The health benefits of local honey have been widely known for centuries. This week, I received some questions about the immune boosting attributes of honey. The basic question was whether eating Bee Great honey would help keep people healthy, protect them from infection, and build their immune system to protect them from coronavirus specifically. Before I answer those questions, let me share that this isn't just a layperson's conjecture or uninformed opinion. I am a scientist.
I hold a Ph.D. in sociology from Mississippi State University, and I am a professor with Purdue University. I've taught medical sociology for over 15 years. I am also the author of the most widely used Microbiology and Pathology textbook in America's mortuary science colleges. (I taught funeral directing and embalming for many years.) Do a search on Amazon for David F. Mullins, and among other books I've authored, you'll see two of my peer-reviewed books related to illness and disease: 501 Human Diseases and Pathology and Microbiology for Mortuary Science. So, what I am about to share is based on science, not opinion.
Honey is naturally antimicrobial. It lasts indefinitely as long as it doesn't contain water. (I use a refractometer to measure the amount of water in Bee Great honey to ensure it is dehydrated enough to use. I return honey that is not sufficiently dehydrated by the bees to the hives for them to use in the winter). Manuka honey has the highest degree of antimicrobial properties, but it is not produced in the U.S. because the Manuka plant does not grow here. All real manuka honey is imported from New Zealand.
There is clear evidence that local, raw honey suppresses coughs and reduces inflamed tissue in soar throats and nasal passages. Local, unfiltered, raw honey has been shown to be more effective than some common antihistamines and cough suppressants.
Honey definitely boosts the immune system. Research shows that consuming about 2 tablespoons of honey each day increases the number of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that recognize disease-causing antigens on microbes, build antibodies against those microbes, and kill the microbes. They also destroy the toxins produced by the microbes that are released into the body. Raw honey also increases the number of white blood cells that engulf and break apart invading microorganisms in the body.
Raw honey increases the number of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the body, along with iron which decreases the likelihood of anemia. More red blood cells means the body becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen and iron, providing more oxygen to the tissues with less stress on the body overall. As an example, some runners have been known to store some of their own blood and us an IV to inject it into their blood stream to increase the amount of oxygen their blood carries during a race giving them an advantage over other competitors. (I teach Sociology of Sports sometimes too).
While local, raw, unfiltered honey like Bee Great honey which has never been heated has these immune system boosting properties in the body, mass produced honey may not. If the honey is adulterated with corn syrup - which is much cheaper to produce than honey is to harvest - or if it has been heated, as many large commercial honey processors do, the water soluble components of the honey that are easily absorbed by the body may be destroyed. Ultrafine filters used by mass producers of honey remove these beneficial components of local, raw, unfiltered honey like Bee Great honey and flavored honey spreads.
Bee Great honey is never heated to high temperatures. We take it directly from the hive and put it into buckets. Under our health department license, and in a commercially licensed kitchen, we pour our honey directly from the buckets into the bottles. It is 100% pure honey. Our flavored spreadable honey is the exact same 100% pure honey. We add crushed crystalized honey to liquid honey and mix it. We then add a small amount of essential oil as flavoring - about .5 oz to 1 oz of oil per 5 gallon bucket of honey depending on the flavor. In some spreads, we add a tiny bit of gel food coloring which contains no water that could cause botulism in the honey. Typically, it takes one to two drops of food coloring in a 5 gallon bucket for coloring. We mix it again, and pour it into the containers.
We also deliver for free. I am typically the only person who has handled your honey. All of our packages of honey and beeswax skincare products have been disinfected, and I do not interact directly with customers when I drop off honey at your homes. I place your package at your door, ring the bell, and go back to the truck where I use hand sanitizer before making the next delivery. You simply pick up the package and take it inside. If I do happen to see you, I'll say hello from a safe distance of at least 6 feet away and place the package down for you to pick up once I've moved away. I practice social distancing on every delivery.
There is no question that Bee Great honey can help boost your immune system. It is nutritious, which improves health in the first place. It increases both the number of red blood cells and white blood cells in the body.
Please read the following examples of the many, many sources of scientific research that demonstrates the health and immune system boosting benefits of raw honey.
Please note that nowhere in this blog did I say that honey stops infection with coronavirus or that it cures Covid-19. I am simply stating that there is clear scientific research that states the beneficial effects of raw honey in the body to improve overall health and to boost the immune system. It's certainly better to have a stronger immune system at this critical point in history than to have a weaker immune system.
Stay safe and order your Bee Great honey today for a healthier tomorrow!