We all know that honey can be beneficial. It can help soothe coughs and sore throats, its a natural source of energy, and it can help you sleep. But did you know that raw honey has many more benefits than the regular, pasteurized honey you can find at the grocery store?

The honey you find at the grocery store has been heated, watered down, and filtered to remove any pollen. It is rather confusing as to why the pollen is removed, considering its immense health benefits, but it all goes back to a time when the Chinese mass produced honey when the demand skyrocketed. When you buy honey that has been processed and filtered, you are basically missing out on tons of good nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants. The honey you are buying has basically no nutritional value, and is essentially fake.

If you want to reap the benefits that real honey can offer, you have to buy it raw. What does this mean? It means the honey has not been processed, heated, or pasteurized in the time from hive to home. Now that we have that covered, lets talk more about the benefits of raw honey.

Skin and Medical Benefits

Honey is a natural antibiotic. This means that you can put honey on a wound or burn, and not only will it soothe the area, but it will protect it from infection. It has also been known to help with skin conditions like acne, being that it is a natural antiseptic substance. Some people use it as a scrub, and others use it like a mask. It can also help reduce or remove acne scars. Procuring good quality raw manuka honey from online stores like Steens Honey could help you solve a lot of your skin problems.

Raw honey is beneficial to the immune system, as well. Because it is loaded with antioxidants, it protects against free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known to cause cancer and disease, along with speeding up the aging process and damaging tissue.

Do you struggle with allergies? Some people swear by taking a teaspoon or two of honey every day to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies.

Digestive Health Benefits

Raw honey is used to help with a few digestive issues. It has been known to help with diarrhea, and the stomach virus H. Pylori. H. Pylori is known to cause ulcers, and sometimes even cancer; in fact, it is the main cause of gastric cancer. Raw honey has been known to inhibit the growth of H. Pylori.

Acting as a probiotic, honey stimulates the growth of the good bacteria bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria lives in the intestines and aids in digestion.

Energy and Sleep Benefits

Like I mentioned earlier, raw honey can help naturally increase energy and stamina. It is dense in natural glucose and fructose, and carbohydrates that are easy for the body to absorb.

Many athletes consume honey before and/or after a workout, both for energy and for recovery.

Honey also helps promote sleep through the increase in insulin, which results in the releasing of serotonin. Serotonin is then converted into melatonin, the natural chemical that regulates sleep.

Knowing Where Your Food Came From Has Benefits, Too

Its always better to know where your food came from, and honey is no different. When you buy local and organic raw honey, you know the process it went through before it hit the shelf, the ingredients it contains, and you know the source. You know that you are getting actual honey, and you know that you will be able to enjoy the natural benefits from it.

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Written by: Gabrielle Pfeiffer is a freelance writer from North Dakota with a background in health and fitness.