Raw honey is best described as honey that is found in the beehive. Honey is extracted from the honeycombs of the beehives and then filtered through a mesh to remove impurities like dead bees and beeswax. The strained raw honey retains many beneficial nutrients and natural antioxidants.
Raw honey is more effective than regular honey because the store-bought honey undergoes processing through filtration and pasteurization, which remove the beneficial nutrients and reduce the antioxidants. During pasteurization, high temperature is applied to the honey in order to kill bacteria, yeast and to prevent fermentation. This helps to maintain the consistency and colour of honey to make it more attractive to buyers. During processing, honey is treated with high temperatures, which destroys many of its natural enzymes and vitamins. Therefore, through processing, honey becomes less effective and pure as it loses many of its natural healing properties.
According to the Ayurveda, honey is of two types, namely Naviha Madhu (fresh or recently collected honey) and Purana Madhu (old honey, which has been more than a year old). According to Sushruta, these two main types of honey have unique qualities and remedial powers. Naviha Madhu consists of Bruhana Guna, which is a laxative that also provides nourishment to the body. On the other hand, Purana Madhu, is antidiuretic and helps in scraping, which can lessen fat and help get rid of vitiated dosha. Susruta further categorizes eight distinct types of honey each having their own special properties, features and remedies. These eight types of honey are:
- Makshika Honey – This honey is very popular because of its light quality. It is mostly used in the treatment of lung ailments such as cough and asthma.
- Ardhya Honey – It has a sharp after digestion effect. It has a special liking for Kapha and Pitta dosha and the eyes. It is strengthening and does not flare up Vata in the same proportion as other honey does.
- Pautikka Honey – This variety of honey is drier than the other types. The colour of this honey is similar to that of ghee.
- Brahmara Honey – This is white in colour and because of its slimy, heavy and too much sweetness is not easily digestible.
- Chatra Honey – It is difficult to digest because it is slimy and heavy. However, it is effective in treating bleeding disorders, leukoderma and parasites.
- Audlaka Honey – This used in the cure of skin disorders, this honey also improves the sense of taste and is good for the voice. Just like Ardhya honey, this too has a pungent taste after digestion. It can cause a flare-up Pitta dosha.
- Dala Honey – This is dry honey, and as per the ancient texts, it is effective in keeping control of diabetes and preventing vomiting.
- Kshaudra Honey – This is comparatively light and usually easy to digest. Its colour is brown and possesses more cooling properties.
Ayurvedic honey has been used throughout history to cure a number of internal as well as external disorders. So, without further ado, buy ayurvedic honey as it offers so many benefits to the body and mind.