We're going to discuss some of the aspects of honey that aren't commonly known.
Regardless if you use honey as a sweetener, or medicinally, you might want to consider a few things before making your choice. There are some potentially harmful things to be aware of when using honey, such as additives and residues that are present in much of today's commercial honey.
Getting to know the difference between raw honey and pasteurized honey is an important first step. Whether or not your honey is unfiltered or treatment-free is also important to know when making a decision on which honey to buy.
Let's start with production, while all honey can be beneficial, the production process during pasteurization can destroy many of the inherent beneficial qualities of the honey.
Pasteurizing honey actually strips it of most of the beneficial nutrients, then also kills the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that are naturally occurring. Even the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are damaged during the heating process, reducing their value considerably.
The pasteurizing or heating process of the honey is typically done in large metal vessels or pots, where it's been shown that there can be metal particulates released into the substance being heated.
Studies have shown that the average person has higher levels of metal in their systems than is safe, and this can manifest into symptoms such as Alzheimer's, depression, chronic unexplained pain, digestive problems, muscle or joint pain and the list goes on.
Next, the honey is typically transferred into buckets or plastic bags for storage, or directly into those plastic bear bottles you seen on the store shelves.
This brings up BPA or bisphenol, which is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Unless the plastic honey bottle or container specifically states it's BPA free, it's probably not. BPA has been shown to leach from the plastics into the substance they're holding, in this case your honey.
The chemical BPA has been shown to can cause cancer and other serious illnesses. Remember, if you're using honey for wound care, consider that fact that any chemical or contaminate that may be present in that honey, can pass directly into your body through an open wound.
In addition to what might be in your honey that you don't want, also consider what's being taken out of the honey that is beneficial to you.
Commercial honey is also usually filtered, the filtering removes the beneficial pollen which contains protein that's packed with amino-acids that are easily used by your body. This is typically done so the honey looks cleaner, or purer, but really it's just removing the beneficial qualities in which the honey was often bought for in the first place.
Also be aware if you do choose to buy your honey at a grocery store, much of today's honey is mixed or cut with high-fructose corn syrup, which is a sweetner usually made using gmo corn starch.
Probably the biggest factor that's over-looked, or there's no way of knowing, is whether or not the bees that produced the honey you're using are kept chemical-free, or what's often called treatment-free. Treatment-free bees are bees that are maintained in a 100% chemical-free environment, no commercial bee treatments are used for disease or sickness at anytime.
More often than not when bees are maintained in a chemical-free environment they're healthier and better able to manage any sickness or any pests that may arrive.
When using honey for either consumption or medicinal uses, you'll want to ensure that chemicals weren't used at any stage, the chemicals released by most commercial beekeepers don't just affect the bees, it transfers into the open honey cells, which is the honey you end up purchasing.
Clearly there are many factors to consider when choosing a honey. Often your best source can be your local beekeeper, although i'd consider asking whether they're a treatment-free beekeeper or not first.