Three Friends

Three Friends
Three Friends

Saturday, October 26, 2013

To Your Good (Crunchy, Holistic) Health: Honey!

I know that my two hard-charging, runner buddies Slick and Spinster Beth are pretty serious about their workout schedules, and both have 9-5 jobs they hold every day as well. I have a job too, but it is certainly not 9-5 and my "bosses" can make things difficult to get to the gym. Getting a good workout in, unfortunately, rarely means getting an elevated heart rate. I can get a bit of a weight-lifting workout in with the "Grow With Me" weight system (aka: 5 kids), but try taking a "fast" walk with kids all around!

So to counterbalance the lack of steady exercise, I pay closer attention to keeping my immune system strong. I am a pretty Crunchy person. I don't like going to the doctor, don't like immunizations (a whole 'nother story), I don't like pills - whether prescription or over the counter - you get the idea! So I tend towards holistic methods for health care, for me and the children!

So my plan is to start writing on here a little more often about some crunchy, holistic alternative methods to stay healthy so you can still hit the gym!

Today, our 2nd son got to help out at a 4-H Beekeeper's booth at a farmer's market. He had a great time - I learned some new stuff! I have heard many times that store-bought honey is not all that healthy by the time it hits the store shelves. By that point, it is "just another sweetener."

Question: I've also heard that Raw Honey can help with boosting the immune system as well as combatting allergies! How can it be that Raw (unprocessed and unpasteurized), local honey can help the body in so many ways, while store-bought, processed honey is just sugar? (And I'm learning too that some of this same information applies to processed vs. raw milk, but that's another post!)

Answer: When the honey is taken from the bees, it has suspended grains of pollen and live enzymes that the bees add to the pollen from their guts, making it an antibacterial substance. (What do you mean you don't keep honey in your first aid kit?? Okay, all, one thing at a time - but yes, it's good for cuts, colds, burns, bruises, MRSA and Streptococcus too!)

What?? Gross. Well, not really - many of us think of it as "gross" because we like our honey to appear clear and "pretty". But to get it that way requires some serious straining time - as in: years, unless you heat it to help thin it out. At 120 degrees, the live enzymes that the bees added are destroyed, so are the antibacterial qualities.

Heating the honey also makes sure that the honey will not crystallize in the little plastic, bear-shaped bottle until a long time has passed.

So what good are the little floaters in the raw, all-natural honey? 

The floaters are bits of pollen that the bees have left in the honey - that pollen provides the protein part, and bulk of, of a bee's diet. That means that there are bits of every vitamin known to man, and a good portion of the minerals as well. Raw honey is infused with all those little vitamin bombs. Eating a Tablespoon of raw, unfiltered, local honey will jump-start the immune system and begin the process towards helping the body accept the very pollens that it reacts to as allergens. 

To Your Good Health!