Honey


Frequently Asked Questions About Honey

What's the best way to identify pure honey?

Honey can be adulterated by the addition of glucose or table sugar solution, high fructose corn syrup, flour, starch, gypsum and many other substances.

Impure honey does not provide most of the natural health benefits of honey. Many are concerned about the possibility of negative health effects caused by the substances added to honey. Not to mention, honey is rather pricey so surely, you would not want to pay top dollar for an adulterated product.

You may find many simple tips to test the purity of honey at home from the internet. Although a lot of these tips may have some basis, they are not foolproof due to the fact that:

1. Honey varies greatly in terms of colour, thickness, flavour, density and floral source.

2. The test result depends greatly on the amount of honey you (the tester) use and the duration of time the honey is subjected to the test, but these parameters are not specified by the tests provided online.

The International Honey Commission has determined that the acidity, moisture, sugar and mineral content are reliable ways to confirm the purity of honey. These parameters are usually tested in the lab.

Many honey suppliers do perform at least one of these tests, just as Lovoury Honey has had our honey tested by independent Thailand and Germany laboratories to confirm that our honey is pure.

References:

1. Benefits of Honey. Are These 4 Ways of Testing for 100% Pure Honey Valid? [Internet]. Benefits of Honey [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.benefits-of-honey.com/pure-honey.html

2. Natural Cures. 3 Tests to Check If Your Honey is Pure or Fake [Internet]. YouTube: Natural Cures; 2017 Feb 8 [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDmRdiZ1Pt0

3. Bogdanov S, et al. Honey Quality, Methods of Analysis and International Regulatory Standards: Review of The Work of The International Honey Commission. Swiss Bee Research Centre. 2000: 1-15.

What’s the uniqueness of Lovoury Honey?

Lovoury Honey is certified 100% pure honey which has been tested by independent, accredited laboratories in Thailand and Germany. The results show high diastase enzyme activity of over 12 units for our Wildflower Honey and 18 units for our Longan Flower Honey.

Additionally, Lovoury Honey has a rich aroma of flowers, which will awaken your senses.

Does pure honey really not attract ants?

This depends greatly on the type of honey because different honey from different sources vary a great deal in terms of its sugar content, aroma, thickness and moisture content.

Many types of honey attract ants while some doesn't. Therefore this is not a test that can be used to check the purity of honey.

*Our advice: Please clean up the surrounding of the bottle after taking your honey. Then close the lid tightly and properly to prevent ants from visiting.

Reference:

1. Benefits of Honey. Are These 4 Ways of Testing for 100% Pure Honey Valid? [Internet]. Benefits of Honey [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.benefits-of-honey.com/pure-honey.html

Pure honey doesn't crystalize?

Pure honey DOES CRYSTALLIZE but several factors determine the time it will take for the crystallization to happen:

1. The sugar content. Honey with a higher glucose content typically crystallizes faster.

2. The storage temperature. Cooler temperatures (below 10°C) tend to delay crystallization while temperatures between 10°C to 21°C speed up crystallization. Higher temperatures (21°C and above) also delays crystallization like cooler temperatures, but may destroy some of the valuable honey components at long-term storage.

3. The natural moisture content of honey and the surrounding humidity. Honey with a naturally high moisture content and/or a high surrounding humidity during storage delays honey crystallisation. High moisture content however may make the honey more vulnerable to damage.

4. The type of packaging. If the packaging is not air tight, the loss of moisture from honey will cause crystallisation over time.

Keep in mind, however, that crystallization is not a bad thing because it does not change the honey's quality.

References:

1. Assil HI, Sterling R, Sporns P. Crystal Control in Processed Liquid Honey. J Food Sc. 1991; 56(4): 1034.

2. Honeypedia. Why Does Honey Crystallize [Internet]. Honeypedia [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: http://honeypedia.info/why-does-honey-crystallize

Is honey gluten free?

Yes, honey is naturally gluten free. However, honey that has been adulterated by flour will contain gluten.

Reference:

1. The Gluten Free Diet. The Complete List of Gluten Free Foods [Internet]. The Gluten Free Diet [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: http://www.the-gluten-free-diet.com/gluten-free-foods.html

Does honey never go bad?

