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What is Organic Honey? How to differentiate it from others?

What is organic honey?

Flowers, bees and beekeepers play a fundamental role in obtaining organic honey. 

Organic honey, also known as pure honey, is obtained from the nectar of flowers. The bees are responsible for its subsequent collection and maturation in the hives. 

First, you have to be clear about the concept of organic honey and its principal differences with conventional honey. 

Organic honey is one in which no chemical product is involved in the entire production process. That is, the flowers do not have any contact with agrochemicals for a long period; the bees and the final product have not been treated with chemicals, medications, etc.

Data of interest

Currently in Spain, there are more than 2 million hives where more than 70% belong to professional beekeepers, that is, about 150 hives per beekeeper.

According to the last registered data of (Magrama), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the production of honey in Spain in 2020 exceeded 30,000 tons, which makes Spain along with Germany the largest honey distributors in the world, representing more than 50% of exports worldwide

In addition, according to the latest registered data (2014), the main honey -producing regions in Spain are Castilla y León, Andalucía and Galicia, representing 45.23% of national production.

What is organic honey like?

Organic honey is honey that comes directly from the hive and has not undergone any chemical alteration during the process, so it maintains all its properties. 

Depending on the origin of the honey, there will be very varied shades of color. The color of honey is directly defined according to the origin of the flower's nectar. Yellow is the most common color, although we can also find it in different lighter or darker shades depending on the flower, although there are also multifloral honeys or honeys with different textures: liquid or more solid known as butter honey.

Difference between organic and conventional honey

Difference between organic and conventional honey If we compare organic honey with conventional honey we can find three big differences, below we describe each of them: 

    • In conventional honey, it is normal to find residues from chemical products, mainly used to control common pests that bees have. No chemical products are used in organic honey; to avoid these pests, natural components found in the insects themselves or basic oils are used
    • In conventional honey, the bee collects nectar from plants from crops that are sprayed by pesticides. In organic farming, the beekeeper acts appropriately so that the bee only collects nectar from plantations that are free of chemicals and pesticides
  • For the production of conventional honey, the most common way to avoid some common diseases in bees (such as the mite: varroa destructor), is the use of medications that end up in the honey. In organic honey, bees are not treated with any type of antibiotic or medication; natural remedies are always used to avoid these common diseases.

Benefits and properties

Basic benefits that you need to know about organic honey

1.It is antibacterial

Due to its high sugar concentration, it allows the elimination of bacteria through a process called osmotic lysis. In addition, hydrogen peroxide makes honey a wonderful antibacterial product, being very common for the treatment of wounds, burns, etc.

2.Effective in treating sore throats

For those days when you wake up with a sore throat or cough, one of the best natural solutions is to drink an infusion with honey at night or a small spoonful of honey with lemon on an empty stomach, which with its anti-inflammatory effect will relieve irritation.

3.Antioxidant

Honey can have various shades, that is, we can find it from almost transparent to black. When a honey has a dark hue, it means that it has more calcium and iron phosphate, being richer in vitamins BC1 and C. Vitamin C in the body acts as an antioxidant, so daily use of dark honey can promote the health of your skin.

4.Improves memory retention

Raw honey contains a high level of calcium in its composition. Calcium performs a very important job within the brain, since neurons use this calcium to send electrical signals, which travel from one neuron to another to propagate the message. For this reason, honey considerably promotes an improvement in memory.

5.Improves the immune system and prevents pollen allergies

The main reason why honey is beneficial in reducing the level of allergy is that bees carry pollen from flowers, and this pollen ends up in the honey, creating antibodies that help reduce allergy symptoms. 

So that organic honey can improve your allergy, it is important that you consume this product from a source close to your place of residence. Consume it two months before spring arrives.

6. Your best friend for sleep

Combined with milk and infusions, honey will become your perfect ally for sleep. Honey is a product that has high levels of glucose; this causes the brain to reduce the levels of a hormone that determines our stages of wakefulness and rest, orexin, thus facilitating sleep. Next, we will look in more depth at this interesting benefit of honey.

