes, and natural killer cells in cell studies. It also works as a prebiotic, increasing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which may impact the immune response. 
2) REDUCES INFLAMMATION
Honey also reduces inflammation by providing antioxidants that fight free radicals or oxidative stress. Polyphenols and flavonoids help the body protect itself against chronic inflammation. It’s well known that inflammation is at the root of most illnesses and pain. Various studies have supported what they knew in ancient times: honey reduces inflammation. Some studies indicate honey could reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and others. 
3) MAY HELP ALLERGIES
Raw honey is loaded with pollen. If you take about a tablespoon a day of raw and local honey, you may help protect yourself from allergies. You want the pollen to be from flowers in your area, so you are ingesting local pollen. This small exposure to the pollen will encourage your body to produce antibodies. Plus, as noted above, honey reduces inflammation!
4) GREAT FOR SKIN
Honey is excellent for your skin! That’s why we use it in our detoxifying coffee mask. It’s antimicrobial and loaded with nutrients that help fight acne. It also has enzymes that will help gently exfoliate the skin and is even safe for sensitive skin. Honey is also very moisturizing.
5) HEALS CUTS AND BURNS
Besides being used for thousands of years to treat wounds, numerous studies support the therapeutic effect of honey on wounds and burns.  Raw honey also has natural antimicrobial effects. It can create a barrier that protects the wound from infection while offering enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide. Studies have also shown the therapeutic use of honey on wounds can reduce scarring. 
How do you get the Health Benefits of Honey?
Enjoy it in Healthy Recipes
One of the best ways to benefit from honey is to eat it. Everyone knows that honey is a sweet treat, so feel free to eat it straight from a spoon, or you can enjoy it in recipes. Here are a few of our favorites!
- Honey Mustard
- Honey Apple chicken salad
- Paleo Turtle Cheesecake
- No-Bake Energy Balls
- Cucumber Watermelon Salsa
Remember—it’s best not to heat honey above the normal temperature of the beehive. If you do so, the honey will lose many of its health benefits. Keep the honey raw and local for the best results!
Use it Topically
Your skin is the largest organ of the body. It absorbs what we put on it, which is why we need to be careful about ingredients. Honey is wonderful for the skin when you apply it topically. Start with our coffee face mask and then try these ideas:
- A homemade honey shampoo 
- Honey lip balm 
- Look for cosmetics or lotions that contain honey. 
- Some creams for skin conditions like eczema or acne even have honey in them. 
The tricky thing with applying honey topically is that it’s sticky. If it’s not mixed in with something to remove the stick, you’ll likely want to wash it off after several minutes, so you don’t end up with dust and dirt caked onto your skin.
Help with Nutritional Supplements
Anyone who takes our supplements can attest that most of them leave something to be desired in the way of taste. This is because the sugar or artificial sweeteners needed to make them more palatable aren’t good for minds or bodies. What’s a way to keep the nutritional benefits of the supplements but also make them easier to take? Honey!
You can pour the powders from the capsules onto a spoonful of honey or use the honey as a chaser for the liquid supplements. Either way, you’ll be getting all the above benefits while helping the taste of the other, far less tasty, supplements that help support your body.
Raw Honey is Worth the Buzz!
As you can see, it’s well worth getting some raw honey, and even better if you choose local. Another great thing about raw honey is that it doesn’t go bad. If you see crystals in your honey, just put the closed jar in a bowl of warm water to melt them away. Just don’t let it get above 90 degrees F.
Are you looking for an easy way to support your body and set your health up for success? Get some raw honey! Purchasing from a farmer’s market will support a small business and ensure the honey is raw and local. To further support the immune response and make the benefits of honey go further, contact a local Wellness Way clinic.
- Honey Trivia: National Honey Board
- Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research – PMC (nih.gov)
- Honey and it’s nutritional and anti-inflammatory value: NIHb
- Honey as a topical treatment for acute and chronic wounds: The Cochrane Review
- The antibacterial activities of honey: PubMed
- DIY Honey Shampoo: Empowered Sustenance
- All Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm: Thank Your Body
- Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: A Review: PubMed
- Home Made Acne Spot Treatment: Dermatocare
Would love to read articles on health!