Buckwheat honey, also known as buckwheat honey, is a very nutritious product, although it often goes unnoticed by the consumer.
Find out here its properties, differences with other types of honey and how to take advantage of it.
What is buckwheat honey?
First of all, we must differentiate buckwheat honey from ordinary honey.
Honey is a sweet and viscous fluid produced by bees Apis Mellifera from the nectar of flowers or secretions of plants or other insects. The bees collect this product, combine it with their own substances, and store it in their honeycombs.
The requirement for buckwheat honey to be considered such is that the nectar collected by the bees comes from the flowers of the buckwheat or buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), a plant that is popularly considered a cereal, although in reality it is not, since it belongs to the family Polygonaceae.
Buckwheat has small white or pink flowers, so the bees must work harder to collect enough nectar to produce this type of honey.
Buckwheat is also used as a substitute for cereals or flours, especially for people who are sensitive to gluten.
Characteristics of buckwheat honey
Buckwheat honey is characterized by being dark, its hue can vary from yellow to brown, with slight reddish tints.
- What are the health benefits of eating honey
Its aroma is strong and spicy, with registers similar to clay and wood, while its flavor is bitter, with powerful traces of malt and molasses.
Due to these characteristics, buckwheat honey is often used to prepare poultry, beef and pork, gingerbread, and mead.
It can also be consumed directly on toast or to sweeten infusions, as is done with any other type of honey.
Benefits of buckwheat honey
During the last 50 years, many researchers paid special attention to another type of honey, Manuka honey. This is obtained from the nectar of the Manuka trees (Leptospermum scoparium), native to Australia and New Zealand.
Although the scientific evidence supporting its benefits is inconclusive, the consumption of Manuka honey has been linked to significant antimicrobial activity, especially useful for fighting infections and speeding up wound recovery.
However, one problem with this honey is affordability. For this reason, experts began to study other types of honey that are easy to obtain, including buckwheat honey.
As recent studies show, the remarkable dark color of buckwheat honey is due to the significant presence of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.
These are responsible for this honey having more antioxidant activity than Manuka, as well as greater effectiveness as an antibacterial agent, especially against bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus (often cause skin infections) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (they usually cause pneumonia and sinusitis).
Other studied benefits of buckwheat honey are the following:
- wound care: Buckwheat honey helps draw moisture from wounds and kill bacteria, thus speeding up the recovery process and promoting healing. This is because it has a significant concentration of sugar and a low pH.
- against cough: There are studies in children that have analyzed the use of buckwheat honey to relieve nocturnal cough, with positive results. It was even shown to be more effective than certain cough medicines, such as dextromethorphan. This effect is due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- antioxidant properties: Due to its significant concentration of antioxidant compounds, buckwheat honey is an effective food for combating oxidative stress and protecting healthy cell structures from the action of free radicals, a set of unstable molecules.
- protects the skin: Honey in general is usually used from natural medicine to protect the skin and keep it soft and flexible. Therefore, it is common to find it as an ingredient in many cosmetic and hygiene products. Buckwheat honey has a greater anti-aging potential due to its concentration of antioxidants.
- Reduce the cholesterol: Although the mechanism behind this link is not yet known, buckwheat honey is associated with a reduction in blood cholesterol levels, so it can be a great help in caring for heart health.
As with other types of honey, if you want to use buckwheat honey for medicinal purposes, you should take it in tablespoons before bed or combined in infusions (if the condition to be treated is due to an infection, such as cough or sore throat) or apply topically to the affected area (if the condition to be treated is a wound or skin problem).
Experts warn that this honey should not be administered to children under 1 year of age, since it has microorganisms that can be harmful to their body. For the rest of the minors, the following daily doses are recommended:
- Children from 2 to 5 years: 2.5 ml.
- Children from 6 to 11 years: 5 m.
- Children from 12 to 18 years: 10 ml.
Buckwheat honey is considered a safe natural sweetener for most adults, as long as it is consumed in moderation. Too much can cause discomfort and stomach pain.
There are also cases of people allergic to bee pollen who may have serious reactions after consuming this honey, such as weakness, vomiting, dizziness, excessive sweating or breathing problems.
Currently, there is no evidence showing possible interactions of buckwheat honey with medications.
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, talk to your doctor first about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: American Academy of Physicians, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.