Raw honey to boost your immunity

With new threats to our health and how harmful bugs can spread very quickly, it makes sense to look at ways to boost our immunity. Did you know that raw honey is a proven source of prevention and cure?

  • Raw honey has been used as a potent natural cure since ancient times.
  • Modern scientists have proved that elements in raw honey can defend patients against bacteria that are resistant to conventional drugs
  • Honey, from bees kept naturally and straight from the hive, contains over 200 active health-promoting nutrients and enzymes. Great to strengthen your defences.
  • Certain flowers and plants that bees forage on can increase the health-boosting benefits of the honey.
  • Manuka isn’t the only honey to have powerful health benefits.

There’s a lot of conflicting and inaccurate information out there. Here are the facts about raw honey and immunity boosting.

Which varieties of honey are most effective?

Yemeni Sidr Do’ani – The Manuka of the Middle East

Why should this be your first choice? All parts of the Sidr tree have been used therapeutically, the healing knowledge handed down through generations. Bark, leaves and berries, each has a purpose, and the medicinal and nutritional benefits are passed into the honey.

Sidr and Elb are the trees that provide some of the most well-known and most prized Yemeni honey; the trees are so special they are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Yemeni Sidr is known as the ‘Manuka of the Middle East’ and may even be more beneficial than its New Zealand cousin, especially the honey sourced from remote Wadi Do’ani.

Nomadic beekeepers follow the gentle collecting methods passed down over centuries of tradition, in harmony with nature. The Sidr trees flourish in the rich soil of the Hadramout region. The hives in remote countryside untouched by modern life, are far away from pollution and the chemicals from industrial agriculture, so they yield pure, uncontaminated honey.

There have been fewer scientific tests on Sidr honey as it is relatively less well known than Manuka, but results support claims of its potency. In a study led by Tala Alandejani, MD, at the University of Ottawa, Sidr honey was more effective against MRSA than Manuka. She proved that both honeys zapped the bacteria that cause chronic sinusitis.

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Why is Yemeni Sidr Do’ani more potent than other honeys?

As well as the benefits of the Sidr tree, this rare raw honey is harvested only once or twice a year when the Sidr flowers bloom. This gives it high levels of antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. Yemeni Sidr Do’ani honey contains as much as 75-150 mg ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) per 100g, while other honey has less than 5mg per 100g.

What makes Manuka honey so powerful?

We’ve all heard about Manuka. It’s a thick, rich honey packed with some amazing health-promoting properties; the New Zealand beekeeping institutes have spread the word about this very special honey far and wide.

The bees forage on flowers from the Manuka tree, otherwise known as Tea Tree, which is also used in oils and creams for its antiseptic qualities. This is infused into the honey passing on its beneficial effect to those who eat it. The countryside in New Zealand is vast and largely unspoilt by the pollution from large towns and cities.

Proof that raw honey prevents and heals

The test of time

Recorded use of raw honey to promote health is from Egyptian times and, before the discovery of anti-biotics, was used widely for its potent healing properties and as a cure for many ailments. Scientists began to investigate this phenomenon and look for the reasons why. In 1892 Dutch Scientist Van Ketel identified clinically effective antimicrobial agents in raw honey which could sterilise and help to heal wounds. It is still used by eminent physicians especially in the healing of serious burns.

Antibiotic resistance

The discovery of penicillin (a naturally occurring defence against strains of bacteria) revolutionised health-care. But synthetic derivatives and inappropriate use across so many aspects of everyday life have caused bacterial strains to mutate leading to ‘super bugs’ which cannot be treated with drugs available. Scientists are again looking into the natural world for a solution.

Professor Rose Cooper, from the Centre for Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK has dedicated research into the effect of raw honey in many areas of treatment, from stopping devastating bacteria like MRSA, to its impact on cystic fibrosis patients.

Why can raw honey help?

Peptides are natural elements working in the body to protect us from a broad range of harmful microbes. Bees produce antimicrobial peptides which leak into naturally produced bee products. So we eat raw honey, bee pollen and royal jelly we get the bacteria-fighting benefits.

Raw honey to boost your immune system against viruses

We have many defences to fight off bacteria and viruses. Our bodies remember the bugs it has come into contact with and deals with them efficiently, and often without you noticing (the way vaccinations work).

The best defence against new viruses is getting your body into great shape through a healthy lifestyle. The role of your gut bacteria is a big part of this, so eating a varied diet with lots of high-fibre and plant-based foods is the way to go. Avoid processed foods especially those high in refined sugars. If you crave some sweetness then reach for some fresh fruit, or a little raw honey as it’s the only sweetener which contains over 200 health-boosters that do you good.

Eat a varied, high-fibre diet with whole foods and ingredients, get enough exercise and sleep, and you’ll arm your body with the best defence you can.

The best honey to boost your immunity?

Choose raw

Not all honey is equal or natural. Most honey on the supermarket shelves comes from bees who have been fed sugar solution (no benefits from pollen), been fed anti-biotics and foraged in places that are full of chemicals. The honey itself has been flash-pasteurised and micro-filtered (so it stays clear and liquid). It contains little or none of the wonderful health-promoting benefits of pure, raw honey.

Genuine raw Sidr from Yemen, especially from bees in remote areas like Wadi Do’ani the Isle of Socotra or the extremely rare Royal Sidr Cave honey are top choices. Or check out Yemeni honey with royal jelly and other Balqees health-giving fusions. Choose Royal Manuka or Black Beech honeydew from a really good source in New Zealand. Australia also has 80 varieties of leptospermum plants (Tea Tree or Manuka) so honey from select beekeepers like Gabrielle Morley is also prized for its effectiveness, rarity and taste.

Avoid fake honey

Make sure you don’t become a victim of ‘honey laundering’ and being sold something that is not what it’s claimed to be. Balqees works directly with our own cooperatives of beekeepers; in Yemen this supports the rural, economy too. We have our own dedicated hives in partnership with trusted beekeepers, like our Royal Manuka Honey on the High Peak Estate in New Zealand.

How to use raw honey to boost your immunity

The best way to eat raw honey is on a spoon straight from the jar, or drizzle it over healthy, high fibre foods like oatmeal, fruit or into smoothies. Store it at room temperature. There is no need to keep honey in the fridge, it lasts forever and edible honey was found buried in Egyptian tombs. However, if you heat honey it starts to lose some of its health-giving properties. Stir into lukewarm water as a drink but never into boiling liquid.

Other bee products, bee pollen and royal jelly, are powerhouses of goodness too.

Health boosting with Balqees

If you have any questions about raw honey and boosting your immunity please contact us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. You can order Yemeni Sidr Do’ani, Royal Manuka, Black Beech honeydew and other rare raw honey on our website for delivery within the UAE. Or come and taste some at our kiosks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Look after yourself and stay safe and healthy.

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