The Dangers and Benefits of Raw Honey
by Author of EarthNutrients
Honey is a popular addition to many diets, but it’s been shown to have certain effects beyond the culinary. Raw honey is used by many as a treatment for allergies and for its antibacterial properties; however, many experts warn against ingesting raw, unpasteurized honey because it could pose certain health dangers for the consumer. Researchers at the University of Florida also report some of the supposed health benefits of raw honey are not necessarily reputable.
Some seasonal allergy sufferers have found relief from their allergies in raw honey. Raw honey exposes consumers to traces of the pollen that would otherwise cause allergy flareups with exposure, desensitizing them to these effects. The North Dallas Honey Company says a daily tablespoon of honey can actually act like an allergy shot. Pasteurized honey removes the pollen, so only raw honey is an effective means of keeping seasonal allergies at bay. Some experts warn, however, this is an extremely dangerous means of warding off allergies as consumers have no way of knowing how much pollen is in the honey and it has the potential to cause a bad reaction.
According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, applying raw honey to infected wounds can reduce redness and swelling as well as reducing healing time from bacterial infection. The effects are comparable to antibiotics. Honey has also been proven effective in treating infective conjunctivitis, an infection of the eye, reducing healing time for the infection as well as decreasing swelling and pus discharge.
Researchers at the University of Florida report honey can effectively be used to treat burns. When applied to burns, the honey reduces air contact, relieving pain and possibly infection. The New York Times backs up this assessment, saying honey is faster in treating small, non-serious burns than certain antibiotic ointments. Researchers report honey can sometimes be safely used by diabetics, but these individuals should always consult a doctor before including honey in their diet.
The National Institutes of Health report you should never consume raw honey in order to prevent food poisoning, particularly if you are already immunocompromised. It’s especially dangerous to give raw honey to infants under the age of one. According to MayoClinic.com, giving raw honey to infants may cause infant botulism, a rare but serious gastrointestinal sickness caused by exposure to bacterial spores. Infant botulism can be life-threatening.