We’re often asked about our raw materials here at Eco Food Wrap. As you know, we use organic and fair-trade ingredients (such as our cotton printed with low-impact organic dyes) and even source part of the ingredients from our own bees (you can read more about our cruelty-free process in our blog The Buzz on Bees).
We love our bees, and go to great lengths to ensure they live free of toxins and enjoy a clean bush environment. One of the great things about keeping your own hives is that you get to enjoy the wonderful raw honey they produce. Honey has been known to be beneficial to our health since the time of the Ancient Egyptians- a culture that actually inspired our story. In this blog we thought we’d take a look at Nature’s miracle nectar and how it can benefit your own health.
Raw honey is defined as honey that has not been heated above the natural temperature of the hive, which sits at around 40-45° Celsius. As a food, raw honey contains natural enzymes and vitamins as well as other nutrients and it acts as a powerful antioxidant. Many of these nutritious qualities are destroyed when commercial honey is put through heating and pasteurisation and pasteurised honey is equivalent to eating refined sugars. Since the dawn of civilisation it has been hailed to strengthen the immune system, eliminate allergies, promote digestive health and as a remedy for wounds and infections.
There have also been studies into Raw Honey’s ability to treat ulcers, stabilise blood pressure, balance sugar levels, and effectively treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties even earned it pride of place in most Ancient Egyptian tombs, as they believed it to be a true elixir of life and essential to one’s passage through the afterlife as well.
It’s this liquid gold’s anti-inflammatory effects that have some naturopath doctors excited, and while no clinical studies have proven the efficacy of Raw Honey for allergy symptoms, many practicing medical professionals believe the fact Honey contains small amounts of pollen can act as a sort of ‘natural immunity’, allowing our bodies to develop antibodies and become accustomed to their presence, so that less histamine is released, resulting in lesser allergic responses. (Source: Medical Daily; Dr Matthew Brennecke, Rocky Mountains Wellness Centre).
It even makes you feel better when you’re sick- a persistent cold can be soothed with two tablespoons of honey- and it even helps you sleep! Similar to sugar, honey can cause a rise in insulin and release serotonin- the brain’s happiness transmitter. Our bodies also convert serotonin into melatonin, which helps regulate the quality and length of sleep and our wake cycles, meaning better sleeping patterns.
As a natural antibiotic, honey can also be used to treat wounds and burns by disinfecting sores from bacteria, and many varieties have been found to be effective in treating wounds and ulcers when applied topically. The Manuka honey variety, for example, is being studied by the University of Waikato as the nectar from Manuka trees contain antibacterial agents that are useful in wound healing. It has even been used topically for dandruff and scalp treatments, as these properties proved effective, both on the elimination of dandruff and the healing of sores and lesions from other skin conditions.
Of course- it tastes amazing and is an amazing natural sweetener as an alternative to refined sugars and commercial nectars- which is why it’s been considered a super-food for over 2000 years! It’s also great to learn how to harvest our Honey in a way that is best for our bee friends- ensuring we take only what they make in surplus so that they always have more than enough for their own hives. That means no smokers! We are so grateful to these amazing creatures for all that they give us and the environment around us. After all, they’re a big part of what we do here at Eco Food Wrap too!
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