8 Types of Raw Honey to Pick Over Adulterated Ones

8 Types of Raw Honey to Pick Over Adulterated Ones
Raw, unadulterated honey is an effective immunity-builder, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Be honey wise, not sugar foolish. If you've turned to the natural sweetener to boost your immunity in the pandemic, we've got a list for you

Aashna Dhiman
January 09 , 2021
13 Min Read

The lockdown seemed all about fads, but if there is one trend that households throughout the world picked up during the pandemic, it was that of cooking, eating, and drinking healthy. 'Building immunity' became a nationwide obsession, as we all reached for our grandmothers’ recipes and elders’ age-old advice on reverting to organic food.

Processed sugar has been a perennial villain for the lifestyle-disease-stricken humanity, so no wonder honey, the natural sweetener, too, made a sweet return. Recommended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, honey-and-pepper is considered an effective home remedy for the virus season. The consumption of honey not only grew in India, but stoked interest among South Korean, Japanese and Australian buyers.

However, it wasn’t too late before the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reported that major Indian brands selling honey were using Chinese sugar. Upon using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, several Indian honey brands detected high levels of modified sugar syrups, which were going unidentified in the tests conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The honey-and-pepper we were consuming was more of sugar and spice.

Read: Boost Your Immunity the Right Way While at Home

It has become essential for one and all to recognise the true potentials of raw honey and make an effort to switch to healthier variants of it. Raw honey collected from beehives is produced naturally by worker bees using nectar they collect from flowers in the region. This process distinguishes honey from one region to another; thereby guaranteeing a unique taste, scent, and color to its honey consumers. 
Raw honey, produced using natural processes, is packed with health benefits
Unlike the commercial honey stocked in our supermarkets and grocery stores, unfiltered honey is high on antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals. Often heated and pasteurized on various levels, commercial honey, on the other hand, loses all its essential components and gets sold only for its glucose, fructose, and added preservatives.

To ensure that your next bottle or jar of honey is naturally produced and harvested, you might want to consider switching to local businesses that promote traditional beekeeping methods and work towards providing a healthy and medicinal variant of it. Some of the local honey types that you can find around India are:

Eucalyptus Honey

 
 
 
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Originated from the flowers of eucalyptus trees, the honey has a strong aftertaste of menthol. It is made without using preservatives and artificial colours and has a shelf life of 540 days. Usually recognised for its products in Australia, Under The Mango Tree along with other Indian companies, source this honey from beekeepers from plantations in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and their neighbouring areas. Eucalyptus is also recommended during a cold or a headache for its medicinal qualities.

Lychee Honey 

 
 
 
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Processed as a white to a light-amber honey, lychee honey has a pleasing aroma, a delicious flavour and makes for a great accompaniment with a bowl of breakfast cereal, toast, or even green tea. One local brand that sells this variant of raw honey in the country is Nature Hug. It sources the product from beekeepers working in the lychee farms of Uttarakhand. Building immunity, wound healing, and aiding bone health are a few of the benefits of consuming this locally produced honey.

Read: This Pretty Farm in Shantiniketan Shows You How to Grow Food

Sunflower Honey 

 
 
 
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Sunflowers are trusted for producing the best cooking oil and their seeds are full of health benefits. Their honey, too, has anti-bacterial properties and is preferred for its energy-boosting function. It is no wonder why the honey produced from using the nectar of sunflowers is loved in countries like France and Spain. Producing the same delicious taste and love for sunflower honey in India is The Honey Shop, which harvests this honey from sunflower fields in Maharashtra.

Rapeseed Honey

 
 
 
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Rapeseed or mustard honey is churned out by bees from rapeseed flowers that give it the buttery-yellow colour that it enjoys. Slightly peppery in flavor, the honey is recognised for its less acidic nature and works as a perfect remedy for indigestion. In India, The Nature’s Way has been producing raw mustard honey from various rural locations and harvesting it without cooking or pasteurising it. 

Jamun Honey

Often mistaken for Jamun-flavoured honey, this raw honey found in northern India is produced by Apis dorsata honey bees from the flowers of the jamun tree, during the months of May and June. The honey consists of 70% jamun nectar and pollen and is sourced by local brands such as Ghats Honey and the Bharat Honey Group. One spoon of raw honey a day will ensure you better sleep, and healthier skin.

Read: Maharashtra's Feast in the Forest

Multiflora Honey

 
 
 
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Originated in hilly regions, multifloral honey is processed using nectar from wildflowers found at high altitudes. Pure and raw in form, Zizira sources multifloral honey from Meghalaya where they take the help of different beekeepers based in various villages in the state. The best thing about this honey is that it develops a unique taste depending on the rainfall and summer conditions of the region. Those looking for some wild Himalayan honey can also get it from local brands such as the Uttaranchal-sourced Barosi or Kapiva

Acacia Honey

 
 
 
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By far the most popular type of raw honey, Acacia honey is produced from the nectar of vibrant acacia flowers. In India, the Kashmir valley is the hub of acacia flowers and the production of this monofloral honey. Due to its cleansing properties and therapeutic qualities, people with diabetes and respiratory problems can consume it for relief. One such local brand is Pahadi Local, which produces this light-coloured honey with less scope of crystallization.

Read: Ajam Emba: Reviving Lost Flavours of Jharkhand

Forest Honey

 
 
 
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Dark in appearance and warm to taste, the forest honey is produced from the tropical forests of central and eastern India. Honey and Spice had been a leading name in manufacturing forest honey from various parts of the country. From the local forest honey of southern India to the mangrove honey produced in eastern India, they supply it all. Aadhimalai, a homegrown brand known for its sustainable forest produce, is another good option and has outlets throughout southern India.


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