Health Benefits of Raw Unprocessed Honey
Only Raw Unprocessed Honey Has All the Nutrients
You will most probably know the health benefits of raw unprocessed honey, or simply pure honey. That is why all these years I have been avoiding writing on this topic. Being a writer and a firm believer of the health benefits of pure honey, it is indeed a torture not to write about it. But to write only about the health benefits of pure honey will most probably bore you down within one minute. So I have taken a fresh approach, same as I did for my many other articles on those very common topics. I shall tell my personal story of my interesting encounter with pure honey, and the particular type of honey I am consuming, which is the tualang honey.
Cheap processed honey
Raw Unprocessed Tualang Honey
How to Determine Whether Honey Is Pure
Only pure honey can claim to possess all the nutrients of honey. We need to understand clearly the term “pure honey”. To me, “pure” honey means raw unprocessed honey. Simply stated, “pure” honey is extracted straight from the honeycomb, sieved and bottled immediately. That is why it is called “raw unprocessed honey”. There is no other stage involved, such as heating, pasteurizing and adding of additives.
To be honest, as ordinary consumers it is not possible to be absolutely certain that the honey one is consuming is 100% pure, unless one can scrutinize each batch personally at the source every time. During the processing stages there is still a chance of mishandling or contamination, thus compromising the purity of the honey. Even the established and trusted brand of Manuka honey from New Zealand has recently been tested to contain certain harmful chemicals!
So what is the best bet to ensure one gets real pure honey? There is unfortunately none, unless one harvests the honey personally. Since we are not bee keepers and honey harvesters, we can adopt the second best method. For me this is my second best method to secure reliable pure honey. I get my pure honey from my trusted friend who knows the reliable source supplier. In the end, it is still based on trust.
Some may suggest to have the honey analyzed by professional testing laboratories. But are we going to spend money and time doing this every time? My friend did that initially, but the test results were not always the same, although the honey came from the same source. The reasons are many. The most common one was the honey was contaminated during handling, effectively compromised on its purity.
Having said that, there are certain guideline-tests to ascertain acceptable level of honey purity. This you can find them in the internet. Below are 4 such tests plus an additional fifth test taught to me by a "honey-expert" friend.
- Texture test. Pure honey is more concentrated and will not drip or spread that easily.
- Water test. Pure honey being more concentrated, will lump and settle at the bottom in a glass of water.
- Shelf-life test. Pure honey will crystallize over time to become more concentrated.
- Light-a-fire test. Dip the tip of a matchstick with honey and strike to light it. Pure honey will light up the match. Compromised honey will not because of its moisture content.
- This test was taught to me by my "honey-expert" friend. Rub honey between your thumb and index finger. If your fingers do not get sticky, then the honey is pure . "Sticky" honey indicates sugar has been added.
The Asian Rock Bee
Bee Size Comparison
Huge Beehives of the Asian Rock Bees
What Is Raw Unprocessed Tualang Honey
The raw unprocessed honey that I consume comes from the Asian rock bees, with the scientific name “Apis Dorsata”. The honey they produce is called the tualang black honey. These Asian rock bees are the largest honey bees in the world and measure over an inch in size. These bees live wild in the jungles and cannot be domesticated because of their ferocity. They make their hives in special trees called the tualang trees (Koompasia excelsa). Hence the name tualang black honey. These tualang trees are huge and are found scattered in the jungles of Malaysia. These Asian rock bees will specially build their hives on the base of the tualang tree branches which are strong and can withstand the weight of these huge hives. The hives are attached to the base of the strong branches and are gigantic in size and disc-shaped. Each hive can measure up to 6 feet across with a colony of 30,000 bees! A single tualang tree can accommodate as many as 100 hives! These tualang trees are huge and can reach up to 250 feet in height equivalent to a 30-storey high building! Another special characteristic of the tualang tree is that it does not branch until almost 100 feet up! This means the beehives are safely located high above ground, away from predators.
In Malaysia, the tualang honey is harvested mostly by the indigenous dwellers who live in the jungles. We call them the “orang asli” which means “indigenous people”. These dwellers are familiar with their jungle surroundings and know how to locate the hives. So it is virtually impossible for the ordinary person to really scrutinize the honey harvest.
The Gigantic Tualang Tree Towering Over the Others
The Huge Buttress Roots of the Tualang Tree
Ladder Scaffolding on Tualang Tree Trunk
Bottling Pure Tualang Honey
Special Nutrients In Raw Unprocessed Honey
All the nutrients, minerals, vitamins and enzymes in the pure honey are not being compromised because the honey has not been processed. Honey is made by bees from the nectar and pollen of flowers. It comprises a complex combination of water, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and carbohydrates of fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose. Raw unprocessed honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Below is a list of health benefits of raw unprocessed honey:
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Strengthens immune system
- Eliminates allergies and infections
- Heals external wounds and skin problems
- Relieves pain and coughs
- Calms nerves
- Treats ulcers
- Treats bronchitis and asthma
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Balances sugar level
Honey also contains small amounts of pollen and propolis. Propolis is made from the sap of trees and is used to build honeycomb. Propolis has phytonutrients that can prevent tumor buildup and cancer. Most processed honey will be deplete of pollens and propolis. Furthermore, processed honey will be stripped of most nutrients because of the heating and pasteurization processes.
My Own Bottle of Raw Unprocessed Tualang Honey
Best Way to Consume Honey
Generally people use honey as a replacement for sugar in drinks and food, or dilute honey with water to make honey drink. For me I consume my raw unprocessed honey as a health tonic. I take a tablespoon of honey neat, once first thing in the morning, and once before going to bed. The honey will ooze down the throat and act as a cleansing agent against any bacteria, fungus or germs. It will also reduce or stop coughs. It is preferable to use a plastic spoon or ceramic or porcelain spoon to avoid the metallic taste if a metal spoon is used. By the way I am also selling this special raw unprocessed tualang honey in 1kg glass bottle.
The tualang honey is lighter in colour when freshly collected. The honey will gradually mature into very dark color and become more viscous and thicker in consistency with higher sugar content.
A Word of Caution
There are botulism spores in the air, water, soil and plants. Botulism spores are a type of harmful bacteria which may cause severe poisoning resulting in vomiting, nausea, and even paralysis. The process of boiling will effectively destroy these spores. Raw unprocessed honey may habor traces of these spores. As such, as a measure of precaution, raw unprocessed honey should not be given to infants and children below the age of two. After this age, a person will have developed natural defences against these spores.
How to Store Honey
Honey should be stored at room temperature, in a cool dry place away from direct heat or sunlight. You should not keep the honey in the refrigerator as the cold temperature will harden it making it difficult to scoop and mix. Cold temperature also speeds up the process of granulation.
Honey is best stored in glass bottle or container to avoid any chemical reactions. If stored properly, pure honey has no expiry period as it cannot be spoilt.