Honey is a sweet edible substance that is produced by certain insects from the nectar of flowers. Raw honey, as the name suggests, is completely natural honey that is unprocessed, unheated and unfiltered. It is the purest form of honey that can be offered by nature.
Honey loses all the natural goodness when it is heated and filtered in order to give it a ‘clear’ appearance. Raw honey may not look as clear and smooth as commercially produced honey, but it is a far better alternative, as it contains all the undisturbed nutrients from nature. Raw honey also has a distinctive natural aroma and flavor that is indicative of the particular flower that it has been extracted from.
For centuries, honey has been recognized for its healing benefits – it is antiseptic, antibacterial, anti fugal and antibiotic. Raw honey is quickly absorbed by the body, and is also known to help with stomach and digestion problems. Eating honey prevents indigestion and also boosts appetite. Honey has also been used for the treatment of stomach ulcers and acidity. Moreover, honey heals allergies and burns on the skin, and is very good for sore throats as well.
Raw honey plays a part in beautification too. It can be used as a moisturizer on skin, and also as a treatment for various skin, hair and scalp problems. It contains antioxidants, and thus can be consumed or applied as an anti-aging potion.
Honey can come in a variety of physical forms. One of the most popular forms of pure honey is comb honey, which is basically sold as sections of honeycomb cut and put in jars without any form of processing. It tastes like chewy candy, and is more expensive than other kinds.
Then there is creamed honey, in which the crystallization is controlled in order to make it a smoother. Creamed honey, also known as whipped honey, contains a large amount of small crystals that make it appear more like butter, allowing it to be used as a spread. There is also liquid honey, which is usually strained to remove honeycomb wax or other particles, but still contains pollen, enzymes and other natural minerals. The flavor of honey is usually determined by its colour. Generally, a lighter-colored honey is milder in taste while a darker colored honey has a fuller flavor. Granulated honey is normally lighter in color, which is why creamed honey appears that way.
There are different grades to measure the quality of honey. Grade A being good honey, Grade B being reasonably good, Grade C honey is fairly good, while Grade D is considered poor. Raw honey is usually Grade A honey, as it is natural and has not been tampered with.
Heating is perhaps one of the most harmful processing that can be done on honey, as it breaks down the enzymes and thus destroys the nutritional value of natural honey.
United States, China, Turkey and Argentina are all top producers of honey, according to the 2005 report by FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations). Raw honey is manufactured and sold by a number of companies today. The prices of raw honey are slightly higher than commercially manufactured honey – raw comb honey being more expensive than other kinds.
Raw honey is a great alternative to sugar as a sweetener, and is also enriched in natural nutrients that are not available in sugar or in processed honey. Raw honey offers health benefits for a number of stomach or skin troubles. There truly exists no sweeter match to the goodness that raw, pure honey has to offer.
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