Honey has been used for centuries for its healing properties. It’s use as medicine dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Hippocrates used honey in many of his formulations. It has been used for many things ranging from staving off infections to promoting skin health. It’s a bit of a shame that we so often forget about this natural wonder of health.
What’s more is that honey is so much more diverse than many people realize. There are hundreds of varieties that most of haven’t even heard of, each with their own unique flavors and medicinal properties. Here are just three of the many kinds of honey that I would recommend introducing yourself to.
Manuka honey is one of the most unique honeys in the world. Made only in New Zealand from bees that pollinate the manuka bush, this special honey has a plethora of medicinal uses ranging from soothing sore throats to curing Staph infections.
Unlike in most honey, the hydrogen peroxide in the manuka variety is inactive. Despite this, it still demonstrates antimicrobial effects far beyond that of any other honey. Researchers believe this is because of its low pH and high sugar content which hinder the growth of microbes. It also has up to four times the nutrients of regular honey. This is known as the Unique Manuka Factor. Astoundingly, it has proven to be effective against E. coli, Salmonella, Staph, C. diff, and H. pylori (the one that causes stomach ulcers). It also helps with lots of other ailments including:
- Acid reflux
- Skin conditions like acne and eczema
- Tooth decay
- Poor sleep
Manuka honey has a very mild yet sweet and enticing flavor compared to normal flower honey. I often put in my smoothies for that extra immune kick. Although, it is also delicious straight from the spoon.
As the name suggests, this rich, dark honey is made from bees pollinating buckwheat flowers. And like manuka honey, it has a laundry list of medicinal uses.
Buckwheat honey is proven to be more effective against coughs than over the counter cough syrups. It also has tons of antioxidants, even more than blueberries. It is even used to treat anemia because of its high iron content. Other uses include:
- Cold and flue relief
- Hemorrhoid relief
Buckwheat honey has a bold, earthy flavor. It is less sweet than other honey which can be a plus for a lot of people. It makes for an excellent addition to herbal teas.
The bees that produce this honey do so using the full spectrum of vegetation native to the Grecian island of Ikaria. Among these plants are spring white heather tree, Greek strawberry tree, wild lavender, thyme, and wild oregano. Many believe the honey to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. An interesting thing to note is that the island is one of the world’s “Blue Zones“, or areas where life expectancy is much higher than average. In fact, the people of Ikaria reach the age of 100 ten times as often as people in the United States. They are also much less prone to disease. That’s not to say that eating their honey will grant you eternal life, but it’s certainly something to think about.
The taste is very floral, even more so than other floral honeys. The wide variety of flora involved in the production of this honey gives it a heavily aromatic flavor, but without being overwhelming. It is definitely the most interesting tasting honey I’ve tried.