The healthiest honey money can buy doesn’t come in a squeezable plastic bear or look like liquid gold: it’s thick, spreadable, slightly crystallized, and straight-up raw.
Raw honey is unheated, unprocessed, and unpasteurized, which means it retains all its delicate enzymes, yeast, and nutrients. Of course, raw honey tastes delicious spread on buttery slices of toast, but keeping a jar on hand pays off in other ways, too.
Tip: look for the darkest raw honey you can find–the darker the honey, the more nutrients it has.
Take a Spa Day
Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture to the skin. It also fights nasty acne-causing bacteria, so a facial mask made of raw honey is a field day for troubled skin. Using your fingers, spread a thin layer of honey all around your face and leave on for at least 15 minutes (or up to several hours; careful, though, as the honey heats up, it begins to drip!) Wash with pure water.
Got a painful cyst on your chin? Dab on a fingerful of raw honey in the morning and leave on until you have to exit the house. Night owl? An overnight raw honey spot treatment can shrink pimples and reduce redness by the time morning rolls around.
Soothe a Sore Throat
Just a spoonful of honey helps the coughing go down. Mix a tablespoon of raw honey into a mug of hot water, and squeeze in the juice of one lemon for a delicious, throat-friendly tea. Or take a spoonful of honey plain. Both the texture and the vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes will help your throat feel a lot better.
If you’re developing an allergy to a local plant in your area, raw local honey can help you fight it. There’s hasn’t been a lot of scientific research done on this phenomonon, but there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence from people who claim that local honey has cured their allergies to local flowers. Look for local wildflower honey, which should cover a broad spectrum of plants in your area, and take a couple spoonfuls a day.
Touch the edge of that cookie sheet too soon? Smooth a thick layer of honey over the affected area to calm your skin. Of course, serious burns should be treated by a medical professional.
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