Indians have used honey for centuries not just as a flavourful delicacy but as a medicinal remedy and a natural antiseptic.But, did you know there are over 300 types of honey that exist in nature?
Mindboggling, isn’t it?
Each variety of honey offers a special set of health and nutritional benefits. The categorization of honey is based on the flower source. Usually, the light colour honey tends to taste milder than the darker variety. This is the major distinguishing factor for types of honey.
While we can’t list all types here, but we tried to handpick the best varieties based on their uses, nutrition, and benefits.
The Best Types of Honey
1. Acacia Honey
Whenever you image the picture-perfect glass jar of honey, you are picturing acacia, honey! The light amber colour with that floral and sweet accent and a pure honey flavour is just amazing. Plus, it does not alter the taste of your tea, pancake or oatmeal.
High in fructose and low in glucose, this is one of the rare types of honey that diabetics can enjoy without concern. Sourced from the black locust tree acacia honey is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and is also believed to help fight some forms of cancer.
2. Buckwheat Honey
The darkest and most probably the strongest type of honey, Buckwheat honey is produced in Minnesota, Pennsylvania as well as in other regions of Canada. Due to its strong and full-bodied appearance, buckwheat honey is popular among connoisseurs. It is one of the best types of honey to make meads and marinade flavourful meats.
The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of buckwheat honey are used for remedial purposes. This honey is an excellent choice to treat coughs and sore throats.
3. Clover Honey
The most sought after type of honey in the international markets. Originally common to the communities of New Zealand and Canada, clover honey is known for its sour aftertaste. Depending on the source, the clover honey can be amber in colour or water white. Now harvested all over the world, this floral and sweet-tasting honey is a common ingredient for baking, dressings, and sauces.
Speaking of the benefits, clover honey is packed with strong antioxidant properties and contains high amounts of phenolic acids that support the nervous system and flavonols that improve lung and heart function.
4. Eucalyptus Honey
Eucalyptus honey smells and tastes exactly you would expect it to, herbal and somewhat medicinal. Additionally, it also got a hint of menthol. The colour of this type of honey depends on the shrub or tree from which it is harvested.
Mostly used for its medicinal properties, it is used to fight inflammation, congestion, cough and also helps heal wounds. If you have a cold or the flu, and a jar of eucalyptus honey is lying around, just open it up and have a teaspoon full of honey.
5. Linden honey
Primarily produced in Europe, the Linden honey is also known as lime honey in international markets. In the US, it is popular as basswood honey. Whatever it is called, but this honey is popular for its light-yellow signature colour and delicate and delicious taste with a touch of herbal aroma. Over the years, linden honey is rapidly becoming rare since the tree it is extracted from is being harvested for home building wood.
Naturopaths use linden honey for bronchitis and cold as well as detoxify and calm the body. It also has sedative properties, which is why it is ideal to add to your herbal tea before bed.
6. Orange Blossom Honey
Originated in Spain and Mexico, the orange blossom honey is not produced in almost every warmer climate places across the globe. This honey is named so because of its citrusy and fruity aroma. It is light coloured and mild honey that is rich in several natural antioxidants and comes with anti-inflammatory properties to boost natural immunity in the body. If you are on a healthy diet and want to fight the free radical damage to your body, you can add the orange blossom honey to your diet.
However, you have to beware as many unscrupulous manufactures add artificial flavours and scents to the orange blossom honey that can make it smell like perfume. If the honey you buy smell too high, it is most probably doctored.
7. Wildflower Honey
A multi-floral type of honey, this variety is made from the nectar of many different types of wildflowers. Depending on the nectar sources the taste and intensity of wildflower honey can vary considerably. Also, the seasons have an impact on its taste, but most often it has a light and fruity feel.
Like the taste, the health benefits of wildflower honey can also vary but in all forms, it has that basic antioxidant and cough suppressing effect that is found in most types of honey. However, a unique benefit to consuming this type of honey is it improves your immunity to fight the localized and seasonal allergies that are often triggered by the wildflowers from which the honey is sourced.
8. Manuka Honey
The rare, dark coloured honey, manuka honey is New Zealand’s proprietary natural delicacy that is extracted from the nectar of tea tree bush. Favoured more for its health benefits and medicinal properties, it is one of the best types of honey for antibacterial benefits.
In various studies, it is found that manuka honey has extremely effective wound healing properties, which is why the FDA has approved its use for this purpose. For treating diabetic ulcers and burns, this honey is used as its antibacterial properties maintain a moist acidic environment that is conducive to healing and formation of new cells. Naturopathic healers also use this type of honey for maintaining good oral health and treat sore throat.
We hope now you know when it comes to buying honey, you have choices more than you have imagined, each with their unique benefits and uses.