Honey never goes bad by itself. In fact, some 3,000 years old honey was found in Egyptian Pyramids and they are still perfectly edible. Honey only goes bad if contaminated when being used.

During storage however, the content and characteristics of honey does change. Most honey becomes darker the longer it is stored. The acidity also increases while the antioxidants’ and enzymes’ activities reduce over time. Honey may also crystallize as it loses moisture during storage.

References:

1. Dimins F, et al. The Criteria of Honey Quality and Its Changes During Storage and Thermal Treatment. LLU Raksti. 2006; 16 (311): 73-78.

2. National Geographic. Honey in The Pyramids [Internet]. National Geographic; 2015 Nov 23 [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/history/honey-in-the-pyramids.aspx

3. Pajak AP, Swiglo AG. Directions of Colour Changes of Nectar Honey Depending on Honey Type and Storage Conditions. Journal of Apicultural Science. 2015; 59(2): 51- 61.

4. Qamir S, Ahamed F, Ali SS, Shakoori AR. Effect of Storage on Various Honey Quality Parameters of Apis Dorsata Honey from Nepal. Pakistan Journal of Zoology. 2013; 45(3): 741-747.

5. Saric G, et al. Change in Honey Bioactive Properties During Storage. Food Technol. Biotechnol. 2012; 50(4): 434-441.

Honey can soothe a sore throat?

Apart from honey’s ability to fight infections that cause sore throats and coughs, honey is also amazingly able to soothe a sore throat and suppress coughing.

A study has even found that honey is able to reduce night-time coughing and improve sleep. In fact, it was found to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient in cough mixtures – dextromethorphan.

References:

1. Bogdanov S, Jurendic T, Sieber R, Gallmann P. Honey for Nutrition and Health: A Review. American Journal of The College of Nutrition. 2008; 27: 677-689. Steckelberg JM MD. Honey: An Effective Cough Remedy? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic; 2015 Jun 2 [cited 2018 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/honey/faq-20058031

Is honey suitable for all children and adults?

Yes, honey is suitable for both children and adults aged 1 year and above. In infants younger than 1 year, there is a health concern with regards to the presence of Clostridium Botulinum. This particular bacterium is present in all natural foods and because honey is generally not pasteurised or sterilised, the presence of the spores of this bacterium is very likely. In the stomachs of infants younger than 1 year, these spores can grow and cause infant botulism which leads to weakness and breathing problems. In children above 1 year old and adults however, this bacterium is harmless.

With that being said, allergy to honey is not unheard of so one should be observant of any allergic reactions during the first time an individual takes honey.

Reference:

1. Bogdanov S, Jurendic T, Sieber R, Gallmann P. Honey for Nutrition and Health: A Review. American Journal of The College of Nutrition. 2008; 27: 677-689.

Is it safe to take honey during pregnancy?

Yes, it's safe to eat honey during pregnancy. Healthy adults are not at risk of botulism from honey (explained above), even during pregnancy. Unpasteurized honey also DOES NOT pose health risks such as listeriosis (a bad intestinal infection) in healthy adults. 

References:

1. Botulism [Internet]. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases; 2014 [updated 2017 Oct 25; cited 2018 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/index.html

2. Hawthorne K. Is It Safe to Eat Honey During Pregnancy? [Internet]. Baby Centre [updated 2016 May; cited 2018 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-eat-honey-during-pregnancy_10305372.bc

Is there a problem with taking too much honey?

This is a highly debated matter among the medical and health professionals even now.

Researches have documented many beneficial effects of honey with rather high intake dosages between 50-80g. During the studies, even diabetic patients who took up to 75g of honey showed lower blood sugar levels overall when compared to taking sugar.

On the other hand, the World Health Organisation (WHO) generally recommends that we should limit our intake of natural sugars (from honey) to about 30g a day.

Confused??? Don’t be! The key to good health is MODERATION:

For a normal, healthy individual, you may take up to 50g of honey daily to enjoy all its health benefits. If you are diabetic but do not want to lose out on the benefits of honey, introduce honey to your diet slowly and limit your honey intake to 30g each day, to be safe. Instead of adding honey to your diet, on top of your normal sugar intake, it is better to use honey to replace your sugar so that your daily calorie intake does not increase.

