Wildflower honey benefits the body because it is the most complex of all-natural honey.
Bees that make wildflower honey pollinate a wide range of flowers, so the potential benefits can be greater than other types of honey.
Truly a gift from bees, wildflower honey is like no other. The flowers also benefit because the bees love their nectar and get pollination in return.
In this post, learn about wildflower honey benefits, how to use it, and how to pick the best organic raw wildflower honey.
Table of Contents
What is wildflower honey?
Wildflower honey is a dark type of honey made from polyflower pollination. It is typically much bolder in flavor than clover honey or orange blossom honey.
Another name for wildflower honey is goldenrod honey.
Because it comes from wildflowers, wildflower honey can range vastly in its antioxidants and flavor profiles. For this reason, too, it can have more potential benefits for conditions like seasonal allergies than other types of honey.
From season to season, this honey varies a lot because the flowers that bloom change with the season changes.
In other words, no two jars of wildflower honey are alike!
1. Antibacterial benefits
If you think wildflower honey is just like sugar, you may be in for a surprise or two.
This is because honey exerts immune benefits and much more.
Part of the reason honey is good for the immune system is that it is rich in antibacterial compounds. In fact, honey reduces the growth of around 60 species of bacteria [R].
Like all other kinds of honey, wildflower honey has antimicrobial benefits.
Wildflower honey has the strongest antimicrobial activity of all types kinds of honey tested so far. This is because it is highest in both hydrogen peroxide and total polyphenols.
All flower honey varieties also contain Def-1, which is an antimicrobial peptide [R]. This compound kills microorganisms without harming human cells.
2. Wildflower honey benefits digestion
The benefits of honey for digestive function are numerous.
In fact, honey has been used as a traditional medicine for digestive concerns for as long as written history has existed.
Common uses for honey are for constipation, dyspepsia, soothing ulcers, and indigestion.
While few studies have looked at these health concerns and honey directly, many healthy compounds in honey support healthy digestion.
These include digestive enzymes, antioxidants, polyphenols, antimicrobials, prebiotics, and more. Raw wildflower honey is distinguished because it is the richest in polyphenols of all honey varieties.
Enzymes in wildflower honey
Enzymes in honey help our bodies digest our foods better.
Examples of enzymes in honey and their functions are:
- Diastase: breaks down starch into maltose
- Invertases: makes fructose and glucose from sucrose
- Glucose oxidase: breaks down glucose into gluconic acid
- Catalase: breaks down hydrogen peroxide
Prebiotics are compounds in foods that support the health of your microbiome and research now shows that honey is rich in them.
Honey contains oligosaccharides that help support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria [R].
Another possible fascinating gut benefit of honey is that it reduces the growth of mycotoxins too, at least according to animal research [R].
3. Helpful for coughs
Like most kinds of honey, raw wildflower honey is a helpful traditional remedy for coughs. Research also shows that honey is helpful for coughs too.
One study found that when children were given milk and wildflower honey combination compared to dextromethorphan and levodropropizine, the honey worked as well as the medications for treating coughs [R].
In a review of 8 research studies by Cochrane Reviews, honey relieves cough better than placebo and diphenhydramine [R]. Not to mention, honey obviously has fewer side effects than cough medicine too.
4. Good for seasonal allergies?
Local raw wildflower honey is used in allergy protocols for seasonal allergies [R].
The reason that local wildflower honey may help with allergic symptoms is that exposure to small amounts of bee pollen from the honey may make the body more immune-tolerant.
Honey has comparable effects to antihistamines according to some clinical research. Using 1 gram of honey per kg of body weight is the dose of honey that is used in research, but many people find that they don’t need that much [R].
However, not all research supports that honey is helpful for allergy symptoms, and of course, some people are actually allergic to honey.
5. Contains antioxidants
Raw wildflower honey is particularly rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for so many aspects of health.
Over 30 types of antioxidants are found in honey and 600 types of volatile compounds are also present in this complex food [R].
The antioxidants in honey may help reduce inflammation in the body, reduce risk of some kinds of cancers, and fight harmful germs [R].
6. Sweeter than sugar
If you want to have a sweet treat, but don’t want to add on too much sugar, honey is for you.
This is because honey is about a third sweeter than sugar, so you can use less to get the same level of sweetness.
Honey also doesn’t spike blood sugar as much as sugar does, which is another big perk of honey [R].
Plus, wildflower honey gives more flavor than most honey, so it’s both sweet and more flavorful than using other kinds of honey or sugar.
7. May help maintain a healthy weight
Make no mistake, honey has calories and sugar. But as you have seen by now, it is much more beneficial for health and even helpful for reducing sugar spikes compared to sugar.
A benefit that no one talks about is that the use of wildflower honey is sticky, and a bit cumbersome, and for this reason, it also deters over-use compared to processed sugars.
For these reasons, wildflower may also benefit weight loss efforts more than other kinds of sweeteners.
Research shows that honey reduces hunger ratings compared to sugar in healthy women [R].
Using honey results in less weight gain than sugar, at least it did in a study of rats. In this study, rats overall ate less when given honey compared to sugar [R].
Because wildflower honey has more flavor, less is needed too.
The bonus is that raw honey may curb weight gain by also improving your microbiome.
8. Better for the heart than sugar
By now you know that honey is full of antioxidants and gut health benefits.
Wildflower honey has many potential health benefits, so it may come as no surprise that honey is likely good for the heart too.
Early research shows that honey reduces triglycerides compared with sugar [R].
Honey also reduces total cholesterol as well as harmful LDL cholesterol in the body [R]. Another bonus is that honey may increase beneficial cholesterol, also known as HDL cholesterol.
9. Wildflower honey benefits for wound healing
Honey is a traditional remedy for healing wounds.
Because raw wildflower honey has the highest antimicrobial content, it makes sense that using it topically may help speed up the healing of minor cuts and wounds when applied to the skin [R].
More research is needed to determine if honey benefits more severe wounds.
How to use wildflower honey
Wildflower honey taste varies with each jar but generally has a stronger and more floral flavor than most types of honey.
For this reason, a little dab of wildflower honey goes a long way. Here are some of my favorite ways to use wildflower honey:
- Make fresh, homemade lemonade with a spoonful of wildflower honey
- Sweeten up a smoothie with a scoop
- Substitute wildflower honey for sugar in any recipe that calls for sugar
- Make homemade granola with it
- Try ginger syrup with honey
- Add to fruit and boil to make a fruit compote
- Sweeten up a homemade vinaigrette with it
- Make a marinade for chicken or beef using wildflower honey
Some people also like to use wildflower bee pollen for various health benefits.
Best raw organic wildflower honeys to buy
Make sure to buy local, raw, organic wildflower honey whenever possible to get the most benefits.
Cooked or processed honey loses a lot of the antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits that raw honey provides.
Do not give honey to infants less than 1 age and make sure to avoid wildflower honey if you have any type of honey allergy.
If you have diabetes, make sure to check with your doctor or dietitian to determine how much is right for you.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of the new book Gut Fix and The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. While The Healthy RD’s posts are backed by research, you are unique, so you must seek care from your own dietitian or healthcare provider. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.