I am often asked about the potential health benefits of using local honey. I am not a doctor so it is difficult for me to comment. However, honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and as an immune system booster, it is supposedly quite powerful. Apparently for the best effects you must use local honey. Please be aware that the main flow for honey is late August and I usually have jars available then. People often contact me in the spring just as the hay fever kicks in but I am often sold out by then.
Allergies arise from continuous over-exposure to the same allergens. Honeybees will collect local pollen from various species and it will be present in small amounts in honey that was gathered by bees. When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced in that environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. The good effects of this local honey are best when the honey is taken a little bit (a couple of teaspoons-full) a day for several months prior to the pollen season. For the best allergy prevention, experts advise to get honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer the better.
Do not give honey to babies one year of age or younger. Any honey therapy is recommended for older children (five and up, and adults).
Science shows that bee pollen, a wondrous yet mysterious nectar, has natural rejuvenating powers, aids beauty, boosts energy, extends life span, fights allergies (possibly even cancer) and relieves digestive disorders. Bee pollen is bursting with easily assimilated protein and lecithin, which nourishes the brain and nervous system.
Honey is used as a natural, healthy sweetener but in most cases, honey bought from supermarkets today is simply sugar syrup with no nutritional value at all.
To reap the benefits of honey you have to look for the raw variety. Usually perfectly clear honey has undergone a process of ultrafiltration and pasteurisation, which involves heating and passing it through a fine mesh, to ensure it remains runny at any temperature. This strips away many of the unique chemicals and compounds that make it a nutritious and healing health food.
Even the word ‘organic’ on a label does not guarantee that a honey is raw. Unless the jar specifies that it is raw, look for a cloudy honey with a white residue of pollen sitting on the top of the honey. Raw honey might crystallise over time, but this is natural. The jar just needs to be submerged in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes to re-liquefy the honey.