References:

1. Bogdanov S, Jurendic T, Sieber R, Gallmann P. Honey for Nutrition and Health: A Review. American Journal of The College of Nutrition. 2008; 27: 677-689.

2. Burham L. Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat Honey? [Internet]. Medical News Today [updated 2017 May 28, cited 2018 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317662.php

3. Molan PC. The Antibacterial Activity of Honey. New Zealand: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato. 5-28.

4. UCSF. How Much is Too Much? [Internet]. Sugar Science -The Unsweetened Truth: University of California San Francisco [cited 2018 Apr 18]. Available from: http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption/#.WtYeGYhubIU

Can Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 patients take honey?

The surprising answer is YES! The recommendation is moderation as mentioned in the FAQ above. Many studies have confirmed that honey’s impact on blood sugar levels is far less than pure glucose or regular table sugar. The key in controlling the disease and avoiding health complications in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is to avoid large and sudden hikes in the blood sugar level. In patients’ continuous efforts in controlling their blood sugar level while still enjoying some sweet foods, honey is a great sugar replacer in their diet.

Diabetics also face many health risks or complications related to the disease, such as higher cholesterol levels, liver and kidney complications, higher risk of cancer and severe infections. As honey have proven benefits in reducing the risk of all these health issues, taking honey in moderation may lend many additional health benefits to diabetic patients.

References:

1. Al-Waili NS, et al. Intravenous and Intrapulmonary Administration of Honey Solution to Healthy Sheep: Effects on Blood Sugar, Renal and Liver Function, Testes, Bone Marrow Function, Lipid Profile and Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Injury. J. Med. Food. 2003; 6: 231-247.

2. Al-Waili NS, et al. Honey Ameriolates Influence of Hemorrhage and Food Restriction on Renal and Hepatic Functions, and Hematological and Biochemical Variables. Int. J. Food. Sc. Nutr. 2006; 57: 353-362.

3. Burham L. Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat Honey? [Internet]. Medical News Today [updated 2017 May 28, cited 2018 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317662.php

4. Joe. Can Diabetics Eat Honey? The Research Will Surprise You [Internet]. Diet vs. Disease [updated 2017 Dec 18, cited 2018 May 4]. Available from: https://www.dietvsdisease.org/can-diabetics-eat-honey/

Is the application of honey good for treating or managing dermatitis?

Yes! Honey has been proven in countless studies to be an effective topical remedy for dermatitis and many other skin diseases such as those caused by bacterial or fungal infections, acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and even, (but not limited to) skin cancer.

Honey has been reported to moisturise dry, scaling or cracking skin, soothe itchiness, fight infections on skin and in wounds, regulate and normalise the skin’s immune system, reduce inflammation and redness and prevent the growth and spread of skin cancer cells.

In one study on seborrheic dermatitis patients who experienced scaling, itching and hair loss, applying 90% honey diluted in 10% water, three times weekly, improved all symptoms of the condition and prevented reoccurrence of the dermatitis when applied once weekly as maintenance. Patients even observed reduced hair loss.

*For medical treatment of skin diseases, kindly consult a dermatologist. Results from honey application may differ from person to person and is affected by the honey’s type, quality, purity, age, etc.

References:

1. Al Waili NS. Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Eur J Med Res. 2001 Jul 30;6(7):306-8.

2. Alangari AA, et al. Honey is potentially effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: Clinical and mechanistic studies. Immun Inflamm Dis. 2017; 5(2): 190–199.

3. McLoone P, et al. Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin. Cent Asian J Glob Health. 2016; 5(1): 241.

4. McLoone P, Warnock M, Fyfe L. Honey: A realistic antimicrobial for disorders of the skin. J of Microbiology, Immun & Infection. 2016; 49(2): 161-167

How should I consume honey?

Honey can be consumed in many different ways. It can be taken pure, mixed into a glass of water, tea, coffee, juice, etc. It can be used as a sweetener in dips, cooking and as a salad dressing. So go on and get creative!