Raw Honey 101: Uses, Benefits and More

Raw Honey Benefits

Raw Honey. It’s something we’ve all (or most of us) have tasted, smelled and enjoyed. But did you know that raw honey is one of nature’s most precious gifts? In this blog post we’re going to delve into everything you need to know about honey. Where it comes from, honey uses and benefits and more!

The Honey Bee: Where Your Honey comes from

Before we start off I’d like to mention a few awesome facts about the honey bees:

  • Honey Bees are yellow and black
  • Bees die when they sting you
  • Honey Bees dance (Yup, totally true)


  • Honey Bee’s wings flap almost at 200 beats per second!
  • The average honey bee produces only about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work.


So the Honey Bees are amazing little creatures. The worker bees (female bees) work during the summer months to make honey, while the males stay in the hive to mate. When the winter months come around, they all bundle up close together for warmth and feed off the honey that they’ve collected.

What affects the taste of my raw honey?

When you are shopping online or at a supermarket for raw honey, you might have noticed the distinct difference in colors. And if you have bought different raw kinds of honey, you might have noticed that they not only look different but TASTE different.

So here’s the deal: The honey you see lining your commercial supermarket shelves is not raw honey. That is honey from thousands of hives all over, that have been thrown together and boiled down so they all have the same basic flavor: sweet. Sweet honey. While this may be beneficial if you are looking for that spark of sweetness in your tea or breakfast, it does not carry all the natural benefits you get from 100% pure, raw honey.

Raw honey differs from place to place. This is because the season, the flowers the bees are harvesting pollen from and conditions all affect the taste, smell, and color of the honey!

How the seasons affect Raw Honey

Which season the honey was produced is an important factor when it comes to honey. In spring, flowers are just starting to open and blossom, this means that they have not yet released a great number of their natural sugars into their pollen. Therefore, honey made during the beginning of Spring is not as sweet as the other seasons.

Later when the flowers are in full bloom, producing more pollen in order to attract bees, the honey will have a sweeter, darker and more full-bodied taste to it.

Notes found in Honey

Like we mentioned earlier, honey can have a variety of different tastes depending on which flower’s pollen was used. Here’s a list of the different types of honey-notes you can find in your raw honey:

  • Floral: Flowers like violet, rose, peony, honeysuckle, and jasmine.
  • Fruity: Tropical fruits like pineapples and mango; berries; citrus (is that a lemon, lime or grapefruit?); and dried fruits like raisins, prunes, and apricots. Beyond that, are those fruits ripe and sweet or unripe, like green figs or bananas?
  • Warm: Burnt sugars like caramel, marshmallow, and butterscotch; creamy notes of yogurt or butter; deep flavors of vanilla and chocolate.
  • Fresh: Crisp flavors like citrus and herbs like thyme and mint.
  • Vegetal: Fresh plants, raw vegetables, wet grass, hay, and straw.
  • Animal: Sweat, manure, leather.
  • Woody: Cedar, oak, pine, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.
  • Chemical: Plastic, soap, metal, tar, ash.
  • Funk: Yeast, fermentation, must, moss, mold (think ciders, bread, mushrooms, and truffles).

(Courtesy of Serious Eats


Raw Honey Uses


Health Benefits of Raw Honey

*Always remember that heating up honey above 40°C (104 F) removes almost all the health benefits of honey. Therefore, it is important that you enquire regarding the process of extraction and packaging of the products you’re buying. Furthermore, you should not heat it up before using in any dish, drink or beauty routine.

Now that you know where your honey comes from, what affects their taste, color and texture and what to inquire about when buying your raw honey, we can delve into the major list of health benefits raw honey carries!

