"Eating Local Raw Honey..." by Jeannie Ross, Ross Berry Farm and Apiary

Visit with Jeannie on Saturday at the market.  She will have lots of honey, hand-milled goat milk and honey soaps, beeswax candles and chamomile tea.  

Eating local raw honey is a good remedy that helps with allergies.  Raw honey means that the honey is just as it comes from the bee hive – not pasteurized or micro-filtered – just strained through a honey sieve to remove any beeswax or bee parts.  It has all the pollens, enzymes and other nutrients that are good for you.  Plus honey is a natural sugar since it is made from the nectar of flowers which your body can process better than granulated sugar.  Local honey does not have to be from bee hives close to where you live.  Local just means that it is made from the flowers of trees and plants that are the same varieties of trees and plants that grow in the area where you live.  Throughout the metro Atlanta area we all basically live at the same elevation from Pickens County to the north, south to Macon, east to Athens and west all the way into Alabama.  The best type of honey to eat for allergies is local Wildflower honey.  It is called Wildflower honey because it comes from all the flowers that bloom from May through June or July and those are the pollens that most of us are allergic to in the spring.

If you have spring allergies you should start eating local raw honey sometime in January.  You should eat a teaspoon to a tablespoon each day and do not immerse the honey in a hot liquid.  You can put your honey on a biscuit, toast, waffle or even in cold cereal.  Remember heating is the same as pasteurizing.  Slowly your body will build antibodies because you will be eating small amounts of the same pollens that you are allergic to.

Honey also has natural antibiotics in it.  Ancient Greek and Roman soldiers carried honey in their packs not for eating but to put on wounds.  Today honey from certain flowers is used to treat burn patients – not only is honey a germ free environment, it keeps the wound moist and has the natural antibiotics to promote healing.

All honey will crystallize at some point in time with the exception of Sourwood, Tupelo and Sage.  To prevent crystallization you should keep your jar of honey in a warm cabinet such as over the stove or refrigerator if you don’t eat it very often.  Should it crystallize you can re-liquify it by heating a pot of water on the stove to a simmer, remove the pot from the heat and sit your jar of honey in the water.  You may have to repeat this several times shaking the honey after each time to get the sugar crystals to melt.