Ultrafiltered Honey is not Honey

honey close up shot

I thought I know how to determine fake honey from real, or adulterated from not. A simple test of pouring some in a clear glass of water. If it goes straight to bottom and show distinct separation, then it is real. You can continue buying the specific brand while do monitoring once in a while. If it readily dissoves, then it is fake or perhaps adulterated. Find and test another brand until one passes this criteria.

honey close up shot

However, this is not always true. Honey that passes this test may still be fake or adulterated. Why is that? According ot USFDA, any honey that has been ultrafiltered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. So even if it is legitimate but processed through ultrafiltration, then it is not honey.

Pollen is the only foolproof sign of identifying honey source. So this further voids the simple test above. Maybe, with technological advancement, somebody developed a honey like liquid able to overcome this test.

Ultrafiltration involves heating and sometimes watering, to thin down liquid, then passing it through ultrafine filters, and finally removing the previously added water. It removes debris, bubbles and pollen.

I see two reasons here. First is removal of pollen. Second is addition of water. Although it is evaporated in the end, I find it still unacceptable. We use honey because we know it is natural and healthy. We could have just resorted to white sugar it this is the case.

Honey.com has a different point of view. They agree that ultrafiletered honey isn’t honey at all. They added it results to a clear colorless sweetener. Hmmm.. the color pigments are also removed. However, honey that is traditionally filtered and pollen removed, is still honey. Honey is made from nectar, not pollen. They are incidental guest.

In the end, we have no way of knowing if honeys on grocery shelves are fake or not. We have no honey testing facilities here.

What I am taking to sooth sore throat and relieve coughing?

The sudden change from cold weather to hot made us caught common colds that eventually result to coughing. Symptoms persist for several days that it has been depriving me of long work hours and have been giving us almost sleepless nights.

I am taking plenty or rest and taking the following at specified intervals.

Vinegar. It is my first aid whenever I feel sore and painful throat. It is the natural medicine that is almost always available at any household.

Strepsils lozenges – I was really looking for the late Streptuss. Unluckily, its production was discontinued. The Strepsils, Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol Amylmetacresol, relieves sore throat and coughing but not as effective as the late Streptuss.

Eating raw ginger – Apparently the most effective. A bite immediately take away soreness and subsequent coughing. Effect wears about 15 minutes after the ginger runs out. I am biting it little by little for  a longer lasting effect.

peeled gingerMunching raw onions – It is as effective as ginger. It has disagreeable odor and taste. Jaw movement in rapid succession brings a sudden burst of hot uncomfortable mouth sensation.

onionsTaking in honey – Taking a spoonful only brings slight comfort for few minutes. Many other websites are claiming it effective however.

crystallized honeyHot calamansi juice – Not just calamansi, the hot tea and coffee works too. A relief while drinking.

Okra, Ladies Finger – The mucilage is claimed to cure sore throat. I tried it once with no effect felt.

Menthol+Eucalyptus+Camphor Vaporizing Rub. Dissolving some in hot water and inhaling. It readily remedy sore throat, tickling and hard coughing. How I wish I could sleep beside stove so I can smell it all night. I think it is an overdosed.

menthol eucalyptus camphorDrinking water. Taking a sip of water every five minutes. It brings comfort. However, going to comfort room every 15 minutes to pee is not comfortable.

A doctor’s prescribed antibiotic.

update as of June 29, 2012. Please see “What not to take when having dry cough| Doctor’s Advice“.

Roasted Calamansi, Heavy Sugar Syrup and Cough

It is one of the many home invented cough remedy. Drinking a fresh roasted calamansi juice super saturated with sugar. It works well for mild occasional coughing but maybe worthless for persistent symptoms. It already worked for me many times  but not the last time.

Manner of preparation. Get several fresh calamansi, about five to six pieces. Roast it over fire until sudden bursts of flame start coming out of the skin and or the skin become discolored. Extract the sour and astringent juice. Remove the seeds. Add about one to two tablespoons of sugar. Add a little recently boiled water in order to dissolved the sugar. Mix well and drink.

fresh calamansiroasted calamansicalamansi with sugarThe resulting mixture is thick (but not as thick as honey), sour, astringent and too sweet. Taking it in might result to a face expression similar to taking a sip of vinegar.

Usually taken before going to bed to prevent coughing and have a good night sleep.

Other popular alternative cough cures are:

Honey. Same as above. Take it before going to bed. It is claimed that honey is able to destroy mucus and unclogged air passages. Suits pain and irritation.  The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties might really help cure coughs. Not recommended for young children though.

Okra. It is said that slippery mucilage helps relieved throat irritation.

Water left over night in garden.  A glass half-filled with water is left overnight in garden uncovered.  The collected morning dew, hamog,  is the essential component of this alternative medicine. This one is totally unjustifiable.

update as of June 29, 2012. Please see “What not to take when having dry cough| Doctor’s Advice“.

How to Make Coconut Honey

coconut-syrup
Coconut honey is a natural sugar alternative made from coconut sap. It is healthier compared to other sugar substitute. It has low glycemic index (GI)of 35. Having low GI value, it is safer for diabetics. It can be use for coffee, tea, baking and cooking.

coconut-syrup

1. Get freshly harvested coconut sap. Talk to expert mangangarit near your area. Freshly harvested sap should be processed immediately to avoid unnecessary fermentation. The sap taste should be sweet, not alcoholic and not sour with a Brix reading of at least 12ºBrix using a hand refractometer.

2. Boil the sugar until it reaches 110ºC or become sticky under moderate to very low heat. Don’t take chances, buy a good candy thermometer before commencing operation. Use a wide mouth cooking vessel for efficient evaporation.

3. Let cool for five minutes and pack into sterilized glass jar and seal.