Honey, Honey, You are my candy girl

OH, Honey!

Today I wanted to talk to you guys about honey in hot tea. Many people including myself use honey as a sweetener for tea. Last week, while shopping for organic local honey, the shopkeeper told me that the local beekeeper had told her that honey actually loses its natural nutritional value when added to hot/boiling water.

What?! For more than 20 years I have been adding my honey to boiling water while my tea brewed!

I rushed home and started to research the topic and guess what? It’s true!


“The idea is that heat destroys enzymes. And basically any time you are going to heat honey the enzymes are going to get destroyed and as a result dilute a lot of the medicinal value of the honey. Raw and unfiltered honey has incredible antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s very, very healing in many ways.”

Ross Conrad, a fellow Vermonter and author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture.  [1]


While warm water is fine, above 42 degrees centigrade, the all-important ‘medicinal’ molecular structure of honey is changed irrevocably, making it indigestible. [2] The same thing can be said about cooking your veggies; at high temperatures the vitamins and minerals get stripped away! Beats me why I never thought of it that way before.


So this is what you should be doing: Let your tea cool to a drinkable temperature (enough to not burn your tongue) before adding any honey. This way it tastes good and does good! Or, like me, you could eat a full spoon of raw honey by itself. Also, make sure your honey is not pasteurized as hot water or not, there will be no effect since all it’s nutrients have already been destroyed.


And if you are not eating honey, here are some benefits raw honey gives us [3] [4] :

  1. It’s Antibacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-Fungal – Basically meaning it’s a wound healer, nourishes skin, and relieves sore throats.
  2. Its Free-Radical Scavenging Effects / Anti-Oxidant Properties – The darker the honey, the higher the antioxidant levels.
  3. Amino Acids & Vitamin C – This speeds up the growth of healthy tissue.
  4. Energy – boosts performance, endurance and reduces muscle fatigue.
  5. Diabetes & Cholesterol – Has a positive effect on cholesterol & blood sugar levels.


Photos by Orestis Katsilis

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