Found in the Himalayan region in Nepal and some parts of Turkey, mad honey, also known as red honey, is a dark-reddish type of honey that contains grayanotoxins. The bees that produce this type of honey feed on the nectar of rhododendron flowers that grow in the Himalayan region. While there have been reports of hallucinations, dizziness, and other side effects from mad honey poisoning due to the neurotoxin present, red honey remains an important ingredient in alternative medicine, especially in Asian countries. Some of the main uses of Himalayan mad honey include:
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), red honey can cause low blood pressure (hypotension). While hypotension may be a life-threatening condition for people with normal blood pressure levels, it can help lower blood pressure for patients with hypertension. For this reason, mad honey is used as an alternative medicine for treating high blood pressure.
Cure Erectile Dysfunction
Red honey contains high amounts of a psychoactive chemical compound called neurotoxin. This compound is also a cardiac stimulant, meaning it stimulates the cardiovascular system, causing blood to flow effectively throughout the body, including the genital area. For this reason, various Asian societies use it as an aphrodisiac to boost libido and as a cure for erectile dysfunction.
Treating Gastrointestinal Disorders
Red honey is also used to treat digestive system disorders such as indigestion, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, gastritis, and dyspepsia. More specifically, the grayanotoxins present in the honey open the sodium channels in the cells, and this, in turn, helps in alleviating digestive disorders. Additionally, it can help relieve abdominal pain and treat various viral infections. Even so, ingesting high amounts of mad honey can be fatal.
Rhododendron species are famous for their anti-inflammatory properties. They help a great deal in preventing and relieving inflammation in the body. Since mad honey contains grayanotoxins from the rhododendron flowers, it has anti-inflammatory effects on the body as well as other antiradical bioactivities such as anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, and antioxidant properties.
These are some of the uses of Himalayan mad honey in alternative medicine. However, due to the severe side effects that come with mad honey poisoning, it is important to consume it in moderation or seek guidance from a specialist. Take note that commercial mad honey is a bit safer since mass production of the honey dilutes the grayanotoxins that are responsible for the adverse effects that come from consuming high amounts of mad honey.