Gulfood Innovation Awards 2018 finalist

These are very exciting times for Hikiän. We have just received information that Hikiän raw honey has been shortlisted for the Gulfood Innovation Awards 2018. This means that out of so many other great products Hikiän was chosen into finals. Judges has chosen only 4 products into the finals and Hikiän was one of them. This is amazing result because as you may know Gulfood is massive show. There are over 5000 exhibitors and 97 000 attendees from 185 different countries.

Outstanding from the crowd is not easy so we are truly happy that judges has also noticed that there is something very special in Hikiän Raw Honey.  And there really is. It is the only honey that is non-gmo, free from pesticides and has HMF level of 3,3 which is outstanding.  One of the great things of the product is also that it has been packed not just into a glass jar but special violet glass jar which prevents the harmful part of UV-light to get into the jar. This helps to keep the product fresh longer.

Hikiän Raw Honey is coming from Finland where the winter is quite long and cold. This means that we only have 8 weeks long season every year and production is very much relying on those 2 months. Therefore the production is and will always be limited.

Now we can only wait and see how much judges will value these features when deciding about the winner in the Gulfood Innovation Awards 2018. Come and meet us if you visit the show and taste Hikiän Raw Honey.  Our stand is located in Sheikh Saeed Hall, S2_E50.

See you soon in Dubai,
Team Hikiän

How to use Propolis and what is it for?

Hikiän Propolis is known for it´s ability to kill bad bacteria. It is commonly used to treat flu and sore throat. However you may also use it on to your skin.  Many people have found Hikiän Propolis useful to heal acne, eczema and skin burns. There are over 300 studies on Propolis´ effects on cancer and tumours too.

How to use Propolis? You may mix it into a glass of water by adding 10-30 drops of Hikiän Propolis into it. Some people like to use Propolis as it is and they take 1 or 2 drops directly into their mouth. We recommend to mix the propolis with water because then the taste of it is not too strong.

How to use propolis for skin problems? You simply put 1-15 drops on your skin and then rub gently. Avoid water contact to your skin at least couple of hours that you will not wash the propolis away. Let propolis stay in your skin as long as possible to achieve best results.

Hikiän Propolis was attending Natural and Organic products awards last year in Hong Kong. The result from the awards was amazing as Hikiän Propolis won the award of Outstanding Natural/Organic Product. This award was an honour and truly clear sign that someone else has also noticed the greatness in Hikiän Propolis too.

Why you shouldn’t give honey to babies, when it is so good for children

It may seem strange to think that natural raw honey can be bad for babies, when it is so very good for children. Here at Hikiän we live, breathe and of course, eat honey, so we thought it would be a good idea to explain why a natural product can have such a contradictory reputation.

Avoiding infant botulism – our childrens health is important

It seems that today, we live in such a cautious society, so when we are new parents, we are ultra-protective of our newborn children. We’ve heard you shouldn’t give honey to babies, but many of you may not know why. As a consequence, that caution can extend longer than necessary. After all, if you don’t know why you shouldn’t give honey to babies, how would you know when it is safe to give it to older children?

For your peace of mind, is widely accepted that you should not give honey to infants who are under 12 months of age, as indicated by the UK’s National Health Service. Once your children have reached their first birthday, it is perfectly safe to give them natural, raw honey.

So why shouldnt you give honey to babies?

As you probably know, newborns and infants have a very weak immune system, which makes them more susceptible to disease and infection. As babies grow, at the age of around two months they begin to develop their own immune system, having previously relied on antibodies obtained from their mother’s milk and introduced into their bodies via the placenta prior to birth. However, until the age of one, a baby’s defence system against disease, infection and bacteria is still weak and underdeveloped.

The connection with honey relates to the fact that honey, and especially raw natural honey, can contain spores of the naturally occurring bacteria, Clostridium botulinum (C botulinum), which can cause infant botulism, a potentially fatal disease resulting from muscle paralysis caused by a bacterial toxin.

Cases of infant botulism are extremely rare

When advising you not to give your baby honey, please don’t think that every jar of honey has botulism spores in it. That is not the case, but because the C botulinum bacteria is more usually found in dust and soil, and bees also come into contact with soil, there is always the possibility of cross contamination, and it is that possibility you are guarding against. With a population of over 323 million people, there are less than 100 annual cases of infant botulism in the USA, and not all of those were caused by honey. By comparison, the population of Finland is only 5.5 million!

Why natural raw honey is good for children its not all about sugar!

