Raw honey benefits, raw honey uses, types of honey.

Raw Honey Benefits, Raw Honey Uses, Types Of Honey

Raw honey is a natural substance produced from the nectar of flowers. It is collected and transformed by the honeybee, apis mellifera. Honey has long been praised in Ayurveda as a highly effective medicine. Raw honey uses include both internal and external remedies. Raw honey benefits are quite numerous. It is also said to be one of the best vehicles (yogavahi) for other herbal medicines. This means, it has the capacity to carry and even enhance the effects of other medicines without altering its own properties.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article.

Raw honey benefits, raw honey uses, types of honey.Raw Honey Benefits
8 Types Of Honey
Raw Honey Benefits + Properties According To Ayurveda
Honey Warnings
Raw Honey Uses + Ayurvedic Home Remedies

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Raw Honey Benefits

Modern research has shed light on the widespread historical uses of honey by confirming its anti-allergent, anti-anemic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antipyretic, antitoxic, anti inflammatory, sedative and laxative properties.

It has also been suggested to promote healing and cleansing (both internally and externally), improve hydration, stimulate immunity, benefit skin health and purify the blood. In addition to dextrose and levulose, raw honey contains a variety of amino acids, vitamins and minerals including A, B, C, D and E vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Raw honey also contains nutrient dense propolis and pollen, the constituents of which, including pinobanksin and pinocembrin, have been shown to strengthen immune function.

In the classic Ayurvedic texts, honey goes by many names, including madhu (sweet, pleasant, charming), pushparasa (essence of flowers), makshika (that which comes from a bee), and kusumasava (flower liquor). These names suggest the deep reverence not only for the medicine of honey but for the sacredness of the honeybee itself.

Indeed, one of the avatars of Shakti described in the Srimad Bhagavatam is Bhramari Devi or Bhramarambika, the goddess of the honeybees. The queen bee is to the hive as the Divine Mother, Prakrti, is to her creation. The Asvin twins, or lords of light, are also closely associated with honey symbolism: they are said to carry madhukasa, a whip dripping with honey with which they could prolong people’s lives. The practice of brahmari pranayama, “the bee’s breath,” also alludes to the high regard of bees in Vedic culture.

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8 Types Of Honey

The main difference between regular, store-bought honey and raw honey is that regular honey is processed through filtration and pasteurization. During pasteurization, honey is heated at high temperatures to kill bacteria, yeast and to prevent fermentation. It also helps to regulate the consistency and color of honey to make it more appealing to modern consumers. During processing, honey is exposed to high temperatures which kill many of its natural enzymes and vitamins. Therefore, through processing, honey loses many of its natural healing properties.

According to the Ayurvedic texts there are two types of honey, namely naviha madhu (fresh or recently collected honey) and purana madhu (old honey, aged for over one year). According to Sushruta, these two main types of honey have distinct gunas and karmas (qualities and actions). Naviha Madhu has bruhana guna, which nourishes the body, and is also a laxative. Purana Madhu, on the other hand, is anti-diuretic, and does lekhana (scraping), which can reduce fat and eliminate vitiated dosha. Susruta further classifies eight distinct types of honey each with their own distinct features, properties and actions. The eight types of honey are Makshika, Ardhya, Pauttika, Bhrahmara, Chatra, Auddalaka, Dala and Kshoudra.

  1. Makshika Honey is the most favored type of honey because of its light quality. It is especially recommended in the management of lung disorders such as cough and asthma.

  2. Ardhya Honey has a pungent post digestive effect. It has an affinity to Kapha and Pitta dosha as well as the eyes. It is strengthening and does not aggravate Vata as much as other types of honey can.

  3. Pautikka Honey is dryer and more heating than the other varieties. It is said to have the color of ghee. It is considered extremely potent, however the nectar which forms this honey comes from poisonous flowers which may lead to the vitiation of rakta dhatu, as well as Vata and Pitta dosha.

  4. Brahmara Honey is more difficult to digest because of its slimy, heavy and excessively sweet qualities. It is white in color.

  5. Chatra Honey has cooling, slimy and heavy properties. It is difficult to digest, however it can be effective in the treatment of bleeding disorders, leucoderma and parasites.

  6. Audlaka Honey enhances the sense of taste and is beneficial for the voice. It is also used as a remedy for skin diseases. As with Ardhya honey, it has a pungent taste after digestion. It can aggravate Pitta dosha.

  7. Dala Honey is dry and, according to the ancient texts, can be effective in managing diabetes and controlling vomiting.

  8. Kshaudra Honey is relatively light and generally easy to digest. It is brown in color and has more cooling properties.

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Raw honey benefits, raw honey uses, types of honey.Raw Honey Benefits + Properties According To Ayurveda

Rasa: Madhura (sweet)
Anurasa: Kashaya (astringent)
Virya: Ushna (heating)
Vipak: Madhura (sweet)
Gunas: Laghu (light), Ruksha (dry), Picchila (sticky, slimy)
Doshas: Balances Kapha and Pitta, can aggravate Vata (vatala)
Karmas: Lekhana (scraping)

Raw honey benefits include the following properties: Rukshana (drying), Roupana (heals ulcers), Vajikarana (aphrodisiac), Kaphanissaraka (expectorant) and Yogavahi (carrier of herbs and medicines to subtler channels). It is also antiparasitic and antitoxic.

