Doctors attest to many health benefits of raw honey

Raw Honey
Raw Honey

Although the use of raw honey for medicinal purposes dates back several centuries, it is still recommended by medical doctors for the treatment of some minor ailments. But care must be taken to avoid taking adulterated honey which can be harmful to the body.


By Benprince Ezeh

THE use of Raw Honey as a remedy dates back in history and it is known to have various health benefits and medicinal applications. It is also used in the treatment of wounds. Many of these health benefits are specific to raw, or unpasteurized honey. Most of the honey you find in grocery stores is pasteurized.

Heat in processing honey affects and kills its yeast, affects the colour and texture as well as removes any crystallization and extends the shelf life.

Felicita Ogbu
Felicita Ogbu

According to, a Nigerian medical doctor based in Ukraine, many of the beneficial nutrients in honey are also destroyed in the process. “It is important that before you consume honey, you need to make sure it’s from a trusted and approved store before consumption, many people buy honey because it looks thick and bees all over it without knowing it’s been adulterated,” she said.

Ogbu says that raw honey contains an array of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. “Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables, which help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals.

“Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Some research results show that antioxidant compounds in honey known as polyphenols may play a role in preventing heart disease.

“Researches made has proven that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus, it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Its effectiveness as an antibacterial or antifungal varies depending on the honey, but it’s clearly more than a folk remedy for these kinds of infections,’’ Ogbu said.

Emmanuel Enang
Emmanuel Enang

Emmanuel Enang, a doctor with the Federal Medical Center, FMC, Abeokuta says that Manuka honey is used in medical settings to treat wounds because it’s been found to be an effective germ killer and also aids in tissue regeneration. “It can boost healing time and reduce infection, keep in mind that the honey used in hospital settings is medical grade, meaning that it has been inspected and treated. It’s not a good idea to treat cuts with honey you buy from a store.

“It can also be used to treat digestive issues such as diarrhea and it’s also proven to be effective as the treatment for stomach ulcers,” Enang said.

According to Enang, a spoonful of honey helps in treating cold. “Honey is an old sore throat remedy, add it to hot tea with lemon when you have a cold, this also works as a cough suppressant, effective as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medication. Just take one or two teaspoonfuls, straight.

“Another good thing about honey is that it serves as a potent prebiotic, meaning it nourishes the good bacteria that live in the intestines, which are crucial not only for digestion but for overall health,” he said.

Jennifer Ani
Jennifer Ani

And for Jennifer Ani, a nutritionist, honey helps in treating loss of memory. “We are what we eat and hence it is very important to consume foods that help make our mental health strong, especially in old age.

According to Ani, one of the numerous health benefits of honey include its ability in boosting memory and concentration. Honey not only increases brain power and memory but also makes you a healthier person altogether.

“Consumption of honey prevents metabolic stress and helps calm and soothes the brain, which helps in augmenting memory in the long run. The natural antioxidants and therapeutic properties in honey help in boosting the brains’ cholinergic system and circulation and receding cells that cause memory loss.

“For those that find it difficult indigestion, honey helps reduce constipation, bloating, and gas, because of it being a mild laxative. Its rich in probiotic or “friendly” bacteria such as bifid bacteria and lactobacilli, which aid in digestion, promote the health of the immune system, and reduce allergies.

“Using it in place of table sugar has been found to reduce the toxic effects in the gut of foods like cereals, dried fruits, nuts, and spices, which are produced by fungi,” she said.

However, Honey being so blessed with benefits, its disadvantages are alarming as well.

Elvis Okafor
Elvis Okafor

According to Elvis Okafor, a medical laboratory officer with the FMC Abeokuta, honey contains ‘sweetened fructose’ and not good for a diabetic person. “Honey may be slightly better than refined sugar for a diabetic person, it should still be consumed with caution.

“Raw honey has harmful bacteria such as Clostridium botulin, which causes constipation, slow breathing, sagging eyelids, absence of gagging, loss of head control, and poor feeding. This is particularly dangerous for babies and should never be given to an infant less than one year.

“In adults, symptoms can include an initial short period of diarrhea and vomiting, followed by constipation and more severe symptoms such as blurred vision and muscle weakness,” he said

Okafor also warned that it’s necessary for one to see a doctor if one experiences any of these symptoms after taking raw honey.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in trying raw honey, buy it from trusted local producers.

– Jul. 17, 2020 @ 18:42 GMT


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