Yes, honey is a wonderful and natural form of sugar, but did you know that natural raw honey includes three different forms of sugar, glucose, sucrose and fructose, all of which are digested differently. While you may get a ‘sugar hit’ and instant energy boost when you take refined sugar, raw honey also contains fructose, which is more slowly broken down by the body, so the energy benefits last longer. A less-well-known fact about honey is both the number and level of vitamins it contains, as you will see from below.

Nutrition Value per 100 g Nutrition Value per 100 g
Water 17 g Energy 304 kcal
Protein 0.3 g Carbohydrate 82.4 g
Sugars 82.12 g Fiber 0.2 g
Calcium 6 mg Iron 0.42 mg
Magnesium 2 mg Phosphorous 4 mg
Potassium 52 mg Sodium 4 mg
Zinc 0.22 mg Vitamin C 0.5 mg
Riboflavin 0.03 mg Niacin 0.12 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.024 mg Folate 2 ug

(Source, US National Nutrient Database)

Honey also has excellent healing properties beyond the ever-popular treatment for tickly coughs and sore throats. It is known to be beneficial for the liver, and has been included in cultural medicine for many ancient civilisations, including the Greeks, Romans, Aztecs and Mayans.

Raw natural honey is used in many homeopathic medicines, but as with anything you choose to take for medicinal purposes, it is always recommended you seek advice from a qualified physician.

If you have any questions relating to honey, how we produce our raw Finnish honey, or any of its beneficial properties, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

What´s in your honey?

Joanna / Healthy Seoul blog

Meet Joanna, a holistic nutritionist from Canada. She has spent several years in Seoul and wanted to make the most of it with a touch of yoga and healthy nutrition choices. She was originally graduated from University of Guelph in Canada but quickly learned that she wanted to learn something else too. Then she found herself from Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto and she was also studying Clinical Iridology at the same time.  All this education has given her lot of knowledge of nutrition from various point of views.

We were thrilled to see that she posted a long informative post about Hikiän raw honey. Blog post What´s in your honey? is including lot of information about anti-microbial activity, anti-oxidant effects and healing effects of honey too. To read the complete article step into Joannas blog Healthy Seoul. 

We will now gather together with our families to spend holidays.
Merry Christmas,

Team Hikiän

Hikiän Raw Honey is now Halal Certified

Halal Certification was admitted to Hikiän Raw Honey 11th of December by The Islamic Society of Finland. Certification was signed by Imam Mohamad Anas Hajjar. You may look at the actual certification here.

Hikiän applied Halal Certification to certify production methods and add more knowledge to customers about Hikiän products. Certification will be valuable for customers who wants to be sure that production is following Halal certificated methods. Halal certification has now been added to Hikiän website.

 

The shortest day of the year is today

Today is the shortest day of the year. This means that in Hikiä (name of the village where our bees are located) we only get day light around 5 hours today. Sunrise was this morning at 9:30am and sunset will already be at 15:07pm. Very northern part of Finland does not get sun light at all today.  We call this magical moment as polar night. These days are full of mystery, magic and excitement. Christmas is just around the corner and we are already celebrating that tomorrow we will get few minutes more day light than today. Bees are hibernating during these days and waiting summertime which is one step closer tomorrow. 

We are spending these darker days mostly around fire places, drinking tea and wearing self made wool socks. Here in Finland it is really common to enjoy tea with honey to get natural sweetener for tea. Have you already tried this combo?

Have a wonderful Polar night tonight,

Team Hikiän

Traditional beekeeping for perfect, natural Finnish honey

For over 80 years members of my family have been keeping bees, and the skills learned by my grandfather, Martti, have been passed down through the generations, each of us learning a little more and adding to the traditional way of keeping bees. Today, Kiia, who also happens to be the Southern Finland Beekeeping Association Chairperson, and I are solely responsible for the farm that my grandfather started all those years ago.

We are blessed with an almost perfect environment here in southern Finland – there is no pollution and there is an abundance of natural woodland and flora. Our bee hives are located in the same farm my grandfather started, set deep in the forest, surrounded only by nature – the perfect setting for perfect natural honey.

Photo by Toni Forssel

Our traditions extend to only ever using wood for our bee hives and bee keeping is very much in our blood. We look after our bees in the same way a dog lover looks after their dog, or a rider looks after their horse. Bees are such a precious element of our ecology and environment, and we take great pride in ensuring their protection and wellbeing. It is a scary thought that without bees, we would lose so much of the food we take for granted, and especially so many of the fruits we eat. It is believed that Albert Einstein once said that without bees the world would starve within a couple of years – this is a myth and he did not say that, but there is an element of truth to the words all the same. We would certainly have to make drastic changes to our diets, that’s for sure.

