Local Superfood: Raw Buckwheat Honey

I always get myself a treat at Christmas: local raw buckwheat honey. It's a superfood I feel is justified having a spoonful straight out of the jar. I bought a case from our new local beeswax candle partners, Fairhaven Farm as gifts for Apprentices here, and it's too good not to share with everyone! So now online and on the shelves just below the beeswax candles, you'll find Fairhaven Farm Raw Buckwheat Honey. $24/1000g in a glass jar, of course! http://www.anarreshealth.ca/content/honey-raw-buckwheat-fairhaven-farm-o...

Creating relationships with the people who make our foods and beautiful needful things is important to me. It is the greatest boon of having a store - knowing where things came from and valuing them all the more because of it.

Why is RAW buckwheat honey a superfood?
If you want buckwheat honey for its health benefits, it must be in the same condition as it was in the hive which means it has to be raw buckwheat honey. Buckwheat honey that has been heated (pasteurized) destroys the all of the pollen, live enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and aromatics.

Buckwheat honey has a deep, dark brown colour, pungent, strong molasses like earthy flavour and is high in mineral content and antioxidant compounds. Recent studies have shown buckwheat honey to be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup for treating a cough.

Buckwheat blossoms are an excellent source of nectar and blooming can continue well into the autumn. Buckwheat is neither a grass nor wheat but is a fruit related to rhubarb. Buckwheat was sometimes called "beechwheat" because its seeds look like small beech nuts. Buckwheat seeds are also used for making gluten-free flour.

Anti-oxidant Effects
Honey is a rich source of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds that demonstrate significant antioxidant activity. Daily consumption of honey has been shown to improve blood anti-oxidant levels and help prevent lipid peroxidation or damage to lipids — such as cholesterol — by free radicals. According to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods,” by Michael Murray et al, lipid peroxidation is integral to the emergence and progression of atherosclerosis. Dark-coloured honey has the highest concentrations of phenolic compounds. Buckwheat honey, in particular, is often cited as a rich source of anti-oxidants. According to May Berenbaum, head of the entomology department at the University of Illinois, the concentration of antioxidants in buckwheat honey is gram-for-gram comparable to that of tomatoes and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Honey Heals Wounds!
Honey acts as a therapeutic antiseptic for the topical treatment of wounds, burns and ulcers. Honey absorbs water, drying out wounds to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. Honey also contains the enzyme glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide when combined with the water absorbed from the wound. The antioxidants and flavonoids found in honey may also function as antibacterial agents, according to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” While dark-coloured varieties of honey such as buckwheat contain the highest concentrations of anti-oxidants, pasteurization can destroy these valuable compounds. Look for raw, unprocessed buckwheat honey, which has the highest amounts of health-promoting substances.

Buckwheat Hulls are useful, too!
I sleep on a buckwheat hull pillow. Buckwheat hulls are used as filling for pillows and zafu. The hulls are durable and do not conduct or reflect heat as much as synthetic fills and they are an excellent substitute for feathers for people with allergies. However, buckwheat hull pillows made with uncleaned and unprocessed hulls contain high levels of allergens that may trigger an asthma attack in those who are at risk.