Is Local Honey Really Better? We certainly think so!
As a member of our local organization, Farmstead Ed and the SLO County Farm Trail (SLO = San Luis Obispo, CA), Life Elements has been able to closely collaborate with many of our farm partners. This month, we would like to highlight Sierra Honey Farm in Paso Robles as one of our favorite collaborators.
Thomas McCall is the third-generation honey producer at the helm of Sierra Honey Farm and one of the hardest-working beekeepers around. If you are at all interested in bees, he is an active instagrammer and provides almost daily instruction and education on his feed that is fascinating, exciting, and informative.
The beeswax we source from Sierra Honey Farm is pure gold in color and an incredibly beneficial ingredient that we use in our Healing Honey Collection as well as the CBD Skin Repair, Lip Balms and our Muscle & Joint Relief products. The bulk of our honey also comes from other local honey producers in the Southern California area.
When you think of bees, their ecosystems are complex and constantly adapting to different environmental conditions and exhibit resilience against various stressors, such as changes in temperature, availability of resources, and exposure to pesticides. They may adapt their foraging patterns and adjust colony dynamics to survive and thrive. Similarly, you should think of your body as a biodynamic ecosystem. Human bodies possess remarkable adaptability and resilience to maintain homeostasis and withstand environmental changes and stressors. The human body hosts trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, which inhabit various parts such as the skin, gut, and oral cavity. These microorganisms play essential roles in digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.
The byproducts of bees, such as raw honey, propolis, royal jelly, and beeswax, offer unique and beneficial properties that can contribute to a healthy biodynamic system when utilized in skincare and wellness products. Here's how each of these bee-derived substances can play a role:
Raw Honey: Raw honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture. It is also rich in antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. When used in skincare, raw honey can help moisturize and nourish the skin, promote healing, and provide antimicrobial properties. Its gentle exfoliating action can also contribute to a smoother complexion.
Propolis: Propolis is a resin-like substance that bees collect from tree buds and mix with beeswax and their saliva. It possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. In skincare products, propolis can help soothe irritated skin, reduce redness, and provide a protective barrier against environmental stressors. Its antimicrobial qualities make it beneficial for addressing certain skin conditions.
Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is a secretion produced by worker bees and serves as the exclusive food for queen bees. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. In skincare, royal jelly is often used for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It can help improve skin elasticity, enhance collagen production, and promote a more youthful appearance.
Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees to build their honeycomb. It has emollient, soothing, and protective properties. In skincare products, beeswax forms a protective barrier on the skin, sealing in moisture without clogging pores. It helps retain hydration, softens the skin, and supports its natural healing processes.
When these bee-derived byproducts are incorporated into skincare and wellness products, they bring the following advantages:
a. Natural and Sustainable: Bee-derived ingredients are natural and renewable resources. They can be sourced sustainably, considering the welfare of bees and their colonies. This aligns with biodynamic principles that emphasize the ecological balance and sustainability of resources.
b. Synergistic Benefits: The combination of different bee-derived substances can create synergistic effects, where their individual properties complement and enhance each other. This can lead to more comprehensive skincare benefits, such as moisturization, soothing, antioxidant protection, and anti-aging effects.
c. Holistic Approach: Using bee byproducts in skincare products reflects a holistic approach to wellness. It recognizes the connection between our well-being and the natural world. By incorporating these biodynamic ingredients, skincare products can align with the principles of promoting overall health and balance.
d. Traditional Wisdom: Bee-derived ingredients have been used in traditional medicine and skincare practices for centuries. Drawing from this accumulated wisdom adds depth and authenticity to skin care products, connecting us to traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.
It is important to note that while these bee-derived ingredients offer potential benefits, individual reactions may vary. It is advisable to consider personal allergies or sensitivities and consult with professionals when selecting and using skincare products. Additionally, supporting sustainable and ethical beekeeping practices is crucial to preserve the health and well-being of bee populations and maintain the integrity of biodynamic ecosystems.
Sierra Honey Farm Photo Credit: Brittany App / @BrittanyApp