One of the most powerful natural substances provided to us by Mother Nature has to be honey! The health benefits and the diversity of what honey can be used for is amazing. Many Paleo followers will simply use honey in recipes, but honey can go a lot further than using it as a sweetener for cakes and drizzling over your morning Paleo-friendly granola.
Honey can come in many varieties, but one thing you want to ensure is that you’re always buying raw honey. Unfortunately, the majority of supermarket honey will be processed to a point that has completely killed off any active enzymes present. No enzymes equals no healing power! This may be okay if you’re using honey for consumption within recipes, but as a Paleo follower you always want to enhance the nutritional quality of your diet. Therefore, the last thing you want to be consuming is “dead” food, which essentially is what processed and heated honey has become.
In addition, be aware that in some countries, the honey that you purchase may also include sugar syrup. The amount of sugar syrup that is added can be at a certain percentage where it does not need to be listed as an ingredient on the label. Essentially, this means you will never know if table sugar (something every Paleo follower should be avoiding) is in your otherwise natural honey or not. If you want to be Paleo friendly, do your best to source raw and organic honey. Your best bet is to get it from a local supplier.
Manuka honey is the absolute best type of honey that you can use externally. Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, and its healing ability is due to the amount of methylglyoxa and antimicrobial properties that are over 100 times greater than what is found in standard honey. The cost of Manuka honey is definitely up there, but when you are only using this type of honey for external/topical purposes, and not using tablespoons at a time in your cooking, you will likely find that one small tub will last a year or more. You’ll want to ensure that the Manuka honey you purchase has an ‘Active’ rating (i.e. 12+ or 15+). The higher the rating, the more potent the honey will be. You can also purchase Manuka honey without an ‘Active’ rating which will be far cheaper than the types that do have the strong and active medicinal properties — this type of Manuka honey can be used for consumption within recipes.
As a side note, if anyone has not yet tried Leatherwood honey you absolutely must! The taste is unlike any honey you ever tried before. Leatherwood honey comes only from Tasmania, therefore if you are living outside of Australia you will probably need to pay a high price for it, but as a luxury item that you may enjoy trying at least once, you have a strong recommendation from me to give it a go!
Because honey is so amazing, you will want to be sure that you know that there is more that you can do with it than just enjoy its flavors. Here are two surprising things you can do with honey.
Treating Burns / Skin Infections
Although it’s not as common as it was years ago, using honey for burn treatment is still common practice within some hospitals around the world. You will want to use active Manuka honey for this. If you burn yourself when cooking, for instance, cool down the area with cold water (do not use ice directly on the skin) then apply the honey several times to the area.
Manuka honey is a wonderful treatment for infections and also helps to prevent infections from occurring. One of the biggest complications that can arise from burns is that of an infection. Applying honey with all of its active antibacterial properties will help to reduce this risk significantly.
With that being said, active Manuka honey also helps in healing wounds. By simply applying honey to an open wound you will have a natural disinfectant and healing aid. Try not to be too concerned with the stickiness of the honey on your skin; it can be uncomfortable, but the benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort.
Many people suffer from allergies such as hay fever within a certain local area. Although it may come as a surprise, honey can help, but it is absolutely crucial that you purchase local honey in a raw and unprocessed state.
When you buy locally-grown honey, bees will be collecting pollen from plants within your area. You’ll want to consume that honey because it has the essence of these plants that are causing your allergies to occur. Sourcing from a different area where plants in the environment are completely different will likely yield no real help in allergy prevention, because there is no exposure for your immune system to the allergens within the environment you are living.
It’s also said that by eating honey from your immediate area, you will never get sick!
Be patient when first consuming local honey for helping with allergies, as it can take a while for you your body to build up a level immunity.