Honey and cheese platter

What are the benefits of raw honey and medihoney?

This article will look at good quality raw honey and what the benefits are, shop bought vs local raw honey. Tips on what you can do with honey and the Golden Honey recipe; and how you can use MGO Honey / Medical grade honey, follows. If you are wanting more information on MGO, UMF, DHA and HMF read our article on MGO vs UMF What does it all mean?

What are the benefits of eating raw honey?

The use of honey has been around for thousands of years. Honey has even been found inside the tomb of a noblewoman in Georgia, which dates back around 5500 years. So with all this history you might ask why are we only coming to a better understanding of honey and its value, now? In part this is explained by the current research on the medicinal value of MGO honey. Exploring the differences between honeys has brought greater knowledge. Supporting the use of honey to cure ailments and wounds by First Nation peoples to the “Old bushmans’ trick”, we now have some cold hard facts from scientific research.

Good quality raw honey being poured over pancakes with strawberries

Eating good quality raw honey will:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve heart health
  • Aid memory and brain functioning
  • Help with gut health
  • Prevent coughs and sore throats
  • Improve sleep
  • Help your immune system
  • Reduce the need for antibiotics

Why buy local raw honey from the local apiarist

The best way to get good quality raw honey is to support your local apiarist and buy it straight from them if you can; that way, you can talk to them about the process they use in extracting the honey. Cagey apiarists will not tell you their “secrets” for producing the best honey but you should find out whether it is heat treated. We will be happy to tell you how we extract the honey at Goodwood Produce. We use NO heat; not to make the honey flow from the comb, not even a hot knife to de-cap the honey, and then we cold press the honeycomb. The honey is filtered and a refractometer is used to check water content ensuring only the highest quality honey is bottled.

When buying honey from the shop, it can be tricky to know what is good honey and what is inferior or adulterated. Australian standards and labeling have improved over the years but it is not always that easy to understand. There have been a number of lawsuits with the little local apiarist fighting big multimillion dollar companies (eg. Capilano Honey vs Simon Mulvany). This has led to mistrust in shop-bought honey because not only might it have been processed in such a way as to lose health benefits but could be artificial. The scarcity of honey worldwide has led to considerable artificial honey being made overseas, so avoiding honey that has been imported may be the smart thing to do. The following extract (see article details below) shows how simply an artificial honey can be constructed.

“An artificial honey mixture was prepared by adding gluconic acid lactone to sterile deionised water until pH 3.8 was achieved following lactone hydrolysis. To 17.5mL of the gluconic acid solution, 40g fructose, 36.2g glucose and 2.8g sucrose were added and heated to 50o C to dissolve the sugars. This typical [artifical] honey solution was used in the standard assay procedure to determine the effect of sugar concentration or acidity on antimicrobial activity.”

Craig Davis’s June 2002 “ Use of Australian Honey in Moist Wound Management”.

So the best way to be sure of the quality of honey is to ask around your town. You will be sure to find out by word of mouth who has the best raw honey. Alternatively go online and find “raw honey near me” and check out their testimonials like this one from Goodwood Produce:

“So I’ve never been a fan of potato, however that all changed the moment I smothered them in Goodwood Produce honey! Something inside me has awoken and I’m never going back to those plain potato ways of the past.”

Mark Meredith - Facebook

Honey: Medicinal Values

Medicinal Values in plain good old raw honey comes from:

1. Its acidity (low pH)

2. High sugar concentration and hygroscopic effect the presence of bacteriostatic and bactericidal compounds (such as Hydrogen Peroxide, lysozyme, polyphenols (including phenolic acids, flavonoids) and bee peptide – The ‘Peroxide Activity’.)

The Hydrogen Peroxide effect produced when honey is applied to wounds may accelerate the healing. It is thought to do so by stimulating cell proliferation for the growth of fibroblasts and epithelial cells which repair damage; and aiding the development of new capillaries in the damaged area as part of the normal inflammatory response to injury or infection.

Lysozyme is a small enzyme that attacks the protective walls of bacteria. Polyphenols, with antioxidants, have impacts on inflammation, heart disease, obesity as well diabetes. The bee peptides easily penetrate bacterial cell membrane and disrupt protein folding leading to the death of the bacteria.

Medihoney or Medicinal Honey acquires its value from:

1. ‘peroxide’ activity ( as described above)

2. the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO or MG) (The MGO originates from dihydroxyacetone, DHA, which is present in the nectar of Leptospermum Species)

Dihydroxyacetone is also known as glycerone and is the result of the microbial fermentation of glycerol. It is found at various levels in the nectar of Leptospermum plants. The varying levels of DHA affect the degree to which the honey is activated. Methylglyoxal is created by the interaction of dihydroxyacetone in the honey with naturally occurring proteins and amino acids. Activated Honey, if stored at about 25 degrees C, continues to increase in methylglyoxal MGO until DHA is used up (drained to 2:1 ratio).

Honey with medicinal non-peroxide activity (NPA) is highly sought after as it is not damaged by the catalase present in body fluids and can withstand gamma radiation used in sterilization. There are microbiological and chemical tests that are used to determine the level of antibacterial activity in this medihoney.

Read “Up-to-date use of honey for burns treatment” in Annual Burns Fire Disasters 2014 Mar 31 27(1) 22-30; for substantiated research on the use of honey in medicine as a whole and not just the burns treatment.

MGO honey:

MGO honey has all the benefits of raw honey but has a lot more uses the stronger it gets, but the price tag does go up as well. The following table lists some of the suggested uses at different MGO ratings, including a comparison with the NZ UMF (Unique Manuka Factor).


Suggested Usage

(UMF) equivalent


Ultimate strength wound care



Strong wound care



Wounds that are slow to heal & oral care



Digestive health



Minor wound & oral care



Daily maintenance dose



Better than the normal healthy treat


Golden Honey Recipe

Honey when mixed with other ingredients can make a powerful immune booster with antibiotic properties. The following recipe will also reduce inflammation and thin the blood. Check out our blog Golden honey Recipe. To see how to make your own today.

So to wrap it up, raw honey is great for you and having it regularly will promote a much healthier lifestyle. To get the best, find your local apiarist and support them in their love of bees and passion for producing honey. Or for any of our products contact us today.

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