What is Raw Honey?


What is Raw Honey?

 You might've come across the term "raw honey," but ever wondered what it truly means? Even the National Honey Board recognizes there is no universal definition for it. However, Utah buzzed ahead with their HB148, shining some light on the subject. According to them, for honey to sport the 'raw' badge, it must be: 

  • Exactly as it is in the beehive or as gathered by extraction, settling, or straining.

  • Minimally processed.

  • Not pasteurized. 

Now, you may wonder, why does raw and unfiltered matter? Because it's the closest you can get to nature's sweetness without any interference. Raw, unfiltered honey retains all the wholesome goodness – nutrients, flavors, and the magical touch of bees. At The Honey Jar, we cherish this pure essence, making sure you experience honey just as nature intended. 

What Is Raw Honey and How Does It Differ from Regular Honey? 

Raw Honey

  • ✅ Nutritional Content: Rich in natural vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.
  • ✅ Stores Indefinitely: Will get darker gradually with age but honey stored under the right conditions will stay good for a long, long time.
  • ✅ Natural Properties: Contains antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • ✅ Unique Flavors: Flavor varies depending on the types of flowers visited by bees.
  • ✅ Contains Pollen: Includes pollen, believed to offer health benefits.
  • ✅ Less Processed: Closer to what bees naturally produce.
  • ❌ Cost: Tends to be more expensive because of the extra care in processing.
  • ❌ Crystallization: Tends to crystallize more quickly.

Regular (Pasteurized) Honey

  • ✅ Won't Ferment: Pasteurization kills yeast cells, extending shelf life.
  • ✅ Consistent Quality: Undergoes additional filtering for a clear, smooth texture.
  • ✅ Readily Available: Widely available in most grocery stores.
  • ✅ Cheaper: Generally cheaper because of the speed of processing.
  • ✅ Easier to Use:  processed honey usually stays liquid longer making it easier to squeeze from a bear or bottle.
  • ❌ Reduced Nutrients: Heating process destroys some natural enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • ❌ Lack of Beneficial Enzymes: Lacks the beneficial enzymes present in raw honey.
  • ❌ Bland Taste: Distinct flavors from different types of nectar are often lost.
  • ❌ Potential for Additives: May contain added sugars or syrups.
  • ❌ May be blended with honey from other countries.
  • ❌ Burnt Taste: Sometimes processed honey will not taste as fresh as some of the honey can be overheated and taste carmelized.


Raw honey is a natural sweetener created by bees from the nectar of flowers. Unlike regular honey, raw honey is not processed, heated, or pasteurized. This means it retains its natural enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants. But what sets raw honey apart from pasteurized honey? Pasteurized honey, commonly found in grocery stores, is heated to kill any yeast that may cause fermentation. This process also extends shelf life but can reduce the honey's nutritional value.  

Why Is Raw Honey Considered More Beneficial Than Filtered or Pasteurized Honey? 

Raw honey is prized for its health benefits. It contains natural antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and selenium. Also, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of raw honey are more potent than in pasteurized honey. These benefits are often diminished during the pasteurization process, which involves heating the honey. 

What Does "Unfiltered Honey" Mean, and How Is It Different from Filtered Honey? 

Unfiltered honey is a type of honey that has not been filtered to the extent of regular honey. While filtered honey is clear and smooth, unfiltered honey contains bits of wax, pollen, and propolis, which are beneficial for health. These components add to the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of the honey. 

How Can You Tell If Honey Is Truly Raw and Pure? 

There are no reliable home tests for identifying pure honey. The national honey board produced this guide for home testing myths.  

What Are the Best Ways to Use Raw Honey in Daily Life? 

Raw honey can be a versatile addition to your daily life. Here are some ideas: 

  • As a natural sweetener in tea or coffee.

  • Drizzled over oatmeal, yogurt, or toast.

  • As a soothing throat remedy.

  • In homemade face masks for skin hydration.

  • In salad dressings or marinades. 

Remember, raw honey should not be given to infants under one year due to the risk of botulism.


Are There Any Risks Associated with Consuming Raw Honey? 

While raw honey is generally safe for most people, it can contain traces of pollen and environmental contaminants. Individuals with severe allergies should be cautious. Also, as mentioned earlier, it should not be given to infants under one year. 

How Should Raw Honey Be Stored to Maintain Its Quality? 

To preserve the quality of raw honey, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Honey does not spoil, but excessive heat can affect its flavor and texture. Also, always use a clean, dry spoon to scoop out honey to prevent contamination. For a more detailed guide visit our blog post  

What is the best way to store honey? - The Honey Jar (thehoneyjarhome.com) 

FAQ Section 

Q: Can raw honey help with allergies? 

A: Some people believe that consuming local raw honey can help build a tolerance to local allergens. However, this is not scientifically proven and should not replace medical treatment for allergies. 

Q: How long does raw honey last? 

A: Raw honey has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly. It may crystallize over time, but this does not mean it has gone bad. 

Q: Is raw honey vegan? 

A: This is a topic of debate. Since honey is a product made by bees, some vegans choose not to consume it. Others are okay with consuming honey, especially if sourced from ethical beekeepers. 

Q: Can raw honey be used in cooking and baking? 

A: Yes, raw honey can be used in cooking and baking, but high temperatures might reduce its nutritional benefits.



We hope this guide has illuminated the sweet world of raw honey for you! Whether you're drizzling it on your morning toast or using it as a natural skin remedy, raw honey is a versatile and wholesome addition to any lifestyle. Remember, when choosing honey, opt for raw and unfiltered varieties to enjoy the most benefits. Happy honey adventures!