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Honey, Let’s Talk about Health

By Jordan Staggs | Photography courtesy of HoneyMed Raw Honey

How does an English major from Russia become a Floridian beekeeper intent on helping her community through natural honey-based remedies? It might seem like a stretch, but a background in the wellness industry led Eve Emelianova down the path to her current mission when she moved to the South Walton area of Northwest Florida in 2005.

HoneyMed founder Eve Emelianova and beekeeper Earl Barrett
HoneyMed founder Eve Emelianova and beekeeper Earl Barrett | Photo by Jack Gardner

“Aquarius Spa in Seaside was where I was first introduced to healing arts and, later on, my work at East of Eden Retreat and Spa really inspired me to go further with skin-care education, overall wellness, and the holistic approach to living,” she explains. Further exploration into this approach and all-natural home remedies led to the happy accident that bred HoneyMed, Emelianova’s locally sourced, honey-based “Vitality Elixir.”

“HoneyMed is a direct response to my prayer for a creative idea, which showed up when I had the flu in 2018,” she recalls. “I was trying to heal myself with any natural remedy available in my house. Luckily I had a jar of honey and some spice, as well as lemons and garlic. My grandma’s recipe came to mind; she mixed all those ingredients to cure a cold and called it ‘Russian penicillin.’”

After mixing up her grandmother’s go-to remedy, Emelianova says her flu was completely gone in a matter of a few days. She began sharing the mixture with friends whenever they got sick, and their quick recoveries inspired the idea of turning the elixir into a business. “The name HoneyMed is a play on words,” she reveals with a grin. “It’s a natural medicine, and the very word med means ‘honey’ in Russian. So, technically, it’s ‘honey honey.’”

The biggest challenge in creating HoneyMed, like most small businesses, was getting started. “Initially, I dealt with a bit of self-doubt and lack of funds,” says Emelianova. “Fortunately, once I started, HoneyMed received the warmest welcome from our local community and beyond. I am proud to say that this business has been growing slowly and organically and is now self-sustainable.”

Although she is not a medical professional, Emelianova says plenty of studies and evidence back up the science behind raw honey as a healthy natural remedy. Its benefits range from nutritional to antibacterial, and studies have shown that ingesting honey from local hives can improve symptoms for those who suffer from seasonal and environmental allergies.

“The spice in this blend is quite amazing too,” she explains. “Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger is known to soothe the stomach. So does cayenne pepper, which also cleanses the blood, speeds metabolism, and boosts immunity. Together, these ancient ingredients positively affect our overall well-being by increasing vitality, elevating energy levels, and promoting alkalinity in the body’s pH balance—which is paramount to staying healthy, especially nowadays.”

HoneyMed gets its sweet main ingredient from the Barrett apiary, led by third-generation beekeeper Earl Barrett. Barrett’s beehives are scattered throughout the woods in the Point Washington State Forest and Peach Creek areas of South Walton, making HoneyMed a true local remedy for residents with allergies.

The Honey Bee cocktail at The Grove 30A features HoneyMed raw honey. | Photo by Alyssa Turner Photography

“Our area is blessed with unique, hypoglycemic (low sugar content), very fragrant, sunshine-colored tupelo honey harvested from the trees along the banks of Choctawhatchee Bay waterways,” says Emelianova. “Earl is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to honey and bees. He is an amazing individual, a former pastor who cares greatly about the health of his bee families and the superb quality of the honey they produce. We typically feature two kinds of honey: tupelo and wildflower. Both are the most local honey to the 30-A area and the surrounding zip code. You could say it’s ‘beach honey.’”

Although there is still a lot to be improved on and accomplished to make the production and distribution processes smoother and more efficient, according to Emelianova, she is delighted that HoneyMed is widely available throughout Northwest Florida and beyond.

“We have plans to expand HoneyMed production and distribution to other parts of Florida and nearby states,” she says. “Retailers in different states already carry our superfood honey, making it available to people throughout the country. It’s also been a joy to collaborate with Ed Berry, the founder and original owner of For the Health of It (a popular health food store) in Blue Mountain Beach, by adding his amazing micro-nutritional ‘Eddie Bee’ product to our inventory.

My biggest dream is to see a jar of HoneyMed in every kitchen, just because it is such an easy and delicious way to take care of our health.”

So, how should one enjoy HoneyMed to get the most benefit from it? The answer is: any way you please!

Eve Emelianova | Photo by Jack Gardner

“A cup of warm water with a teaspoon of HoneyMed and a squeeze of lemon is my daily preference,” Emelianova reveals. “HoneyMed is a delectable and healthy alternative for sweetening your tea or coffee. It tastes fantastic drizzled over oatmeal or fruit, spread on a warm biscuit with butter or peanut butter and banana toast, and it’s simply divine on cheese and crackers paired with a glass of wine. That’s why Graze30a and Buon Appetito 30a add HoneyMed to their charcuterie boards. Many people simply eat a spoonful a day as an immunity booster and allergy reliever. Whichever way you take HoneyMed, you benefit from its superfood properties!”

HoneyMed and other local honey brands don’t just benefit those using their products; they also play a role in conserving honeybees and other vital pollinators whose numbers are dwindling. Emelianova and Barrett are passionate about protecting the environment by helping those creatures thrive.

A mango smoothie including HoneyMed’s raw honey and Eddie Bee pollen powder supplements

“Ideally, if everyone could have a small beehive in their backyard and stop using harmful pesticides in their gardens and switch to chemical-free alternatives, it would aid our pollinators and the earth at large,” Emelianova imparts. “I realize this might sound utopian, yet maybe we can start small by supporting local farmers and enjoying locally grown foods. Our area is blooming with beautiful individuals and businesses that support the holistic lifestyle. For instance, check out Metamorph Blooms by my friend Allyson Longshore. You will be amazed by her monarch butterfly preservation effort.”

At the end of the day, Emelianova’s greatest joy in creating and selling HoneyMed has been helping friends and customers feel a little happier and healthier. “It is utterly rewarding and encouraging,” she says. “Hearing our customer reviews is music to my ears daily. Watching them come back for more HoneyMed warms my heart and keeps me going. I would love to thank everyone for investing in your health by supporting our small business. May your life be sweet as honey with the right amount of spice!”

— V —

Visit HoneyMedBiz.com to learn more or order HoneyMed with affordable, flat-rate shipping across the United States.

Santa Rosa Beach locals and guests can find HoneyMed at its weekend farmers market stand Saturdays at Grand Boulevard and Sundays in Rosemary Beach from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. HoneyMed is available for sale at 2 Birds Coffee + Café in Miramar Beach; Emerald Coast Catering & Gourmet to Go on Highway 98; Stinky’s Fish Camp and Bait Shop in Dune Allen Beach; For the Health of It in Blue Mountain Beach; Modica Market in Seaside; Emerald Coast Wine & Spirits in WaterColor; Clay Garden & Gifts, Beachy Bean Coffee Co., and Buddy’s Seafood Market in Seagrove Beach; CK’s Feed & Supply in Rosemary Beach; Destin Ice Market in Inlet Beach; Vitamins R Us in Panama City Beach; Mount of Olives Health Foods in Panama City; and Emerald Coast Olive Oil in Panama City Beach and Destin. Salon Baliage & Spa in Carillon Beach and Vivo Spa 30A in Rosemary Beach also offer tea with HoneyMed to guests.

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