Raw honey Raw honey

Raw Honey

Raw honey is natural honey that hasn’t been pasteurised or fine filtered (or ultra filtered sometimes). Simply put, it’s had minimal processing before reaching the jar and contains a host of vitamins and minerals that just don’t exist in refined sugars.

It contains phytonutrients (surprise surprise, also found in plants) which give raw honey it’s antioxidant properties and is the main reason that it is has antiseptic and antifungal properties. Scientific studies link the specific antioxidants present in raw honey – glucose oxidase – to a reduction in oxidative stress, therefore lowering blood pressure and also the boosting of the immune system.

The medicinal properties of raw honey are as exciting as its breadth of flavour.

Unlike pasteurised honey, raw honey is recognised as a powerful prebiotic – it contains living microorganisms that can increase and drive the growth of good bacteria in your stomach and digestive tract.

Did we mention that raw honey can also be used as a dressing for minor skin complaints? It’s used in wound dressings for ulceration in the form of ‘medihoney’, allowing the body to heal from the outside in, also for the relief of eczema by direct application to sore areas and even our animal friends benefit when they cut themselves as it creates the perfect barrier against infection for wounds.

Raw honey
Raw honey


Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artefacts: unspoiled pots of honey. An unmistakable testament to the eternal shelf-life of honey. There are a few other examples of foods that keep indefinitely in their raw state: salt, sugar and dried rice for example. But there’s something about honey; it can remain preserved in a completely edible form, and while you wouldn’t want to chow down on raw rice or salt, one could ostensibly dip into a thousand year old jar of honey and enjoy it, without preparation, as if it had been out of the hive just a day. Put simply, its acidity, the lack of moisture and the presence of hydrogen peroxide all work in perfect harmony allowing the sticky stuff to last forever.

Raw honey
Raw honey
Raw honey


It goes without saying that many mass-produced honeys are sometimes adulterated by the addition of other sugars, syrups, or compounds to change the flavour or viscosity, reduce cost, or increase the fructose content to stave off crystallisation – also one of the main reasons that honey is sometimes pasteurised. This has been practiced since ancient times, when honey was sometimes blended with plant syrups such as maple or birch and sold to customers as pure. In modern times the most common adulterant became clear; almost-flavourless corn syrup and there has been much press coverage of this in recent times.

Storing raw honey is super simple. Even without preservatives, honey will keep virtually indefinitely in your kitchen cupboard. As hardy as raw honey is, it’s important to store it properly to preserve the taste, texture and quality. Store raw honey in an airtight glass jar. It’s also essential that the lid of the jar is secured properly and tightly. Keep it away from direct sunlight in a cool environment – inside a cupboard or larder is ideal.

Raw Honey FAQS

What is raw honey?

In brief, raw honey is natural honey that hasn’t been pasteurised or fine filtered (or ultra filtered sometimes).

Is raw honey safe?

It’s extremely safe for people to consume both raw and regular honey, although it’s a good idea to avoid any type of honey that contain added sugars. There is a very small chance that raw and regular honey may contain tiny amounts of a bacteria known as clostridium botulinum which can cause food poisoning in young children, hence why little ones under 12 months shouldn’t eat honey because their digestion isn’t fully-developed like adults.

Will raw honey help allergies?

Thousands of people swear by it, saying that a spoonful a day – preferably starting before the pollen season begins – has transformed their lives and eased all of their symptoms.

Pollen looks charming under a microscope – like pretty little spiky balls. Up the nose, however, it can be such a menace that a fifth of the population worries about the coming of summer.

Dry, sunny days when the pollen count in the air is high can make your nose run and your eyes stream.

Most of the remedies for hay fever aren’t very attractive either. You can feel drowsy on anti-histamines or worry about what steroids are doing to your body…or just simply stay indoors.

 So, why is eating a spoonful of raw honey a day growing as an alternative to the usual medicines?

Thousands of people swear by it, saying that a spoonful a day – preferably starting before the pollen season begins – has transformed their lives and eased all of their symptoms.

The main principle behind honey’s benefit is desensitisation through eating the pollen. Just make sure that the honey you take hasn’t been too finely filtered. We ‘coarse filter’ our honey to 200 microns, so leaving all of that lovely wind-born pollen intact.

It doesn’t matter too much if the hive that your honey comes from is on your doorstep or fifty miles away because our national flora is fairly similar across most of the country. Try and opt for multi-floral honey produced in this country (which Haughton Honey is, of course) as it will contain a good mix of pollens that you may be sensitive to. That’s wildflower honey, not honey from one particular flower.

However, we don’t want to make lots of extravagant claims and the medical evidence is anecdotal at the moment, but wouldn’t it be nice if raw honey was an enjoyable, natural alternative to anti-histamine pills or nasal spray?

How do I store my raw honey?

It’s important to store raw honey properly to preserve the taste, texture and quality. Ideally, store your honey in an airtight glass jar away from direct sunlight and in a cool environment, preferably in a kitchen cupboard or larder.

What’s the difference between raw honey and organic honey?

Whereas raw honey is more about how honey is processed (or not), determining whether honey is organic involves having an accredited, third-party inspection which looks at a beekeeper’s hives, production and extraction processes, and most importantly the land around the hives for sources of contamination and non-organic compounds.

Is raw honey good for diabetics?

The short answer is yes, but honey should be consumed in moderation. If you have diabetes, it’s usually safe for you to eat. People living with diabetes have to control and manage their carbohydrate and sugar intake, but this doesn’t mean that they have to avoid sweets altogether. In moderation, raw honey isn’t only safe, but it has anti-inflammatory properties that might also reduce diabetes complications.

Does raw honey go off?

In the UK, Trading Standards require that shop bought honey has a ‘best before’ date printed somewhere on the label which takes into account possible temperature variations due to storage and repeated use which may – over time – potentially degrade the flavour and quality of the honey. To be honest though, so long as it’s been stored properly, honey past the best before date will still be perfectly safe and delicious to eat whatever the age.

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