Overall Health Benefits

Honey carries a multitude of beneficial plant compounds. Additionally, it boosts your immune system and can act as a natural antibiotic. But don’t take our word for it, there ahev been studies documenting the amazing natural healing powers of honey:

The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too. The antimicrobial activity in most honeys is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health


So that is all well and good, but what can it help you with? Here is a brief list of all the awesome health benefits of honey:


  • Regulation of Cholesterol Levels (Study)
  • Assist in treating common cold and coughs (Study)
  • Assists in the regulation of blood pressure (Study)
  • Heals burns and wounds (Various Studies: 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Improves the health of your heart (Study)
  • Cuts Diabetes Risk (Study)
  • Assist in the fight against cancer (Study)
  • Relives Acid Reflux (Study)
  • Treats Gastric Diseases (Study)
  • Assists in the treatment of allergies (Study)
  • Helps fight off infections (Study)
  • Energy Booster (Study)
  • Immunity Booster (Study)
  • Aids Weight Loss (Study)
  • Promotes sleep (Study)
  • Assists in the treatment of Asthma (Study)
  • Improves nail health (Study)
  • Relieves hangover (Study)

How to use raw honey to reap the benefits:

Now you know all the benefits that come with that golden liquid. But now how do you go about using it? We have a few quick tips on how you can add it to your daily life:

1. Replace your normal sugar with Raw Honey

Becuase honey is usually sweet, it can be used as a healthy alternative to normal sugar. Add honey to your breakfast by spreading it over your toast or waffles or adding it to your morning coffee or tea. Additionally, you can add honey to your yogurt, cereal and more!

The possibilities are endless when you start thinking about all the ways you use sugar in your daily life.

2. Use it in salads, dressings, and condiments

raw honey south africa
Courtesy of Learning and Yearning

While replacing sugar with honey is an awesome idea, you have other options!

There are tons of recipes out there that include raw honey so that you can reap all the benefits! Because we know it can be tedious to look up recipes, here are some basic recipes that include raw honey:

Copper Penny Carrots

This recipe combines cooked carrots with tangy tomatoes and sweet honey! Definitely one of our favorites!

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing (with Probiotics)

So I am a sucker for salad dressings! Consequently, this one is one of my favorites to whip together! And it’s ALWAYS a winner!

Green Salad with Strawberry Dressing

I love sweet, so strawberries and honey combined are one of my favorites too!

3. Honey-Infused Beverages

Honey and Cinnamon Water

This beverage is delicious. Additionally, it combines the awesome healing benefits of cinnamon and honey!

Healing Honey Water

This subtle honey flavored water carries all the healing properties of honey throughout your whole body! How awesome is that!



Raw Honey Benefits for the Skin

Honey for skin benefits

Because of Honey’s antibacterial benefits, it is wonderful for the skin! Additionally, honey is an amazing moisturizer. No wonder that honey carries the following natural benefits for your skin:

  • Assists in the fight against acne
  • Helps treatment of wrinkles
  • Fades Scars (Including Acne Scars)
  • Moisturizes your skin
  • Moisturizes the lips
  • Can be used as a skin cleanser
  • Assists in evening out your complexion

Using Raw Honey in your skincare routine:

Honey carries all these amazing benefits for your skin, so let’s get cracking on how you can incorporate raw honey into your skincare routine.

1. Facial Masks

Make honey part of your weekly facial mask routine. Additionally, when using masks, you can combine the awesome powers of essential oils and clays with honey to increase the benefits for your skin!

2. Buy Soaps infused with Honey

There are so many soapers around the world! While these soaps might be pricey sometimes, they are well worth every cent! Always make sure to buy all-natural soaps that are infused with raw honey. This will ensure that you get the most out of your bar of soap

3. Make a Homemade honey scrub

4. Honey Bath Soak

Cleopatra’s go-to was ¼ cup honey mixed with 2 cups milk and a few drops of essential oil. – You Beauty

I don’t know about you, but if honey was good enough for Cleopatra, it is good enough for me! This awesome Honey Bath Soak will rejuvenate and moisturize your entire body!


It is obvious that honey has a TON of benefits! Personally, I’ve been using honey in my skincare routine and for health benefits for years and I’ll never go back to conventional treatments!

Where to Buy Raw Honey?

Raw honey can be bought anywhere. Just find a beekeeper close to you!

There are various online shops that sell raw honey in South Africa. It is a precious, useful and delicious liquid, so try not to expect your “normal” hooney prices.

