Honey, a superfood that can boost your physical and mental health to help you lead an energetic life. As food and natural cosmetics, honey has proven benefits for our skin, digestive system, and respiratory system. Along with the top brands in the market like Dabur, Saffola, and many lesser-known brands also provide varieties of quality honey like raw, monofloral, polyfloral, and forest honey.
Do you want to know how to choose good quality, honey? So follow the article. First, we will look at the health benefits, and we will move on to the buying guide that will help you choose the best honey, depending on your needs. In the end, we have curated a list of some of the best honey available in the market. This article has been medically reviewed by a nutritionist, Ruchi Wadhwa, so get to know more as the expert reveals some authentic information.
Ruchi Wadhwa is a certified Nutritionist with a keen interest in Ayurvedic science. She has a wholesome, holistic, and sustainable approach to nutrition.
mybest editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in India in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Nowadays, we are used to flipping the package to check the ingredients list of any product we buy. Well, you may have to do that while purchasing honey too, because there are certain factors to consider before we buy this nutrient-rich food. Let's go through them one by one.
Pasteurization is a process of rapidly heating and cooling to destroy microorganisms in a food material. But this process also destroys proteins and other nutrients in it. The heating process also makes the honey flow easier, making the filtration process easier, which, by the way, removes bee pollen known for having over 250 types of nutrients.
Check the packaging to find out if the honey you are buying is unprocessed, unfiltered, and unpasteurized so that the product has all the vitamins and minerals nature intended it to have.
Honey that is unprocessed, unfiltered, and unpasteurized is labeled as 'Raw.' Raw honey is said to have most of its properties intact. The phytoactive compounds in honey are responsible for all of its health benefits.
Heavy processing like pasteurization (prolonged heating) can destroy these bioactive compounds and result in CHO-rich food minus the health benefits. Honey is usually processed and filtered to remove the derbis and bee parts from honey. Still, these processes do much more than that and result in removing certain nutritional substances such as bee pollen.
However, raw honey can also carry certain harmful bacteria like C.botulinum, resulting in a life-threatening disease called 'botulism.' Therefore, it is important to choose honey from all those manufacturers that are transparent about their production process have certain quality assurance markers like AGMARK.
Depending on the region and the flowers the honeybees feed, honey can have different tastes and nutritious value. For example, if a region predominantly has one type of flower, then the honey will have the taste, aroma, and nutritious value of that particular flower alone.
For example, acacia honey is lighter in color and has a flower-like aroma. Because of the high fructose content, acacia honey crystallizes much slower than regular honey. Another example is orange blossom honey made when honeybees visit orange trees only. This honey has a tangy and fruity flavor and is also rich in minerals like selenium, boron, and zinc.
You will also come "raw" honey while shopping. This is basically the honey that hasn't gone through any processes except for filtration through a mesh that separates dead bees, bee wings, and other impurities.
Based on origin, honey is either monofloral or polyfloral. Monofloral honey is mainly made of a single type of flower like acacia or pine, etc. Whereas polyfloral honey is a blend of different kinds of flowers. The monofloral honey is often referred to as raw honey. It is said to be more beneficial than polyfloral honey, as it has the majority of pollens from a specific kind of flower.
Its purity is known by the pollen count; the higher the number, the higher the purity of honey, and more will be its beneficial properties, and the better will be its taste and aroma. However, the production of monofloral honey is difficult. Therefore, most of the 'pure' honey you find in the market is polyfloral.
Usually, wild honey is collected from the beehives present in the forest, which is made by the bees feeding on the nectar of wildflowers. But large-scale honey farming by companies typically involves artificial beehives, which are manmade structures that function as beehives, to which honeybees are introduced.
There is one problem with artificial beehives - they can be fed with sugar syrup instead of allowing them to collect nectar naturally from flowers. When you buy products that say "wild honey", you can be sure that it is free from any sort of human intervention or adulteration.
There is also a higher chance of the presence of bee pollen in wild honey, which is rich in fatty acids, micronutrients, and enzymes that act as an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster.
Wildflower honey or wild honey is polyfloral because its nectar comes from various naturally grown flowers in the wild. Therefore its flavor, aroma, and color may vary from season to season depending on the type of flowers. Like other honey varieties, raw wildflower honey offers various health benefits like improved digestion, antioxidant effect, relief from chest congestion, etc.
Still, one of the biggest health advantages it has over other varieties is it provides relief from seasonal allergy symptoms. Unfiltered, wild honey contains pollens from seasonal flowers that help to boost the immune system during allergy season and reduces the symptoms.
