The Many Health Benefits of Raw Honey

According to Dr. Ron Fessenden, M.D., M.P.H. the average American consumes over 150 pounds of refined sugar, plus an additional 62 pounds of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) every year.

In comparison, we consume just one pound of honey per year. According to new research and the advice of nutritionists and medical doctors if you can switch out your intake of refined sugar and use pure raw honey instead the health benefits can be enormous!

A report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine further backs the benefits of raw honey with their opinion:

“The therapeutic potential benefits of pure, raw honey is grossly underutilized. It is widely available in most communities and although we don’t totally understand why it can heal various health conditions we know that from studies it has many benefits.  The time has now come for conventional medicine to lift the blinds off this ‘traditional remedy’ and give it its due recognition.”

Throughout history honey has been an important food. God used honey to motivate the Israelite people when He told them to, “Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 33:3)

What is Honey?
Honey is far more than a natural sweetener. It is a “functional food”, which means it is a natural food with health benefits. It contains natural antioxidants, enzymes and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. In addition, the nutraceuticals contained in honey help neutralize damaging free radical activity.

One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, yet it has a healthy glycemic load around 10 for 1 Tbsp, which is a little less than a banana. and does not cause a sugar spike and elevated insulin release like white sugar. Although honey is an affordable food, bees spend thousands of hours collecting pollen from around two million flowers to make one pound of pure honey.

Why Choose Raw Honey?
Research by the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University tested 60 honey products from supermarkets and grocery stores and found that 76% contained no trace of pollen. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that any honey products that have been ultra-filtered, as these have, are not actually honey and therefore the health benefits of honey cannot be assumed.

Commercial honey is often heavily processed and may even have been chemically refined. Excessive heat destroys the natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in honey. Filtering and processing eliminates many of the beneficial phytonutrients including pollen and enzyme-rich propolis. The only way to achieve sparkling clear honey is by heat, so avoid the golden syrup-like honey in favor of opaque organic raw honey.

Raw honey is a concentrated source of natural goodness. Benefits include:
•    A rich taste
•    High nutritional benefits
•    Promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestine
•    Soothes and heals skin wounds
•    Blocks free radicals
•    Aids sleep
•    Counters pollen allergies
•    Reduces homocysteine levels to maintain a healthy heart

Best of all, honey does not need special storage or refrigeration – use it by the spoonful straight from the jar.

Raw Honey Health Benefits

Honey-infused bandages are known to aid healing. Peter Charles Molan at the University of Waikato, New Zealand found that honey reacts with the body’s fluids to make hydrogen peroxide, creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

Research studies have already shown that replacing sugar with honey in the diet results in less weight gain and lower blood sugar levels. Switching to honey may even aid in weight loss when compared to diets containing sugar or HFCS.

Honey provides a ready supply of energy in the form of liver glycogen, making it ideal for energetic morning starts and as a pre- and post-exercise energy source. It also boosts the immune system, acting as a preventative against any number of debilitating diseases.

Honey contains many antioxidants including flavonoids to maintain the body’s health balance. Pinostrobin supports enzyme activity while the antioxidant-rich organic acids maintain an optimal slightly acidic pH in the body. Pinocembrin is an antioxidant flavonoid thought to be unique to honey while the amino acids in honey are the body’s building blocks of protein.

Honey promotes restorative sleep as it slowly releases the glycogen needed for essential bodily functions during sleep. Adding honey to milk at bedtime helps the body release melatonin into the brain which is necessary for deep sleep.

Melatonin also boosts immunity and helps rebuild tissue during periods of rest. Poor sleep, by comparison, has been shown to be a risk factor for hypertension, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and arthritis. As honey is a proven sleep aid, it naturally lowers the risk of all these health problems.

Proverbs 25:16 says “Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!” Although honey is one of the healthiest sweeteners, it still should be used in moderation.


Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

Get FREE Access!

Free eBook to boost
metabolism & healing

30 Gluten-Free Recipes
& detox juicing guide

Shopping Guide &
premium newsletter

21 comments so far - add yours!

  1. Ashley says:

    Dr. Axe,

    I am having a home birth next month (due May 16th). Could you recommend an after birth meal? Not sure what my body needs after such a physically and emotionally exhausting feat. Preferably something that could be prepared and frozen a week or two in advance. Will have hummus & veggies, fruit and antioxidant trail mix on hand during birth.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    • Carol says:

      Ashley, why would you want to eat during the process of giving birth, since digestion stops during labor ? This can be very dangerous if yoiu should run into complcations!!! Besides who on earth wants to eat during labor?? ( not me) Be sure to get enough fliuds after birth ie, juice, water, somethging with electrolytes perhaps. God knows what He’s doing by stopping the digestion process during labor. I would recommend being sensible! The very best to you! Carol R.N.

  2. Lisa says:

    How can I utilize raw semi-solid honey into foods and drinks without heating it thereby killing off all it’s wonderful benefits?

  3. Bob says:

    This is great – but it’s funny that you quoted God. Like we know exactly what God said. LOL

  4. Stella says:

    ohhhhh thats why when i ate a little too much of manuka honey i vomited lollllll on my way to school ! wowowwwwww it’s pretty powerful

  5. Melchor Brix Corpuz says:

    How much of a honey do I ideally take each day? Is one tablespoon per day enough? Or will it increase my sugar level? How safe is daily dosage of honey vis-à-vis preventing diabetes? Please advise so I can be guided accordingly. Thank you.

  6. wendy says:

    We buy honey from a local bee keeper who swears it’s not heated and is raw..but it is clear.should I believe him? He uses a centrifuge to get the honey out of the comb.

  7. Tom says:

    Raw honey is awesome but what’s really scary is that the average American eats more than 200 pounds of sugar and HFCS every year! Lay off the junk!

  8. Nabeel says:

    Hello Dr. Axe,
    i have serious question about my health my age is 22 and my weight is only 43kg. i am very skinny tried to do bodybuilding but nothing happen good i want to get some fat and weight my friends laugh on me :(
    please tell me any trick to get fat and weight fast

  9. James says:

    Hey Dr. Axe I’m only 38 and I am having problems with memory loss. Its really becoming a fear because sometimes I can not remember basic words when having conversations. Do you have some good articles or remedies for overall brain health? Also just curious if dipping tobacco has negative effects on the brain.. Thanks

  10. Jeanne says:

    Where can one get raw honey? Should I buy local or online? I live in Mississippi, just south of Memphis, TN. Thanks!

  11. Valerie says:

    I an having severe problems with IBS, do you have any suggestions? T1s don’t work, nor the any spasm pills. I don’t generally take pills but the pain is ridiculous. I am trying to eat cleaner, mostly homemade smoothies and steamed vegetables are all I can tolerate. I tend to have IBS-C but have been putting in a natural fiber in my smoothies in the morning but nothing is really doing anything. Should I be worried.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>