Originally published March 18 2008
Raw Honey: Exploring the Benefits of This Ancient Superfood
by Judith Fine-Sarchielli
(NaturalNews) Winnie the Pooh had his "huny pot". I stick my spoon, instead of my head, into the raw honey jar; my greed for this nutritious superfood is akin to Winnie's. Honeybees gather nectar for their honey stomachs and pollen for the baskets they carry on their back legs, and don't notice me as I sit on my front porch in the Topanga Canyon winter sunshine.
Each day, I scoop raw honey from the jar and savor the taste and health benefits of history's oldest agricultural product that has existed for millions of years. The ancient Egyptians farmed honey 3,000 years ago, and considered bees the symbol of sacred femininity. They also used honey for healing wounds and as a preservative, due to its antibacterial properties. Commercial honey, which is heated and pasteurized, has fewer benefits.
Honeybees, Apis melifera, are disappearing in some regions of the U.S. due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is rampant on the East Coast. Honeybees in the east are disoriented, not reproducing, and
dying. Pesticides, parasitic mites and viruses, and climate change have been suggested as a cause. However, some studies indicate that the electromagnetic field is being altered by our communication systems, such as cell phones and wireless computers. Scientists are currently trying to find the true cause of this potentially serious situation.
According to Maraym Heneis, producer of the documentary video, The Vanishing Bees, bees pollinate one-third of the produce in the USA. Without honeybees we could lose much of our fruits and vegetables. We
need the cross-pollination that our fuzzy friends provide from clover and alfalfa, to feed our livestock and poultry.
Delmar Lathers, a Topanga beekeeper since 1976, raises colonies with chemical-free feral hives. Delmar confides that under the right conditions, his bees will naturally overproduce 250 pounds of virgin
raw, organic honey in one year.
Delmar's Topanga honeybees gather their nectar and pollen from uncontaminated wild flowers such as chaparral, sage, mustard, and local tree blossoms, such as eucalyptus. He keeps his hives as a paying hobby and "to be nice to the bees." Luckily, CCD has not hit this area as yet, and Delmar attributes this disease to an immune deficiency disorder in the bees. One-quarter of North America's honeybee colonies out of 2.4 million have collapsed in 2007.
Raw, unprocessed honey is a superfood that provides antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients. According to the National Honey Board (NHB), (http://www.honey.com) , 82 percent of households currently use processed honey, which has been heated and pasteurized, and can contain botulism and High Fructose Corn Syrup, (HFCS). Processed honey is not as antibacterial, as raw honey, and is dangerous for diabetics and infants under 12 months old.
May Berenbaum, Ph.D., a University of Illinois entomologist, shares that "Honey has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical problems like wounds, burns, cataracts, skin ulcers and scrapes," Various researchers worldwide are finding strong antimicrobial properties in some honeys. Raw honey is used by many cultures as a remedy for ulcers, digestion, bronchitis, and as an energizer, as well as many other answers to health problems. Recently, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, the equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, approved Manuka Tree honey as a medicine.
I can't wait to taste Delmar's honey this year. The flavor will be especially delicious now that I know that his bees are alive and well, and producing the honey flow raw, local, organic, and at it's highest golden standard.
We recommend that all wound infections and disease remedies be approved by an M.D. or homeopath.
For further information, and to help save the honeybees, contact Maryam Henien of Hive Mentality Films, [email protected] , access the Los Angeles nonprofit fiscal sponsor of her film, (http://www.vanishingbees.com) , or mail to: [email protected] .
About the authorJudith Fine-Sarchielli is a chef, food coach, a citizen journalist, and an independent researcher dedicated to spreading awareness about health news, proven alternative treatments, and unsafe mainstream products. She was recently food coach and cooking school director at Whole Foods Market in Woodland Hills, Ca. Check out her recently completed website at (www.topangatuscanyandbeyond.com) or call 310-482-9901 for an hour consultation at no cost.
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