Raw honey is a very different product than mass-produced store-bought honey from the supermarket. “They heat that honey at 120 degrees, basically killing any of the live enzymes, nutrients, and anti-bacterial properties that the raw honey would have had,” said Widmark. “Bees know what they’re doing, and their hives are typically at about 82 degrees. When you heat honey at such high temperatures, you’re taking everything out of it that has health benefits.”
Honey aficionados are enamored of the natural sweetness, gooey texture, and endless variety of tastes. Homey is always balm to the soul. “Honey is a natural sweetener but unlike other sugars, cane sugar or processed sugar, it metabolizes much slower in the body and doesn’t give you that sugar high spike-and-drop,” explained Clement. Research studies by cancer and diabetes treatment centers have indicated that honey can serve as a cancer-prevention tool for certain types of cancers because of the anti-oxidants in raw honey. Some diabetics who cannot process refined sugar because they don’t have the insulin to break it down when it releases so quickly into the bloodstream are able to tolerate a limited amount of honey as a sweetener.
“Obviously anyone who has diabetes should talk to their doctor first, but I have many clients who are diabetic that love the raw honey as a natural sweetener who handle it fine while they can’t process refined and cane sugars,” said Clement.
There are articles on the benefits of honey in terms of weight loss, energy sustenance, and as a sleep remedy. It has medicinal value as a topical treatment to injuries, specifically burns. “It’s like a liquid bandage,” explained Clement. “It protects bacterial growth on open skin, allowing the burn to heal while being flexible. And it’s easily washed off. It’s much better than gauze or other adhesives.”
Burn centers around the world utilize honey to ensure healing without infection or tearing of the skin from tough adhesives.
Then there is bee pollen, which many honey farmers and consumers consider a super-food. Bees collect pollen and nectar as food, with nectar serving as their carbohydrates and pollen as their protein source. They have little sacs on their sides where they store pollen. To gather extra pollen, beekeepers can pass their bees through tight screens.