Organic honey REM phase

Having quality sleep is essential to gain strength and face a new day. There are people who have problems enjoying a restful sleep, which causes them to always stay in a light sleep phase and never reach the well-known REM phase

This phase is unique and essential to consolidate memories and learn new tasks, both essential aspects of our daily lives. 

A simple action such as taking a spoonful of honey accompanied by an infusion or glass of milk before going to sleep will decrease orexin levels before going to sleep, which will lead to a more intense and deeper sleep.

Where can we find it?

Buying quality organic honey at a good price can be a great challenge, which is why we want to give you some guidelines on where you can purchase it.

Herbal store

Herbal stores are physical stores where we can find a large accumulation of medicinal plants and products with ecological components, such as organic honey. They normally offer a large assortment of honey, where you can choose between different varieties depending on their place of origin and the type of nectar that has been used in their manufacture. 

This option usually offers a higher price, because the supply chain is longer than other options that we will discuss.

Buy directly from the beekeeper/at origin.

Contacting the organic honey producer directly would be the best option if you want to buy honey directly from the honeycomb at the best price. Because you eliminate all intermediaries in the supply chain and buy directly at source, the purchase price will be significantly lower than that offered by an herbalist shop or any physical location that has organic honey. 

The main disadvantage of buying directly from the beekeeper is the difficulty of contact and the shipping methods they may offer. 

E-commerce

The best option if we talk about quality, price and shipping. At The Beemine Lab we offer organic honey and other products made with organic honey and CBD. It also offers competitive prices, since intermediaries are eliminated from the supply chain, and they ship in just 48 hours so you do not have to worry about long waiting times and unnecessary trips to physical shops. 

Bibliography

1. Alexis Madriga (28 de diciembre de 2007). «Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep». Wired News, Condé Nast. Archivado desde el original el 13 de mayo de 2008. Consultado el 5 de febrero de 2008.

2.El Rol de la Miel en los Procesos Morfofisiológicos de Reparación de Heridas. Carolina Schencke, Bélgica Vásquez, Cristian Sandoval, & Mariano del Sol. colección SciELO Chile, consultado el 06/01/2021.

3.Valeria Edelsztein (2011). Los remedios de la abuela, mitos y verdades de la medicina casera (colección ciencia que ladra). Siglo XXI. ISBN 978-987-629-179-8.

4.Steriade, M. (2005). «Sleep». eLS. doi:10.1038/npg.els.0004059. Consultado el 27 de diciembre de 2016.

5.Mijanur-Rahman, M., Gan, SH. & Khalil, MI. (2014). Neurological effects of honey: current and future prospects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014:958721.

6.Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (MAGRAMA) 2016

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Neuropsychologist | Specialised in treatments with Medical Cannabis

Tommaso Bruscolini

Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italy) is a neuropsychologist and phytotherapist based in Barcelona, where he has been running his private practice since 2014, both in person and online, where he formulates and produces different preparations with all kinds of medicinal plants, as well as making personalised recommendations.

A member of the Official College of Psychologists of Catalonia and qualified as a Health Psychologist, he is a specialist in Neuropsychology, the branch that studies the brain and its neurological function. Tommaso complements his training with studies in Phytotherapy and Herbalism at the Guild of Herbalists of Catalonia and two Masters, one in Nutrition and Herbal Dietetics and the other in Mindfulness.

In recent years she has specialised in Medical Cannabis, through private training and collaborations with different entities in the world of Medical Cannabis, coordinating for a year a clinic specialising in cannabinoid medicine, carrying out consultations, writing articles, talks, training courses as well as carrying out consultations and patient follow-up.

He currently collaborates with several entities of the cannabis sector in Spain, among other things he is the coordinator of the therapeutic area of the magazine DolceVita España, consultant in the SmokingMap portal, collaborator of the Unión de Pacientes por la Regulación del Cannabis (UPRC) and Alpha-Cat certified technician to perform cannabinoid analysis.

What fascinates him most about the Cannabis plant is the possibility it has to change the current medicinal and therapeutic paradigm towards a more holistic vision as it acts on our body, mind and mood, in a synergic way.

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