According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, even though raw honey is made up of mostly simple sugars and water, it has many medicinal properties, including its ability to help heal skin wounds and ulcers. Its effectiveness lies in its levels of vitamins C, D, E, K and B-complex and beta-carotene, minerals, enzymes and essential oils. It is rich in antioxidants that make it effective at fighting respiratory infections.
Cooking Honey: Good or Bad?
Did you know, Ayurvedic practitioners kept bees in locations with certain herbs to specifically create a unique healing effect? It is believed that honey which was harvested in the area with herbs or flowers would have an effect over the qualities of pollen harvested by the bee. The natural healing effects are attained from honey's raw form and by disturbing its chemicals by heating or over heating may completely change its compounds leading to health hazards.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), heating honey is contraindicated as it causes adverse effects. Cooking it deteriorates the quality and loses its essential enzymes and nutrients. Heated honey can actually produce delirious effects in the body and can be fatal at the same time.
Cooking honey to 40 degree Celsius causes a negative chemical change that makes it taste bitter. Heat destroys the beneficial qualities of honey and by buying processed honey, which is already heated at a certain temperature, you are only making it worse. According to Ayurveda, when cooked, honey becomes equivalent to glue. The molecules tend to adhere to mucous membranes in the digestive tract, further producing toxins, called Ama (undigested food), which become the root cause of ill health. It contributes to congestion, weight gain, respiratory diseases, skin conditions, digestive problems and blood glucose imbalances. Pasteurising honey may also cause to increase the glycemic index, which is not good for diabetics.(Also read: Honey, Lemon and Water: Urban Myth or Miracle Potion?)
As per Ayurvedic Expert, Dr. Sudha Asokan from Delhi, people generally drink lukewarm water mixed with honey, which is used for two purposes only, one is to stop vomiting and second is to cure constipation. In this case, do not heat the water and mix honey. The nutrients that it contains may turn poisonous and lead to ill effects in the body. Never Cook Honey Again!
It is imperative to understand that we shouldn't disturb the natural environment of any food as they are beneficial in their own ways. Heating or cooking honey has some serious ill effects on your body, therefore, you must ensure that you only buy raw or organic form of honey and consume it without heating it. Also make sure that you do not buy any commercially sold honey, which is already processed and heated further hampering the nutrients it contains.