Honey is something that belongs in everyone’s storage. In its unrefined state, it contains natural vitamins, minerals, beneficial enzymes, and potent phytonutrients (nutrients naturally found in plants). It stores indefinitely if properly packed. Do not store honey in metal cans, the honey will turn black and develop a metallic taste over time. I was at someone’s home a few days ago when they had to throw a five-gallon can of honey out. It had been stored in a metal can for over twenty years. The taste was so bad you could not eat it. Store your honey in glass or plastic and it will last indefinitely.
Do not worry if your honey crystallizes, you can use it that way. If you like, your honey liquid merely heat it up, not too high a temperature to protect the nutrients.
This use of honey is actually an old traditional method of treating wounds and burns. A number of medical studies show that when used topically, honey is effective against viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. It’s also an effective cough remedy mixed with lemon.
Medical grade honey currently used by doctors is sterilized by gamma irradiation and filtered to remove any particulates, pollen, or other impurities. It is Leptospermum honey, which comes from hives of bees that collect nectar from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand. It is sold under the name Medihoney. Many doctors use it to treat diabetic foot ulcers, skin reactions caused by radiation in cancer therapy, gingivitis and periodontal disease, and wounds infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is non-prescription.
Beware of imitation honey. When you go to buy honey read the label. All the ingredients should be listed on the container. If the honey is not pure, it should be on the label, including the percentage of real honey, if any. Imitation honey is becoming common in the grocery stores. They put it in the same section as the real honey.
Here is one way to check if your honey is real or imitation. Rub some of the product between your index fingers until it disintegrates. If the honey is pure, some will be absorbed into your skin; pure honey is a good skin treatment. Pure honey is not sticky. If what you rub is sticky, it has sugar or artificial sweetener in it.
Look at the site http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/ for more information on imitation honey.
The best place to purchase honey is from a local beekeeper. Get the unfiltered if possible.
NOTE: Because of the risk of botulism, never give honey to an infant until after they are at least one year of age. The systems of infants are not yet developed and are susceptible to botulism from honey. Anyone allergic to honey should not ingest honey or apply it to wounds.