In the fifth chapter of the Ashtanga Hridayam called Dravadravya Vijnaneeya Adhyaya, various types of liquid foods, their properties, actions and uses are discussed. Honey is included in this list along with water, milk, dairy products, oils, wines, sugarcane juice and urine. In the context of this text, honey is recommended as a chikitsa or therapy in the following conditions. Check out these raw honey uses.

Chakshushya – good for the eyes (vision)
Chedi – breaks up hard masses
Trut – alleviates thirst
Shelshmahara – brings balance to Kapha dosha
Visha – useful in toxicity
Hidhma – hiccups
Asrapitta – bleeding conditions
Meha – diabetes, urinary tract diseases
Kushta – skin diseases
Krumi – worm infestation
Chardi – vomiting
Shwasa – dyspnoea, chronic respiratory diseases
Kasa – cough, cold
Atisara – diarrhea
Vrana shodhana – cleanses wounds
Vrana sandhana, ropana – heals wounds quickly

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Honey Warnings

Honey should not be given to children under 12 months of age.

While the use of honey is recommended in many conditions, the Ashtanga Hridayam offers a few warnings for its use.

First and foremost, it is emphasized that raw honey should never be cooked, heated or mixed with boiling water. It is also inadvisable to mix equal quantities of any of two or more of the following: honey, ghee, meat, sesame oil, fat. While honey and ghee may not be consumed in equal weight they may be consumed in equal volumes. Even in unequal proportions, honey and ghee should not be consumed along with water. Finally, honey should not be consumed along with seeds of pushkara or mireya (date wine).

Raw Honey Uses + Ayurvedic Home Remedies

Raw Honey Uses: Internal 

  • Eyesight: Consume Triphala along with honey and ghee at night.
  • Chronic Indigestion: Mix together one part trikatu : two parts chitrak : one part kutki. Take ¼ teaspoon with honey and fresh ginger before meals.
  • Hypertension: Take one teaspoon of garlic juice with two teaspoons of honey in the morning and evening.
  • Kapha Vriddhi: Consume warm water with honey in the morning on an empty stomach. Optional: add a pinch of trikatu or pippali.
  • Meda Vriddhi: Drink one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of honey in the morning. Lick either triphala, guduchi, abhaya, ginger, vidanga or musta with honey daily.
  • Peptic Ulcer: Drink warm milk with one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cardamom after lunch and dinner.
  • Hiccups: Slowly lick some honey until symptoms subside.
  • Katar (Common Cold): Blend equal parts sitopaladi, talisadi and mahasudarshan. Combine ½ teaspoon of this herbal formula with honey. Lick from a spoon throughout the day.
  • Cough: Mix equal parts maricha and pippali. Combine with honey. Lick from a spoon.
  • Dry Cough: Eat a ripe banana with one teaspoon of honey and 2 pinches of maricha two to three times per day.
  • Allergies: Take ½ teaspoon of local honey and turmeric in the morning.
  • Gallstone Prevention: Mix together 5 parts punarnava : 4 parts shatavari : 2 parts kutki : 2 parts chitrak : 3 parts musta : ¼ part shilajit. Take ¼ teaspoon of this mixture with honey three times per day for up to 3 months.
  • Acute Gallstone Attack: Mix together 4 parts musta : 3 parts trikatu : 6 parts guduchi. Combine ¼ teaspoon of this mixture with honey and take 2-3 times per day to reduce pain.

Raw Honey Uses: External 

  • Mouth Ulcers / Excessive Thirst: Do gandusha (Ayurvedic oil pulling) with honey.
  • Canker Sores: Clean the site of the ulcer and apply raw honey after meals.
  • Burns: Apply ghee and honey to the site of injury. Create a bandage by coating the wound in honey and covering with a non-stick, sterile gauze.
  • Cuts + Scrapes: Coat the wound and surrounding area with honey to help prevent infection.
  • Conjunctivitis: Combine ¼ teaspoon of honey, one pinch rock salt and ½  cup warm filtered water. Stir until thoroughly dissolved. Wash the eyes with this mixture once the water has reached room temperature. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Hair Health: Create a hair mask with equal parts coconut oil and honey. Optional: Add bhringraj oil or herbal powder. Leave in hair for 30 minutes to one hour before washing.
  • Dry Scalp: Apply honey to the affected site before bed. Cover the hair while sleeping. Wash out in the morning.
  • Skin Health: Create a face mask with raw honey. Simply apply 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey to the face and leave on for up to 20 minutes before washing off with warm water and a washcloth. Optional: Add aloe vera gel for Pitta constitutions.
  • Chapped Lips: Apply raw honey to the lips before going to bed, and throughout the day as needed. Optional: Create a lip balm with raw honey, shea butter and coconut oil.

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Nicole’s path has been shaped by a weaving of mind, body & spirit, a sense of remembering, and a calling to self-inquiry, all with her heart as her clearest guide. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with minors in Religion & Anthropology. She completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, Yin Yoga Certification and Reiki Master Training at Green Lotus Yoga & Healing Center. Her passion for holistic wellness and spirituality carried her to India where she studied practices in devotion to the Goddess, Kali; to Costa Rica, where she was introduced to shamanic medicine & herbalism; to Satchidananda Ashram, where she deepened her practice in hatha yoga and meditation; to Guatemala, where she studied dreamwork & Kabbalistic healing; and to the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, where she studied with Dr. Vasant Lad to become a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor. Through her work, Nicole aspires to stand in integrity with the lineages of her teachers while making the practices accessible in a modern context. Ultimately, she hopes to serve as a humble steward of these ancient traditions, carrying the light of awareness to inspire radical transformation through embodied wisdom & daily practice.

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