It all depends on the flowering plants and trees present in a particular region. For example, Himalayan honey is naturally harvested from the tress of the sub-Himalayan valley. The flowers found exclusively in this area give the honey a distinct taste and specific antifungal and antimicrobial properties of the plants.
Acacia honey is another example of region-specific honey. In the areas where the flowers of the black locust plants are present predominantly will make the honeybees feed on their nectar, producing honey that has a floral aroma and a delicate flavor. If the honey that you buy from the stores doesn't mention anything about the region, it won't have any distinct taste that makes it stand out from regular honey.
Region-specific honey may not necessarily be monofloral honey. Honeybees may travel up to five miles in search of nectar. If the region also has other flowering plants, the honey they produce may not have the taste, aroma, and consistency you are looking for. So, whether you are buying online or sourcing directly from a farmer, make sure to do your research.
There is a misconception that organic honey means honey collected from natural beehives. Not necessarily. Suppose the honeybees visit a garden that has been sprayed with pesticides, the resulting honey will also be contaminated, and cannot be called organic honey.
But even if a beekeeper is harvesting honey from artificial hives, and if the flowers the honeybees collect nectar from have not been sprayed with any chemicals, it can be called organic honey. As long as the honey doesn't go through filtration and heating processes before bottling, you will get a product with all the essential vitamins and minerals intact.
So, check if the package says organic honey, and if it also says unfiltered, unprocessed, and unpasteurized, you can be assured that the honey you have in hand is exactly how it is when it was extracted from the beehive.
Organic honey is produced from plants grown organically, i.e., free from any pesticides or chemicals. Moreover, for honey to be classified as organic, the producer must ensure that honeybees are not given any antibiotics or treated with chemical toxicants.
Therefore, organic honey is beneficial for both environment and bees and should be preferred. At the same time, 'organic' honey will be most healthy when it is 'raw,' i.e., it is unprocessed and unfiltered. So while buying, always make sure that honey is both raw and organic.
Honey usually comes in jars. If you have a spatula that you can use to spread honey on bread loaves or other foods, a wide-mouthed jar will be more convenient for you. If exposure to air and moisture is your concern, you can go for a jar with a smaller opening.
Nowadays, honey also comes in bottles with nozzles. You can squeeze the bottle or hold it upside down, and the honey will ooze through; no mess and no extra crockery needed. Since honey doesn't flow very easily, you may have to keep the jar upside down overnight for whatever is on the bottom to flow towards the opening.
Honey should be stored in a cool, dry place in air-tight containers away from direct sunlight. Exposure to air and water can result in fungal or bacterial spoilage of honey. So, one should always use a dry spatula/spoon for scooping out honey and tightly close the lid every time after use.
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Antioxidant-Rich, Raw, and Organic Honey
The Honey Shop
Original Forest Honey From Natural Beehives
Sourced From Modern Beehives in Forests
Natural Mangrove Honey
Honey From Sundarban Mangrove Forest
The Forest Bee
Premium Acacia Honey
Monofloral Honey With the Health Benefits of Acacia
Raw, Unprocessed, and Organic Honey
Filtered Wild Honey
Infused With Cinnamon, Green Tea, and Lemon Extracts
Blend of Sunderban Honey and Tulsi
Squeezy Bottle for Your Convenience
Indigenous Honey sources its honey from its own artificial hives. It is 100% organic and raw honey extracted through ethical practices. This product is unfiltered, unprocessed, and unpasteurized that makes it a nutrient and antioxidant-rich superfood.
The honeybees get to feed on healthy flowers as the company's honey farms are always far away from the pollution of industrial areas. This product doesn't contain any chemicals or preservatives.
Some customers who bought this brand checked the authenticity by conducting at-home tests and found that this product is indeed free from sugar syrups and artificial flavorings.
The Honey Shop's raw honey is sourced from the natural beehives found in forests. The product is unpasteurized, unfiltered, and unprocessed to save all the nutrients and anti-oxidants from getting destroyed. The beehives are located deep in forests, free from the pollution of cities, and the honey is collected by trained foragers.
The benefit of forest honey is that the bees collect the nectar from the medicinal plants and a wide range of vivid flowers present in the forest, which makes it aromatic, delicious, and extremely good for health.
