Different characteristics of different types of honey, such as: taste, color, aroma, healing properties, time and type of production, harvest area or even price, make each type of honey unique. The advantage of having information about different types of honey is buying honey more consciously and accurately. Also, testing different types of honey and understanding their differences will be an interesting adventure for honey lovers and enthusiasts.
Classification of types of honey
From different dimensions, types of honey can be classified:
- Plant type: There are different types of honey depending on the source of nectar and its related biochemical composition. For example, thyme, astragalus and eucalyptus honey.
- Single or multiple flowers: Honeys that are completely single-flowered are rarely found. For this reason, if a plant is more present in the honey harvest area than other plants, honey is called that plant. If in a region with several plants, one particular plant is not more than the others, usually the honey obtained is considered as several plants.
- Production / harvest time: Depending on the time of honey harvest in spring or autumn, honey is named in spring or autumn.
- Harvest area: Depending on the specific climate and vegetation of each region, the harvested honey will be different and therefore it will be named after that region. Like Lorestan honey, Khomein honey and Alpine honey!
- Color: Due to the differences in the constituents of each plant, the color of honey will sometimes have many differences. For example, thyme honey is red and citrus honey is pale yellow and clear.
- Flavor: The taste of honey is usually very different according to the nectar of the plants related to them. Everyone’s favorite taste is a matter of taste and you can find your favorite honey by testing different honeys.
- Nature: It is a common belief that all honeys have a warm nature. But this belief is not always true. For example, honey is cold and cold.
- Sucrose level: This is the main criterion for the naturalness of honey from the customers’ point of view. This means that the less sucrose the honey has, the more natural it is. Of course, this is true to some extent, but in no way can it replace honey testing in specialized food laboratories.
- Production type: In the production process, honey can be heated, pasteurized or filtered. It should be noted that the less honey is manipulated, the more it will retain its original properties. For example, filtering honey removes pollen from it.
- Ross / Non-Ross Honey: Almost all natural honeys crystallize (ros) after a while. An important point to note is that the use of too much heat in the production process causes the honey to never rise (although heat causes the loss of almost all the properties of honey).
- Honey with wax / without wax: In the honey market, it is offered in the form of wax, nectar and in combination. Some consumers prefer to buy honey with wax in order to buy natural and unprocessed honey. This belief may not always be true; Because both wax can be made from synthetic materials and honey.
- Artificial honey: Such honeys are made from a combination of various artificial sweeteners with essential oils and dyes, and it is often very difficult to determine whether they are artificial without laboratory analysis.
- Nutritional honey: In this type of honey, instead of feeding on nectar and plant pollen, bees feed on sugar and other sometimes artificial substances and produce honey.
- Price: Honeys are available in the market at very different prices. Although the price of a honey does not indicate its quality and naturalness, some types of honey, such as thyme honey, have a higher price due to lower production. Astragalus is the cheapest type of honey in Iran; Because astragalus vegetation is very high in Iran and most of the honeys produced in Iran have a base of astragalus honey.
- Health benefits: Honey of different plants, while having common properties such as general strengthening of the body and healing of superficial wounds, have unique properties in treatment. In the following, we will address this issue.
Properties and characteristics of different types of honey harvested from different plants
1. Types of honey produced in Iran
Salvia honey is one of the dark colored honeys that is better known for its sweetening and antioxidant properties.
This honey has antibacterial, antioxidant, expectorant and beneficial properties for digestion; It is also useful for respiratory problems such as coughing and strengthening the immune system. This honey may also be able to control diabetes.
It is a pale, liquid, glass-like honey produced by bees that feed on acacia flowers. Contains vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and essential fatty acids and amino acids.
Acacia honey has protective effects on the liver and kidneys. Topical administration of acacia honey has been shown to heal wound tissue. Studies also show the effective healing properties of acacia honey in corneal eye injuries. If taken before bed, it can help reduce anxiety and calm the nerves.
According to studies, this type of honey has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, DNA protection and antioxidant properties.
Clover honey (from Trifollum species) is one of the safest antibacterial agents in the diet you can get. This honey is light yellow in color; It is energizing and therefore very useful for relieving fatigue, the elderly, using it during exams and recovery after surgery.
Clover honey has unique phenolic compounds along with bee-derived antimicrobial peptides that can be responsible for specific antioxidant and antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Staphylococcus species.
