Wild Rock Honey – Health benefit myth
Rock honey, quite similar in shape to rock sugar but comes in various shades of yellow and is always porous in nature. It has the colour and fragrance of honey. Rock honey is widely sold in Chinese medicinal halls, mini markets and even wet markets. It is a very popular and cheap alternative to natural liquid honey, a favourite among the aunties. It is commonly believed by the aunties that rock honey is beneficial to health and can be used for treatment of a number of ailments as claimed by the pamphlet below.
This “wild rock honey” as the pamphlet says, is supposedly harvested from the bee hives in the jungle. The health benefits as claimed by this pamphlets are for treatment/relieve of lung ailments, cough, phlegm, sore throat, loss of voice, lack of appetite, motion sickness, body heatiness, toothache, improve fairer skin complexion and throat irritation. The Chinese version even claimed to treat insomia, and urinary problems.
The average content of natural liquid honeys sampled from various parts of the world is: fructose (fruit sugar): 38.56%, glucose (single sugar): 32.789%, sucrose (double sugar): 02.010 and water: 17.168%. Among these constituents, only sucrose (cane sugar) can be crystalised, the rest are either in liquid form or in powder form. Honey only exists in liquid form and since honey cannot be crystalised, rock honey does not exist in nature. The so called “wild rock honey” is man made with cane sugar, and probably artificial essence/colouring and some natural honey. You won’t believe until you see the bottom photo of the “wild rock honey” in its original form. It is shaped like a large round dish before it is cut into pieces. Common sense will tell you “wild rock honey” can’t be in this form!!. It is made by boiling cane sugar in pots (hence the round shape) with some essence and or honey added and to make the rock honey porous, some raising agent (like the one in self raising flour) is added. Boiling the sugar will turn the sugar to various shade of yellow colours (depend on the degree the sugar is being caramelised).
Now knowing this, would you still think that “wild rock honey” is beneficial to health? If you ask me which is better,”wild rock honey” or refined cane sugar, my definite answer is 99% pure refined cane sugar!!
Please tell your loved ones, aunties, etc, if they still believe in the health benefits of “wild rock honey”.