My personal favorite brand is Bumblebee Organics’s Honey. They courier all over South Africa!

Additionally, you can look at health food shops and online shops that specialize in natural/organic foods and products!

In conclusion, we ADORE honey!

We hope that you’ve found a few hints, tips and recipes to try at home! We love honey so much, that we had to include it in our Starter Kit at MudMask. Let us know in the comments what you use honey for!

We’d love to hear from you!


Why You Should Go Natural: Top 3 Clay Face Mask

Clay Face Mask at home remedies

We want to introduce you to the top three clay face mask ingredients. Clay face masks have been used for ages to enhance the appearance of skin. We will be talking about which clays are best suited to your skin, which ingredients are complementary to these clays and so much more!

Stick around for a dose of all-natural skincare tips and tricks!

Why go natural with your Skincare Routine?

Okay. We get it, we sound like a bunch of hippies. But hear us out.

Would you eat junk food from let’s say KFC or McDonalds on a daily basis, knowing the chemicals and additives in there will most probably lead to a few health-related issues? No? Well, why settle for the same type of treatment for your skin? Did you know that some of the chemicals in mainstream products are actually having the opposite effect on our skincare than they are advertised for?

So here’s just the tip of the iceberg, prepare to be blown away by what these mainstream companies are trying to hide from you!



These ingredients are typically used as preservatives n skincare products like creams and lotions.
Parabens include a wide variety of formulations, just to name a few:

  • Methylparaben
  • ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben

So why did this one make out “I AM NOT PUTTING THAT ON MY FACE!” list? Well, it has STRONG links to breast cancer!

In a study undertaken by Reading University in the UK in 2012, it was reported that 99% of breast tumour tissue analysed contained at least one paraben, with 60% containing at least five. While it’s not concrete evidence to show that a pot of moisturiser causes tumours, and other factors must be considered, the EU has banned these harmful ingredients in skincare.- Biologi

While many skin care products claim to be paraben free, many aren’t. This is due to a lack of testing. So always read your ingredients, or you can simply, go natural with your skincare!


So first off, let’s get one thing straight with this one. Manufacturers may actually put something on the label stating “naturally derived from coconut oil”, but that’s just a smke-screen! Ethanolamines are a result of a reaction between coconut oil and preservatives. This ingredient also, not so surprisingly, come in different forms:

  • DEA (Diethanolamine)
  • MEA (Monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • Cocamide DEA

and so many more!

But why is this one on our list? Studies undertaken by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) have determined that “coconut oil diethanolamine is possibly carcinogenic to humans”

Carcinogenic – Having the potential to cause cancer.

clay face mask

Butul Hydrixytoluene (BHT) and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA):

These ingredients are most commonly used in acne-fighting creams and cleansers. It is used mostly because of their anti-oxidant and preservative properties. So here’s the bummer about this one, there aren’t enough studies to conclude that it definitely causes cancer and is harmful.

While BHA has been considered safe to use in studies published by Pubmed. The American National Toxicology Program confirms that BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” 

There are a few countries that banned the use of BHT and BHA as a precautionary measure to the lack of studies on long-term effects. If countries aren’t willing to risk it, are you?


These are only three of the many preservative chemicals that might be present in your skincare products. We could go on about this topic for ages, but this post is about going all natural with your skincare routine, not to name and shame other companies. So let’s get right to it:

100% Natural Skincare Products

If you’re having a problem, we can almost guarantee that there is some natural solution out there for you!

Today we will be talking about a few natural ingredients that you can add to your facial skincare routine to get the same (but healthier) effects that all those mainstream products give you. But always remember, persistence is key!
Going natural means committing to it fully and making it a part of your daily routine.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are oils that are extracted from plants. There are different ways of extraction like steam-distillation, Solvent Extraction, Fractional Distillation and Percolation. While there are many more, but I am not going to bore you with unnecessary details.Essential Oils South Africa

There is a multitude of plants with awesome healing properties. Therefore, their oils are extracted for us to use for their properties.