Bare Elixir Forest Honey is sourced from the modern beehives set up in the forest regions. The honey is unpasteurized, unfiltered, and unprocessed for maintaining the natural vitamins and minerals present in it. Since the beehives are present near the forest regions, the honeybees feed on the flowers of rare herbs growing deep inside the forests.
Customers who bought this product are using it to aid them in their weight loss journey, to treat cough and digestive problems too. They are also happy about the consistency of the honey and the mild sweetness that proves that the product is not spiked using sugar syrups.
Collected from the mangrove forests of Sundarban, Bonphool Natural Mangrove Honey is extracted from the artificial beehives set up near the forest. Since the honeybees feed mainly on the flowers of mangrove trees predominantly present in the region, this monofloral honey is less viscous and has the strong aroma of mangrove flowers.
The beekeeping and honey collecting is done by the traditional honey collectors of Sundarbans, and the initiative is supported by the government of West Bengal, which substantiates the purity of this product. Since this honey is less viscous than most of the natural honey brands in the market, it is a healthy option for sweetening milk and as a jam substitute.
Acacia honey is popular for its distinct but mild floral and vanilla-like flavors. Compared to other raw, natural honey in the market, this type of honey has a very light color. In India, acacia honey is mostly sourced from Sundarbans, Nilgiris, and even Himalayan forests, which makes it a rare product.
The Forest Bee Premium Acacia Honey is raw and unfiltered to protect the nutrients and enzymes naturally present in it. The antibacterial properties of acacia make this product helps to get rid of acne on the skin, and daily ingestion helps with purifying the blood too.
Dadev Forest Honey is raw, unfiltered honey that has a high pollen count. Bee pollen is known for strengthening the immune system, boosting liver health, and also works as a powerful anti-oxidant. Since this is free from any adulteration, there is a possibility of crystallization, which doesn't negatively affect the product.
Customers who bought this product have done home testing to check its authenticity and are extremely happy with the positive results. You can buy Dadev Forest Honey for boosting your digestive health, skin problems, anemia, and also to aid your weight loss efforts.
If you are someone allergic to bee pollen or if you like your honey to be less viscous and more golden brown, go for 24 Mantra's organic wild honey. This company sources honey from 20,000 farmers living in 15 states of India.
The organic nature of this honey comes from zero pesticide use in the gardens nearby. The rich aroma, taste, and consistency of the product have attracted a lot of customers again to buy this product. People have also used it for treating cough and skin infections and found that it works really well for them.
People using honey usually mix other herbs with it depending on the health issue they are trying to treat or to improve the flavors to suit their taste buds. Zandu Pure Honey with cinnamon, green tea, and lemon will be a unique experience for people who have never tried herb-infused honey.
Apart from improving the aroma and flavor profile, the extracts present in this honey helps with improving skin, aids in weight loss, and the anti-oxidants present in it support your immune system too. Customers who bought this have found it to be very effective for weight loss.
Zandu Pure Honey goes through a multi-stage filtration process for removing bee pollen and other substances that may cause allergic reactions in some people. Even though this process strips away many beneficial constituents of raw honey, for example, bee pollen, you can opt for this honey if you are looking for a relatively less expensive product.
The product has gone through sugar addition tests for all batches in a German laboratory and has cleared them all. Customers who checked with the company for the possibility of antibiotics in the product received test reports proving that there is none.
The packaging of Dabur Honey Squeezy is useful for spreading it on bread loaves, mixing it with milk, or adding it to shakes or desserts. The bottle stands on the nozzle cap that can pour out honey whenever it is opened. There is no need for an extra spatula or waiting for the honey to flow down on its own—something that usually happens when a honey bottle is almost over.
Customers who bought this have written reviews that it crystallizes within a few days, which proves that the product may be raw. But the drawback of Dabur Honey is it goes through an extensive filtration process that removes most of the beneficial nutrients from it.
Here is our buying guide for the best almond oils, olive oils, and oats in India. You may choose to add it to your food or apply it to your skin to keep it healthy and younger-looking. We have also included a list of our recommendations for each one of them.
We always do considerable research before buying any food product. The same we did for honey too. We know that adulteration is possible while manufacturing honey, so it is always better to buy organic and raw forest honey that hasn't gone through any process that destroys the nutrients naturally present in them.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
No. 1: Indigenous Honey | Raw Honey
No. 2: The Honey Shop | Forest Honey
No. 3: Bare Elixir | Forest Honey
No. 4: Bonphool | Natural Mangrove Honey
No. 5: The Forest Bee | Premium Acacia Honey
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