Raw honey is the natural form of honey that is obtained directly from the beehive. It is also considered as the purest form of honey as it does not undergo any chemical procedure. Honey is widely used all over the world for medicinal and culinary purposes. It contains different forms of sugars like fructose, glucose and sucrose, and also has anti-bacterial properties.
Benefits of Raw Honey
There are several benefits associated with raw honey as it contains agents that help in treating different kinds of infection in the body. It is one of the best herbal medicines used to treat upset stomach, constipation, stomach ulcers and stomach infections. On the other hand, it is also used to treat inflammation and hence, it is an important ingredient in several anti-inflammatory lotions and creams. Moreover, sometimes, honey is also directly applied to skin or wound for quick healing. At the same time, there are raw honey dangers or side effects that you should be aware of.
Dangers of Raw Honey
Firstly, you should remember, as raw honey does not undergo pasteurization or heating, there are particles or flecks made of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, broken bee wing fragments and propolis found in it. Therefore, consuming honey with these constituents can cause food poisoning in some people.
Apart from that, as the raw honey is actually the nectar that is directly gotten from the flowers, there are high chances of it containing chemicals to which the flowers have been subjected. Hence, allergy is another side effect that can occur on consuming honey in its raw form.
Specifically, raw honey contains Clostridium botulinum spores which can cause botulism. Botulism is an illness caused due to consumption of the toxin, botulinum. This toxic also has an effect on the central nervous system and can even be fatal if not treated promptly and effectively. However, this illness is found only in case of babies and infants. Older children and adults are rarely found to be affected by it. Symptoms of botulism include weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, irritability, etc. In severe cases, respiratory arrest can occur. You should note that death caused due to this condition is very rare; but, cannot be ignored.
In case of adults, hardly any side effects of raw honey are observed. On the contrary, many people specifically prefer it over the processed one as sometimes, during the processing, essential enzymes from the honey get killed. It is believed to be more effective than processed honey. However, you should not give raw honey to babies or infants under 3 years of age. Secondly, it is essential to be careful about the source of honey. Sometimes, bees take honey from flowers like mountain laurels and azalea which can be toxic to human beings. All these factors need to be taken into consideration while buying and consuming raw honey.
As a concluding note, it can be said that as honey contains many medicinal properties, it is wise to consume it regularly. But, you should consult the doctor before consuming raw honey on a daily basis. Take care!