Of course, the environment in Finland can be very harsh where temperatures here can drop to as low as -30oC. As bees will hibernate in their hives, we do give them a little bit of a helping hand by adding EPS insulation solely to the roof to help them retain heat – but that is the only man-made intervention we allow in our traditional bee keeping practises.

Come springtime and as flowers begin to blossom once again, so the bee gets back to work. We are so fortunate to have our hives in a location where there is no reliance of bees on any single crop – too much reliance on one crop for pollen can have a tremendous influence on the taste of honey. Instead there are a wide range of nectar sources for our bees, including willow, blueberry, Heather, lingonberry, dandelion, willow herb and raspberry. Some years there can be subtle changes in the flavour of our natural honey depending on the abundance of one flower over another, but much as the way a sommelier can identify which region a specific wine comes from, exactly the same can be applied to honey.

– Reko, Managing Director

What is Propolis and five of its well-known health benefits?

You may be wondering what propolis is – it almost sounds more like an ailment itself than a natural product capable of a multitude of homeopathic remedies. Propolis is perhaps best described as a ‘by-product’ of the natural production of honey, though in actual fact it is an important constituent used by bees in the production of honey. Propolis is tree sap which has added apine enzymes from bee saliva and is used by them to make repairs to minor cracks in bee hives that do not require filling with beeswax itself.

Propolis can vary in its overall constituents depending on where the bees live and the time of year, but in general terms propolis comprises over 300 natural compounds, including amino acids, coumarins, phenolic aldehydes, polyphenols, sequiterpene quinines and steroids. Raw propolis comprises roughly 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen and 5% a variety of other organic compounds. Here in Finland, and in particular where we harvest our Hikiä honey, the tree sap usually comes from pine and spruce trees.

While you may be new to the discovery of the health benefits of propolis, the benefits themselves have been known for many thousands of years; documentation around the time of Aristotle in 350BC makes mention of the healing properties of the substance, while propolis was also used by Egyptians as part of the mummification process.

Remarkable health benefits

    • Helps combat tumours and cancer – you may be very surprised to learn that there are currently over 300 independent studies into the effects of propolis on tumours and cancers. Research is beginning to reveal that propolis may have the ability to inhibit DNA synthesis in tumour cells, while it has also been shown that propolis has strong antioxidant characteristics.
    • Excellent for treating candida infections –candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus and is often found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina, and research carried out in 2011 revealed that propolis had the highest antifungal properties of all bee products, showing effectiveness on over 40 different strains of fungus, including candida albicans.
    • Stops the reproduction of herpes – the herpes simplex virus comes in two forms – HSV-1 is usually the cause of mouth sores, also known cold sores, while HSV-2 is more commonly associated with genital herpes. Propolis has been clinically proven to stop the simplex herpes virus from reproducing, which helps to back up why so many natural lip balms for cold sores contain propolis.
    • Helps treat the common cold – two sets of trials were performed. One on children showed that the use of propolis reduced the number of colds suffered by children during a normal ‘cold season’, while the study involving adults revealed that cold symptoms, and especially an associated sore throat, subsided two-and-a-half times quicker when propolis was taken.
    • May be able to increase fertility – a controlled trial looked at the effects of propolis supplements on women who were suffering with infertility and mild endometriosis. Research revealed that taking bee propolis at a dose of 500 milligrams, twice daily for six months, produced a substantially increased pregnancy rate of 60 percent, compared to only 20 percent in the placebo group.

Here at Hikiän we strongly believe in the curative powers of propolis, but we are also keen to point out that a number of you can be allergic to bee products. In addition, we do not recommend our propolis over any traditional medicines, and nor do we recommend self-treatment or self-diagnosis. If you have any existing health problems you should immediately consult a physician.

If you are cautious by nature, then by all means discuss our propolis with a health practitioner and we are confident that you will receive encouraging advice, so you can buy our 100% natural propolis extract with total confidence.

Hikiän in South Korea

           

We visited Seoul earlier this month and our aim was to bring Hikiän products available for all people in South-Korea too. For us this was a first trip to South Korea and it was a pleasure to find out that our products were taken with warm welcome in the country. On a same trip our managing director Reko Nieminen met Ambassador Eero Suominen. They had long discussions about honey and propolis products as well as economics and international business. Surprising coincidence was that they both are originally from same town in Finland.

During the trip we could not be noticed that preparations for the Olympic games were already taken place. While we are packing and loading the deliveries into South Korea we will share few pictures with you from the trip. Seoul, it was a pleasure and see you again very soon.