Honey in Tea; Is it good for you?

 With its antiseptic properties and its sweet taste, people have been using honey for thousands of years. It is commonly used as a natural sweetener for tea. Raw honey has many nutritional benefits, but adding it to very hot tea may cause it to be less effective. So, is honey in tea good for you?


Honey is probably the world’s oldest sweetener. Even today, for tea drinkers who like to sweeten their beverage, adding honey might be a good option. Honey is sold in its raw form or a processed form which has been heat treated. Raw honey has many more benefits than processed honey, and it has been said that drinking tea with raw honey may have health benefits such as fighting infections and curing sore throats as well as helping people get to sleep. Since heat can damage the enzymes contained in honey, it may not be as effective if it is mixed with very hot tea.

Is it safe to put honey in tea?

People have been using honey as a sweetener for thousands of years as tea has been a popular drink for almost as long. Read this article to learn more about the History of Honey. Drinking a cup of tea with honey is as safe as a cup of tea with sugar. It makes no difference whether you are using raw honey or processed honey, which is the type that you can get at the supermarket. Processed honey might also have been heated to 70°Celsius in order to kill any bacteria or other microbes, whereas raw honey is completely unprocessed.

honey in tea
Raw honey is unprocessed and has not been heat-treated, which therefore has the most nutritional benefits

“Many of the antioxidants found in honey are classified as flavonoids. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, which may provide some health benefits.”


Can honey in tea be harmful?

According to some Ayurvedic practitioners, honey becomes toxic if it is heated above 40°C. Because your cup of freshly made tea will be at a much higher temperature, these people think that it must be toxic. There does not seem to be any research to prove this and the popularity of this drink for many hundreds of years suggests that it is not true. For more information, see Ayurvedic uses for honey.

Honey in tea can be harmful for some people, since just like sugar, honey contains glucose and fructose. This means that for a diabetic, honey in tea is just as harmful as sugar. Honey is also high in calories, so for people who are struggling with obesity, switching from sugar to honey could be harmful. 

What happens when you heat honey to high temperatures?

Raw honey is defined as honey that has not been exposed to high temperatures. Honey may be heated to make filtration easier as honey becomes thinner and easier to pour if it is heated. Pasteurisation requires heating to at least 72°C or higher. This is high enough to change the colour of the honey, making it a browner colour than raw honey. If you continue to heat honey, there is a good chance that it will start to burn. It will lose moisture and continue to darken until it becomes black.

Does heating raw honey ruin it?

The definition of raw honey is honey that has not been exposed to more than 40°C. Unfortunately, enzymes start to be destroyed at 40°C, so pasteurized honey does not have many of the health benefits of raw honey, since most of the special health benefits of honey are due to the presence of enzymes that can break down sugar or slow the growth of bacteria. Heating changes the chemical composition of the honey as well as destroying the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that it contains. It may even change the colour and taste.

Raw honey is often more expensive than processed honey. If you are planning to do any cooking with honey, it is much better to use processed honey, since you will not get the benefits of raw honey in your cooked food. The same goes for tea. If you put honey in your freshly made cup of tea, the temperature will be about 85°C which is hot enough to damage the enzymes in the honey.

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Is honey in tea good for you?

Even if you don’t use raw honey in your tea, it still has some health benefits. Honey is rich in antioxidants which may help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Honey has also been shown to reduce coughing. Tea also contains antioxidants, so adding honey to your tea may be better for you than if you drink your tea without sweetener.

Is honey in tea healthier than sugar?

Honey and sugar have similar compositions. Both of them contain glucose and fructose, but in different ratios. Sugar has 50% fructose whereas honey has only 40%. There has been a lot of research studying the links between the consumption of fructose and obesity, diabetes, and cancer. For more information about the dangers of fructose go to Medical News Today. Even processed honey may contain tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants. It should be noted that there is probably not enough in a teaspoon of honey to make a difference. People drink honey with tea for a number of reasons related to their health. For example, in China, people like to drink Tie Guan Yin Tea (tea with honey) to help with stomach problems.

For more information about the differences between honey and sugar, go to Healthline

honey in tea
Your honey may contain traces of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes.

Does honey in tea help you sleep?

Honey has been used to treat insomnia for hundreds of years. This may be because honey contains an amino acid called tryptophan. This may help you to sleep. Not only that honey causes a spike in insulin levels which may contribute to the release of melatonin in the brain. Unfortunately, there isn’t much scientific evidence to prove that the amount of honey consumed with a cup of tea actually makes any difference. Tea contains caffeine which may stop you from getting to sleep, so while honey may relieve your insomnia it is best if you don’t drink it with tea. Try milk instead, or green tea. Read Does Honey help you Sleep? to learn more about the effects of honey on sleep.

Does honey in tea help a sore throat?

Many people believe that honey can help to relieve a sore throat because it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Not only that, it has anti-inflammatory properties, so drinking tea with honey can soothe the irritation by reducing inflammation. However, if your cup of tea is very hot, it is not likely that your cup of tea has these properties. It is a good idea to add honey to a warm cup of tea, if you want to feel the best effects.

honey in tea
Drinking tea with honey can soothe the irritation of sore throats by reducing inflammation, as honey can have anti-inflammatory properties

Pros and Cons of Honey in Tea


  • Your honey may contain traces of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. These are good for your health and may help to fight disease.
  • Honey is sweeter than sugar, and you can use less in your tea.
  • Honey in tea is delicious. Honey has a very distinctive taste and there are many different varieties. Depending on what type of honey you put in your tea, the taste can be quite different.
  • Honey in tea might relieve a sore throat. If you have a sore throat, drinking a cup of tea with honey might help you to feel better without taking medication.
  • Honey might relieve insomnia.


  • Honey has more calories than sugar. If you are using the same amount in your tea, then you will be consuming more calories.
  • Honey is harmful to diabetics. There is no difference between sugar and honey.
  • Honey can be expensive. Using raw honey might be better for your health, but it costs a lot.
  • Honey cannot be heated if you want to retain the health benefits.
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“Some people are sensitive or allergic to specific components in honey, particularly bee pollen. Although rare, bee pollen allergies can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, adverse reactions.”

honey in tea
As long as your tea is not too hot, you will enjoy the honey’s sweetness and you may improve your health.


As well as being a sweetener, honey has many benefits for your health. Honey has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight infection. It may also help you sleep. One of the ways that people can enjoy honey is with a cup of tea. As long as your tea is not too hot, you will enjoy the honey’s sweetness and you may improve your health. When honey is added to very hot tea, it may lose some of its medicinal benefits, but often processed honey has already been heat treated. If you want the best effects of honey, you should use raw honey with warm tea. 

Thomas Callaghan
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