Raw honey is the unpasteurized, unprocessed version of the conventional honey we find in stores. No processing means it maintains its enzyme and nutrient content better than its heat processed counterparts. Some of those nutrients include vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C. It also contains trace amounts of calcium, iron and potassium. Although it is not meant to be consumed in large quantities and will not provide a significant source of nutrition, it will provide more nutrition and benefit than the average sweetener. When buying raw honey you can expect it a bit more granular than the processed kind. It has a cloudier appearance than the more common clarified version. The flavor however, is a bit sweeter and more complex, with a stronger aroma. I find the raw version easier to work with, with a denser texture that's more like peanut butter than syrup making it less likely to drip, spill or crystallize.
Here are some of the benefits and ways to incorporate it:
Antibiotic - Honey naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, making effective for cuts, scrapes and even burns on the skin. The antibiotic quality also makes it very effective in skin care for acne prone skin.
Anti-inflammatory - Honey's anti-inflammatory properties make it a useful addition for summertime camping trips. If you're going to an area where there are mosquitos, poison ivy or poison oak, you may want to pack in some raw honey to ease itching associated with these conditions.
Immune Support - The antioxidants called polyphenols in honey provide protection from free radical damage, shown to support the immune system and keep you healthy all year round.Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/honey-falling-on-a-spoon-isolated-on-a-white-background-photo-p168340
Natural Relief for Colds - Honey in warm water is an effective treatment for the inflammation and bacteria that are found in the nose and throat during cold season. This mixed with its immune boosting antioxidants make a natural addition to your medicine cabinet.
Natural Source of Probiotics - Honey encourages the growth of bifidobacteria cells naturally found in the digestive tract which help produce lactic and acidic acid associated with healthy digestion and maintaining a healthy intestinal pH balance.
Natural Humectant - That means it helps retain moisture when applied to topically. Add it to your routine as a hair condition, face mask and lip balm.
Naturally Lighten Hair - Due to the hydrogen peroxide content naturally found in honey, it works well to lighten hair naturally, while also providing moisturizing benefits. Spread honey liberally anywhere you want to lighten hair, or use a mixture of warm water or tea and honey in a spray bottle and spray all over hair for an overall lightening effect.