Context: I attended a workshop on herbs & honey in Hong Kong this week, featuring Peggie Zih, a certified nutritionist & herbalist from Zenses in Health. Special thanks to The Hive co-working space for hosting. In the post below, I share some key takeaways below, supplemented by secondary research.
What honey should I buy?
Peggie recommends going for raw honey, which could be defined as honey in its original state taken from beehives. A more technical definition is:
Raw honey also contains bee pollen and bee propolis, which is a sticky, glue-like substance bees use to hold their hive together.“What are the health benefits of raw honey?” Medical News Today
How does raw honey differ from ‘regular’ honey? The latter goes through additional processing, including pasteurization, “a process that destroys the yeast found in honey by applying high heat. This helps extend the shelf life and makes it smoother.” (Healthline)
So take note – the next time you go shopping for honey in a store, don’t pick the jar with the smoothest texture. Instead, embrace raw honey that may not have the clearest color, but is free from commercial processing and preserves nutrients better.
What are the benefits of raw honey?
Raw honey provides benefits including:
- Antioxidant effects
- Antibacterial and helpful for cleansing wounds
- Contains vitamins & minerals
- Cough relief
- Helps with digestion and eases diarrhea
What are watch-outs for taking raw honey?
Peggie mentions infants less than 1 year old should not be fed raw honey, as their digestive system is not mature enough to properly break down & absorb raw honey. The Center for Food Safety of HK Government recommends something similar:
Honey including raw honey can contain the spore forming bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, that causes intestinal botulism (also called infant botulism). Intestinal botulism mainly affects children less than one year old. Early symptom is constipation, followed by lethargy, difficulties in feeding, generalised muscle weakness and weak cry.“The Risks of Eating Raw Honey“, The Center for Food Safety of the HK Government
What are some herbal honey combos?
Here are some recipes for mixing organic herbs with honey to create tasty drinks as raised by Peggie:
- Digestion: cinnamon
- Digestion: fennel seeds (could add some chamomile flowers)
- Cooling in summertime: hibiscus & rose
- Calming: catnip, chamomile & lemon balm
Peggie also recommends sourcing organic herbs for health benefits.
What are some health tips you have come across? I’d love to hear from you! Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn.
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