Visit any reasonable-sized supermarket and you're sure to discover a tremendous selection and choice of honey. Unless you're really clued-up, it's hard to know which one to pick. It's so tempting to stretch out and pluck the cheapest jar from the shelf, or the one with the prettiest packaging. But these aren't necessarily the best. So, let's take a look at different types of honey so that you'll better understand them, knowing which ones to select and which will be the most beneficial.
Pure natural honey
If you're after a good quality, straightforward honey, you should go for pure natural honey. You'll be able to tell whether or not it's pure honey simply by reading the label on the jar. If no extra ingredients have been added then you've got pure honey, and this is what you want. As with most honeys, the color and flavor will vary according to the flowers and plants from which the honey bees collected nectar. For example, depending on where you live, you could have a choice of lavender, sage, thyme, orange, clover ... plus many, many more.
In order to produce organic honey, the beekeeper has to follow an extremely strict set of rules and undergo stringent testing. For example, the bees have to be at least a certain distance away from contamination and pollution, equipment has to be squeaky clean and free of unapproved chemicals, only low heat can be used, and accurate and traceable labeling is required.
Raw honey is perhaps Nature's purest medicine, for it's the honey still in its untouched state. You're most likely to find this locally, perhaps at your nearby farmers market. If commercially produced, raw honey can only be labelled as such when minimum processing and low temperatures have taken place.
As well as having the super healthy components of other types of honey, true raw honey is likely to contain such beneficial ingredients as pollen, Propolis, beeswax, and parts of the honeycomb. Fortunately, the beekeepers tend to strain out any dead bees!
Active Manuka honey
Manuka honey is also worth a mention for it contains a powerful phytochemical and is particularly effective in stimulating hydrogen peroxide, making it an excellent healer for open infected wounds and burns, not to mention internal ailments. Manuka honey comes from the Manuka tree, found in New Zealand. You need to take care when buying it, for there are many fakes. Check the label to see that it states the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). Number 16 or above is ideal.
Whichever honey you choose, pick a good quality one. Spend less money on pills and potions, more on honey and you'll be well-rewarded both health and beauty-wise.
Janette Marshall publishes Health Benefits of Honey, a resource dedicated to offering you complete information about honey and its medicinal properties. You'll find more articles about different types of honey at her Web site: Medspice.
© 2010 Janette Marshall
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