When it comes to face masks, there are so many essential oils to choose from, that it is difficult to recommend just a few. But here we are, recommending just a few in anyway:

  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Rose Geranium Essential Oil
  • Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Bergamont Essential Oil

There are most commonly used to treat skin ailments because of their various properties like antimicrobial, antibacterial properties. Consequently, each essential oil can assist in various skin ailments. Get more information on these essential oils in our previous blog post. 

Clay Face Mask

Clays have been used for ages to improve the appearance and health of the skin. Clays are a completely natural substance found in various locations. Some clays are dug out by mountains. some are found at the bottom of the ocean and other are extracted from deep below the surface of the earth.
But there is one thing that they all have in common: They can be used for a multitude of issues!

One of the most common uses of these minerals is for a clay face mask. The clay extracts impurities, excess oil and sebum and reduces the appearance of scars.

So if you are thinking “I would like to try a clay face mask” then we have some information to help you choose a clay. We will be briefly discussing the following three clays: Bentonite, Kaolin, and Zeolite.

top 3 face mask calys

Bentonite Clay Face Mask

Bentonite is widely known as one of the best acne-fighting clay masks. It leaves the skin feeling clean, exfoliated and smooth.

The benefits of a bentonite clay mask include:

  • Unclogs skin pores
  • Shrinks skin pores
  • Balances sebum production
  • Draws out toxins from the skin
  • Gives skin softer/smoother feel and appearance
  • Lightly Exfoliates
  • Remineralizes the skin
  • Assistreducinguing the appearance of scars

So why is this clay so awesome?

Bentonite clay also called Montmorillonite, is a very popular healing clay that also cleanses the body. This clay is made from minerals such as iron, sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium, formed from volcanic ash. The name of the clay (bentonite) comes from the biggest deposit of Bentonite clay that is located in Fort Benton, Wyoming. – Naturally Living Ideas

This means that the clay is filled with minerals that are beneficial to your skin!

Complimentary Ingredients:

  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 100% Pure Honey
  • Lavender Essential Oil

These three assist in combating and preventing further acne breakouts.  You can read up on these essential oils in our previous blog post.

Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay is one of the most widely used cosmetic ingredient. This clay comes in four different colors: White, red, yellow and, pink. For this reason, it is perfect for use in cosmetics like facial powders etc.

Kaolin clay (Also called China clay) is named after a mountain in China Kao-Ling where the clay was originally mined for centuries.

Benefits of Kaolin Clay Face Mask:

  • Most gentle on the skin of all clays (Perfect for sensitive skin types)
  • Reduces oily skin
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Cleanses while gently exfoliating the skin
  • Assist in the treatment of acne
  • Assists in stimulating circulation (White Kaolin)

Complimentary Ingredients:

  • 100% Pure Honey
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Geranium Rose Essential Oil

These three ingredients are safe to use on even the most sensitive skin. That’s why we pair them with the gentlest of clays.


Zeolite Clay

Zeolite is one of our favorites at MudMask, and for good reason!

Zeolite is unique in that its honeycomb, microporous cellular structure is one of nature’s few negatively charged minerals, which means it’s able to attract positively charged contaminants. Inside these negatively charged honeycomb “cages,” healthful minerals such as potassium can be found. Zeolite swaps its healthful, negatively charged minerals for any positively charged contaminants on or in your body. Basically, it takes away the bad stuff by replacing it with good stuff. – Mind Body Green

How awesome is that?

Benefits of Zeolite Clay Face Mask:

  • Detox
  • Reduces oiliness
  • Exchange different chemicals, nutrients, toxins, and ions according to need in your body.
  • Draws out impurities in your skin

Complimentary Ingredients:

  • Activated Charcoal
  • Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil

These ingredients will assist in the ultimate detox of your skin! Us them in combination to get the best results!


Well, now you know all you need to know regarding going clay crazy! We hope you’ve found some useful bits of information!

In conclusion, going natural with your skincare routine is the way to go if you are looking at improving your health! Not just that, we bet that it would actually be cheaper to go all natural with your skincare! So what are you waiting for?

Our Starter MudMask kit has everything you need to start going natural. You can shop here.