Raw Honey Health Impact
Honey. Although it is most often a term of endearment, honey in its raw form is rapidly taking the place of other sugars because of its known health benefits. Move over, sugar.
“Raw is the most important quality in a honey: more important than ‘local‘, more important than ‘organic‘. Raw is so important because only raw honey contains health-promoting properties like antioxidants, enzymes, bee pollen, etc.,” said Daniel Rhoda, Aseda product manager.
Aseda’s Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Baron Kirk met Nana Kwasi Agyemang, Chief of the Ashante-Twii people of Ghana, Africa. Kirk developed a relationship with the tribes people, who were harvesting raw honey in Mole National Forest and Game Reserve.
Kirk said, “An equally important aspect of the relationship is the opportunity it offers to engage and empower a tribal people.”
Aseda, Kirk’s company, has negotiated with the Ashante-Twii people to naturally harvest raw dark amber honey from Ghana, and ship it across the Atlantic by boat to sustain the demand for honey in our current bee decline.
“Honey, it should be noted, has a variety of uses across cultures from simple sweetener to a medicinal ingredient to the satisfaction of gourmet tastes.” Kirk said, “Generally, it is known the darker the honey the more antioxidants it has.”
In 2003 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted the first study on honey and its effect on human blood, which found honey had a “mild protective effect.” In this honey antioxidant study, researchers tested the blood of 25 men, aged 15-28, over five weeks; they found drinking 4 tablespoons of buckwheat honey mixed into a 16-ounce glass of water improved antioxidant levels in their blood.
According to the 1998 The Doctors Book of Food Remedies by Prevention for centuries doctors used to routinely keep a jar of honey in their black bag as a treatment for skin wounds. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1664) honey was used to dispel pathogenic heat, clear away toxins, relieve pain and combat dehydration, according to Li Shizen, author of Compendium of Materia Medica. In Ayurveda honey is called “Madhu” and its qualities are often explained as promoter of the healing process.
“Shop for raw honey. High heats used in making processed honey will disable some of the protective compounds,” said Peter Molan, Ph. D., professor of biochemistry and director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, to Prevention.
The American table sugar bowl might soon be replaced with a raw honey jar. Toast, anyone?