There are over 300 different types of honey – and different types of honeys are good for different health issues…In general, we have the following:
1. Honey is antibacterial and antiseptic: Raw organic honey contains hydrogen peroxide, released when it comes into contact with moisture. Hydrogen peroxide is both antibacterial and fungicidal. Honey was originally used for therapeutic purposes, as it has antibacterial properties, but was replaced by antibiotics, such as penicillin and synthetic drugs in the 1940s and 1950s. Honey is also gyroscopic, which means that it naturally attracts moisture. Most bacteria breed in moist conditions and honey dries out wounds, preventing wounds becoming infected.
2. Honey as a sweetener: Raw honey doesn’t cause the blood sugar to spike. It allows a much healthier gradual increase in blood sugar levels. And we only a need a teaspoon to make a difference.
3. Dark honeys are high in antioxidants: The darker the honey, the more antioxidant which eliminate free radicals. Honey has a unique anti0oxidant: pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
4. Honey help you digest food better: Honey contains natural enzymes that assist the digestive process.
5. Honey is said to aid sleeping: The theory indicates that a spoonful of honey before sleep provides the body with enough glucose to ‘feed’ the brain during the night. This prevents or limits the early morning release of cortisol and adrenalin (stress hormones) which disturb sleep; stabilises blood sugar levels; contributes to the release of melatonin, the hormone required for recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest. (According to a recent study in Hershey, Penn, USA.)
6. Honey is good for your skin: Because honey attracts moisture, it helps to nourish the skin – that is why it is often used in skin care products. Also, honey’s antioxidants compounds help to fight free radicals, which can damage skin. Some people find honey is very effective for conditions such as sunburn, acne and eczema.
[Read: Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon Mixture]
There are also different ways of processing honey…what you are looking for is:
• Unpasteurized (which degrades the enzymes, minerals and vitamins).
• Not ultra filtered – which removes the pollen and its benefits.
• Not a blend of different honeys from different countries (which almost all supermarket honey is, even when it is organic).
• The bees aren’t given antibiotics.
• The bees are fed honey not sugar (many beekeepers feed their bees sugar in the winter).
Let’s take a look at what different honeys are recognized for:
The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. In fact, there are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger….
[Read: Lemon Honey Water and its Benefits]
Following is a look at some of the most common U.S. honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper, beekeeping association or honey packer. For help finding a honey packer or a specific floral source, visit the Honey Locator.
Alfalfa honey, produced extensively throughout Canada and the United States from the purple blossoms, is light in color with a pleasingly mild flavor and aroma.
Alfalfa is good for cardio issues…arteriosclerosis in addition to the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties.
Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.
Avocado honey is rich with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and offers many of the same medicinal properties as an Aloe Vera plant.
Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.
According to the Brock University Blueberry and Buckwheat honeys have the highest antibacterial anti-oxidants
Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.
While strong and dark, it has a high level of anti-oxidants. It is considered one of the most valuable honeys native to Europe. In comparison to other bright honeys, it contains more magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, nickel, bohrium, iodine and cobalt. If buckwheat honey is freshly extracted, it has: 51.6% fructose, 46.59% glucose and 0.27% sucrose. There has been established that there is a lot of vitamin C (2.9 – 11.9mg %), B1, B2 and PP. When it comes to the enzymes, content of the buckwheat honey is the richest among other Polish honeys. It has very high antibiotic qualities. According to research, its antibiotic characteristic is slightly better than Manuka honey’s
It is recognized to have an impact on:
diabetes (type 2)
microcytic anemia (iron deficiency)
Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.
Again, there are many different types of clover and thus clover honey…but in general, clover honey is known for:
promoting wound healing and treating burns
regulating blood pressure
control liver issues
mucus thinner and thus eliminates coughing
6. Eucalyptus Honey
Eucalyptus honey comes from one of the larger plant genera, containing over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. As may be expected with a diverse group of plants, eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor but tends to be a stronger flavored honey with a slight medicinal scent. It is produced in California.
Eucalyptus honey is good for: respiratory, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating health benefits – not bad for a teaspoon of honey…but you have to take it regularly.
7. Fireweed Honey
Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that creates wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.
There are over 50 types of Fireweed but they do apparently help to strengthen the immune system, respiratory system and improve the condition of the body.
8. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, primarily produced in New Zealand, is used as a natural product both internally and topically on the skin. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand.
[Read:Benefits Of Manuka Honey]
Manuka honey has been found to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, which is pathogenic to the stomach and intestines and is involved in the formation of gastric ulcers and 12-duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer. Helicobacter pylori taken from the ulcer with biopsies was sensitive to a 20% solution of Manuka honey. The growth of these bacteria was completely discontinued with 5-% solution of Manuka honey.
Neem honey is not in this list but I will put it in anyways. Neem is a well recognized Ayurvedic plant utilized to treat: allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental & throat infections, skin conditions.
[Read: Healing Honey]
10. Orange Blossom Honey
Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.
Orange blossom honey contains: quercetin, hesperitin, luteolin, kaempferol, galangin, naringenin and isorhamnetin — antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-cancer and immune supporting effects in the body.
11. Sage Honey
Sage honey, primarily produced in California, is light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. It is extremely slow to granulate, making it a favorite among honey packers for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation.
Sage honey is a very pale honey and has less than 20% of the anti-oxidants of its darker cousins…but it still maintains all the other benefits of honey: enzymes, antibacterial, antifungal, etc
12. Tupelo Honey
Tupelo honey is a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. It is heavy bodied and is usually light golden amber with a greenish cast and has a mild, distinctive taste. Because of the high fructose content in Tupelo honey, it granulates very slowly.
As with most plants, there are a wide variety of Tupelos – the best for honey is said to be the pure white tupelo. Along with antibacterial and anti-fungal benefits, tupelo honey to soothe coughs, sore throats, burns and as an anti-inflammatory, but research about its health effects is inconclusive. But it does contain: ” 25.95 percent dextrose, 43.27 percent fructose, 1.21 percent sucrose, 7.97 percent maltose and 1.1 percent higher sugars. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, calcium and phosphorous”
13. Wildflower Honey
Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.
14. Honey Blends
While different types of honey are available, most honey, especially honey supplied in bulk, is blended to create a unique and consistent taste and color.