This honey, which is obtained from alfalfa flowers (Medicago sativa), is known for its prebiotic effects. Alfalfa honey contains fructooligosaccharides, which strengthen intestinal bacteria and improve digestion. Regular consumption of alfalfa honey can cure anemia, diabetes (in consultation with a doctor) and fever.
It has an amber color and a taste similar to lavender. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic power, it is used externally for insect bites, sunburns and wounds. This type of honey is anti-diarrheal and is used to prevent flu, bronchitis and colds. Due to its high content of iron, it has similar properties to chestnut honey. Finally, this honey enhances sleep and reduces irritability, aggression and stress.
Lavender honey is rich in phenolic compounds, amino acids, sugars and essential enzymes. Thanks to these bioactive elements, it has a strong antifungal action against Candida species.
This honey has antioxidant capacity due to its vitamin C, catalase and flavonoids. It is also used to treat foot ulcers and other fungal infections of the skin.
It has a light amber color and is tasty and soft. It is obtained from the pollen of lemon, orange, orange and tangerine trees. This honey is antispasmodic and has sedative effects.
Rosemary honey is produced from Rosmarinus officinalis and is widely used in European countries. This honey is fragrant and has a very clear amber color and turns white when crystallized. It is a liver stimulant that relieves liver congestion. It is prescribed for stomach ulcers and dysmenorrhea. This honey is not recommended for patients with high blood pressure. Rosemary honey is rich in an antioxidant called camphor.
This honey can be used in emulsions and cosmetics to moisturize the skin. Due to its physicochemical properties, this substance can be used as a natural moisturizer with high therapeutic value.
It is very fragrant and has a special wood flavor. Disinfects the respiratory and urinary tract; With balsamic and deworming effects. Used for colds and respiratory diseases.
This honey is derived from the flowers of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus rostrata) and contains luteolin, camphor, quercetin, myristin and alginic acid. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Eucalyptus honey also contains sodium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
Eucalyptus honey can be especially useful for children with immunodeficiency.
It is red in color and has a pleasant and attractive taste. Inflammatory diseases such as whooping cough, pertussis and asthma are used for diseases or respiratory problems. It regulates blood pressure and is known as a powerful remedy for fatigue.
2. Other types of honey in the world
This honey has a soft yellow color with aromatic aromas. It crystallizes easily. It is useful for heartburn, bloating, stomach ulcers or duodenum. It has antibacterial properties and is useful for bronchitis, flu and colds. This substance has sedative properties and is very useful in anxiety and insomnia.
Syzygium cumini is known for its anti-hypoxic activity. A special dose of this honey can be used topically to treat the deadly Fournier gangrene. Due to its high osmotic pressure and viscosity, it prevents microbial growth and, if used in damaged areas, heals wounds.
Buckwheat honey (especially Fagopyrum esculentum) has high antibacterial properties. A study on buckwheat honey showed that this honey was able to increase the antioxidant capacity of serum by 7%. This type of honey is dark in color and tastes a little spicy. It contains a lot of antioxidants and minerals and improves cough in children.
Buckwheat honey from Canada can kill Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other resistant pathogens.
Due to its antioxidant properties and abundance of various nutrients, buckwheat honey can protect your body and DNA against chemical or oxidative stress, even better than Manuka honey.
This type of honey is produced by bees that feed on the flowers of the New Zealand Manuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium). This honey contains high concentrations of methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone, which may be the reason for its excellent antibacterial activity.
The use of manuka honey on wounds stimulates the formation of new blood cells and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and epithelial cells. This honey has the potential to heal wounds.
Manuka honey is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 and the amino acids lysine, proline, arginine and tyrosine. It also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc and sodium.
Its characteristic color is a reddish-brown color that makes it special and impressive and has a relatively strong taste. This honey is rich in iron and is useful for anemia and various types of bleeding such as nosebleeds.
Sunflower honey is yellow and has a special aroma. This honey helps to treat respiratory problems.
This type is brown in color and tastes quite spicy. Hawthorn honey is used for its soothing effects.
As you can see, there are different categories of honey, with specific characteristics and terms. Knowing these things will help you make a more informed purchase. Also, some properties and characteristics of different types of Iranian and foreign honeys were presented in this article.